Business Migration

Business Immigration to New Zealand:

Over the past 20 years, the government has transformed New Zealand from an agrarian economy dependent on concessionary British market access to a more industrialized, free market economy that can compete globally. This dynamic growth has boosted real incomes, but left behind some at the bottom of the ladder–a broadened and deepened the technological capabilities of the industrial sector. Per capita income grown for 10 consecutive years until 2007 in purchasing power parity terms but fell in 2008-09. In 2010, GDP per capita was NZ$ 28000. Debt–driven consumer spending drove robust growth in the first half of the decade, helping fuel a large balance of payment deficit that posed a challenge for economic managers. Inflationary pressures caused a Central Bank to raise its key rate steadily from January 2004 until it was amongthe highest in the OECD in 2007-08; International Capital inflows attracted to the high rates further strengthened the currency and housing market, however, aggravating the current account deficit. The economy fell into recession before the start of the global financial crisis and contracted for five consecutive quarters in 2008-09.

A. Long Term Business Visa:

An experienced business person interested in being self employed in his/her own business in New Zealand has an option to apply for a long term business visa. It is a work visa enabling an applicant to move to New Zealand and buy or establish his/her own business. It is the first step on applicant's pathway to apply for residence in New Zealand under one of entrepreneur categories. The key requirements for long term business category are that, the applicant must possess relevant business experience to propose business in New Zealand and should have sufficient funds to support his/her business plan. Besides that, applicant is required to have settlement funds approx. NZ$ 60,000 to NZ$ 100,000 per year. The principal applicant's English language ability is overall the band score of 4 or more as per IELTS. The family members are also expected to have same ability of English language or they should pre purchase ESOL tuition. The applicant is required to be self employed in his/her business in New Zealand. Time required in New Zealand is varying from business to business. The applicant is further required to meet all health and character requirements.

If the application of the long term business visa is approved, then, in the first instance, a work visa for 9 months is granted. To increase the time of work visa, a person mustapply for a further work visa before the expiry of 9 months, but, the stay can not exceed total of three years. However, to gain further visa for the balance of three years, the applicant will have to show evidence, that he/she had made reasonable progress in setting up business.

Generally speaking, processing a long term business application can take three months, although the processing time can be longer also. The length of an individual application process depends on number of factors including whether the applicant had provided all the information needed to assess the application at the start, whether there are any health issues, how quickly the department would be able to receive verifications from external sources regarding information provided and how quickly, the applicant is able to respond to the clarification sought by Business Migration branch.

Changing a business proposal:

If an applicant wishes to change the business proposal within the validity of the visa, then, he/she must seek the consent of a Business Immigration Specialist to the change. It is relevant to observe, that, a person becomes liable for deportation if he/she undertakes a different proposal to the original proposal without seeking consent from a Business Immigration Specialist.

B. Entrepreneur Visa:

After an applicant has successfully established and has been self employed in a business in New Zealand for at least two years and his/her business has benefited New Zealand, then, the person becomes eligible for residence in New Zealand under the Entrepreneur category.

The key requirements for entrepreneur category are that the applicant has sufficient capital to start his/her business and English language proficiency was 4 or more bands in IELTS. Besides that, person should be self employed in New Zealand in the business for two years. The length of time for becoming eligible under this category is residence of minimum two years, maximum three years after obtaining approval under LTBV. Besides that, the applicant must meet the health and character requirements.

Business Establishment in New Zealand:

The applicant will need to submit evidence to demonstrate that he/she has successfully established a business in New Zealand and for this purpose the applicant should have established/purchased or made a substantial investment in a business operating in New Zealand. Besides that, applicant should have been self employed in his/her business for two years and the business must have created an economic benefit for New Zealand.

Applications and Timings:

If a person meets the criteria then for applying for residence he/she will need to complete and submit an entrepreneur category application to the Business Migration branch for assessment. Generally speaking, processing an entrepreneur application can take around three months although the processing time can be longer.

C. Entrepreneur Plus:

If an applicant has successfully established a business in New Zealand, creating new jobs and meeting a minimum investment level, then, such a person will be eligible for residence in New Zealand under Entrepreneur plus category. Under this category, there is no minimum time requirement for which applicant must have operated his/her business and it provides a faster track to residence.

New Zealand has an impressive record of economic freedom and benefits from its openness to Global Trade and Investment. In 2011, World Bank "Doing Business" given report to help investors to establish business in New Zealand.

In line with global peers, the Central Bank cut interest rates aggressively and the govt. developed fiscal stimulus measures. The economy posted a 1.7% decline in 2009 but pulled out a recession late in the year, and achieved 2.1% growth in 2010. Nevertheless, key trade sectors remain vulnerable to weak external demand. The Govt. plans to raise productivity growth and develop infrastructure, while raining in Govt. spending. The GDP (purchasing power parity) in 2010 was NZ$ 119.2 billion, while GDP (official exchange rate in 2010) was NZ$ 138 billion.