New Zealand entrepreneur intake falls

Fewer people are moving to New Zealand through the country’s entrepreneur work visa scheme.

While immigrant intake to New Zealand may have recently hit an all-time annual high of more than 69,000, the number of entrepreneurs have dropped.

The latest figures show that 386 people obtained entrepreneur work visas in the past year. This means the number of entrepreneur work visas granted was down by a third, from 583 the previous year. Approximately 70 per cent of this year’s entrepreneur intake originated from China. Fewer than 6 per cent came from the UK or the United States.

Since the visa was introduced in March 2014, a total of 1,039 entrepreneur work visas have been granted. Of these, 795 have gone to their family members, with fewer than a quarter going to the entrepreneurs themselves.

According Michael Woodhouse, the New Zealand Immigration Minister, the entrepreneur work visas “are designed to attract talented, entrepreneurial migrants who can invest in our communities, grow profitable businesses, and create jobs for New Zealanders.”

The three-year work visa is structured in two stages:

– Start-up stage: If your application is approved, you will initially be given a 12-month work visa, enabling you to buy or establish your business in New Zealand.

– Balance stage: Once you have proven that you have taken steps to establish your business, you’re granted the remaining 24 months of your visa. 

Applicants who plan to move to New Zealand through this visa must also have minimum capital investment of NZ$100,000 (excluding working capital) and a good business plan.

The New Zealand Government announced in March that it would pilot a new ‘global impact visa’ which will offer temporary residency to up to 400 budding businesspeople over the next four years, with any family members on top on that cap.

Article published 2nd August 2016