New Zealand Immigration

Work to ResidenceFamily MigrationInvestor MigrationBusiness Migration

Residence from Work

The objective of the Residence from Work Category is to enable the grant of residence class visas to people whose talents are needed by New Zealand employers, people with exceptional talent in a field of art, culture or sport and people working in areas of identified absolute occupational shortage in New Zealand.
The criteria for an application under this policy are complex. Just to name a few:

  • must have held a work visa for at least 24 months under this specific category,
  • must have worked in New Zealand for at least 24 months for an accredited employer and a minimum base salary,
  • must have been actively involved in their declared field of art, culture or sport and are sponsored by a New Zealand organisation of national repute,
  • must have been employed in New Zealand in a profession which is included in the Long Term Skill Shortage List.

If members of your family are already residing in New Zealand and you wish to join them, a Residence Application under the Family Category might be an option for you:

  • Partnership policy allows partners of New Zealand citizens and residents to apply for residence in New Zealand.

Partnership is defined as a legal marriage, civil union or de facto relationship – whether opposite or same sex.
Partnership policy applicants must provide sufficient evidence to prove that they have been living together for 12 months or more in a genuine and stable partnership with a New Zealand citizen or resident.

  • Parent policy enables parents to join their children in New Zealand.

Parents qualify under this policy if they have no dependent children and all of their adult children are lawfully and permanently outside the country in which they reside.
Parents must be sponsored by an adult child who has been a New Zealand resident for at least three years.

  • Dependent child policy allows children to join their parents in New Zealand.

Applicants may qualifiy if they are up to 24 years old with no children of their own, single and totally reliant on their parents for financial support.

  • Sibling and adult child policy permits siblings and adult children to join their family in New Zealand.

Siblings and adult children qualify if they have no other immediate family living in the same country in which they are living and have an acceptable offer of employment in New Zealand.
They must be sponsored by an adult sibling or parent who has been a New Zealand resident for at least three years.
Applicants must show that they will meet a minimum income requirement, which is intended to ensure they can support themselves and any dependants.

  • Inter-country adoption  - If a New Zealand resident or citizen legally adopts a child overseas, they may apply on his or her behalf.

People wishing to invest funds in a business and live in New Zealand can apply for residence under Investor/Investor Plus policies, or a visitor’s visa valid for up to two years under our Temporary Retirement Category.
Investor Category requirements

If you want to invest at least NZ$ 1.5 million in New Zealand, and you would like to apply for New Zealand residence, the Investor category could be an option for you.

Under this category, the first step is to submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) form, showing your eligibility for points under the various criteria for this category.
A maximum of 300 residence applications per year are approved under the Investor category.
Selections from the pool of EOIs are undertaken fortnightly, selecting those applicants with the highest points totals. If you are invited to apply for residence, you will then need to provide evidence that you meet the Investor criteria, as per the claims you made in your EOI.

Everyone included in your residence application will have to meet specific health, character, and English language requirements.

You (the principal applicant) must be aged 65 or younger and have at least three years’ business experience, as well as meeting the Investor criteria summarised below.
Investment and settlement funds and/or assets

The investment funds and/or assets you nominate must be equivalent to at least NZ$1.5 million, though you may nominate more, depending on the points claimed in your EOI.
In addition, you need to own settlement funds and/or assets of at least NZ$1 million.
In your residence application, you will need to provide evidence showing that your investment and settlement funds and/or assets are owned by you or jointly by you and your partner and/or dependent children.

You will also need to be able to provide evidence showing that your intended investment funds:

  • are unencumbered, ie not subject to any mortgage, lien, charge and/or encumbrance (whether equitable or otherwise) or any other creditor claims
  • have been earned or acquired legally
  • are transferable through the banking system

After you have been given your approval in principle, you will need to provide verifiable documents to show that the funds you transfer to New Zealand came from the funds and/or assets that you nominate. You will need to place your investment funds in an acceptable investment(s) in New Zealand.

If your residence application is approved in principle, you (the principal applicant) will have 12 months to transfer your nominated investment funds and invest them in an acceptable investment in New Zealand, though you can apply to have this timeframe extended.
You can also apply for a work visa so you can travel to New Zealand to look into investment opportunities.
You will need to retain your investment funds in an acceptable investment(s) for four years, and spend at least 146 days each year in New Zealand in years two, three and four of your four-year investment period.

Experienced business people wishing to purchase or establish a business in New Zealand can apply for a work visa under the Long Term Business Visa Category and then apply for residence under the Entrepreneur/Entrepreneur Plus policies.

Long Term Business Visa

This category is suitable for business people who are interested in establishing a business in New Zealand.
Applicants under this policy are aiming at obtaining residency while being self-employed rather than looking for employment.
Self-employment is defined as lawful active involvement in the management and operation of a business in New Zealand, which the applicant has established or purchased, or in which he or she has made a substantial investment.

Applicants need to

  • have completed a business plan that meets the requirements for their business proposal
  • have business experience relevant to their business proposal
  • have not been involved in bankruptcy
  • have not been involved in business fraud
  • have obtained professional or occupational registration in New Zealand if registration is required for operating the proposed business
  • have, in addition to investment capital, sufficient funds for their maintenance and that of their families
  • meet Health and Character requirements
  • meet the minimum standard of English
  • demonstrate that they are genuinely interested in establishing the business in New Zealand.

Successful applicants will be granted multiple entry work visas and permits for periods of up to three years.
During the duration of the Long Term Business Permit the applicant will establish the business in accordance with the business plan and follow up with a residence application under the Entrepreneur Category, which will ultimately result in a Residence Visa.
Entrepreneur Category
The Objective of the Entrepreneur Category is to attract migrants who can demonstrate that they have been actively participating in business and contributing to New Zealand’s economic development.
Applicants in the Entrepreneur Category are required to demonstrate that

  • they have successfully established a business in New Zealand while holding a permit granted under the Long Term Business Visa Category
  • the business has been established on the basis of a business plan under the Long Term Business Visa Category
  • the business has required the same or a greater level of capital investment as stipulated in a business proposal in respect of which the applicant was granted a Long Term Business Visa
  • the applicant has relevant experience for the new business and
  • the business is benefiting New Zealand

Further requirements are

  • Businesses established in New Zealand must comply with all relevant employment and immigration law
  • Principal applicants and their partners and children must meet the minimum standard of English
  • Principal applicants and their partners and children must meet Health and Character Requirements policy