New Zealand business migration and long term business visas

New Zealand needs business migrants more than ever and people with overseas experience in self-employment can be a real asset to New Zealand. If you have relevant business experience and the financial capacity to take advantage of a business opportunity in New Zealand, then a Long Term Business Visa (LTBV) is worth considering.

New Zealand business migration visas

To file a LTBV you must:

- complete a business plan outlining your business proposal;
- have business experience relevant to your proposal;
- prove your business can provide some benefit to New Zealand;
- have sufficient investment capital and access to funds or assets to live off, and
- meet any occupational registration requirements, if applicable.

A LTBV is valid for a total of three years. It will first be granted for 9 months to allow you to start trading. It can then be further approved for the remaining 27 months provided the business is meeting the goals and financial forecasts set out in the business plan and can demonstrate is has traded reasonably profitably.

You may include your partner and children in a LTBV application and they can get an open work visa and student visa respectively. After two years of holding the LTBV you can apply for New Zealand Residence.

The question of the level of capital and available funds required is difficult to quantify. We suggest you have enough available funds to operate the business for at least the first year and to maintain yourself for the three years. For parents with two children, we suggest to our clients that NZD$100,000 per year is a minimum for living expenses alone.

The only direction from Immigration New Zealand (INZ) is you must have "sufficient funds" available. This means it is a matter of discretion. The amount needed will depend on the nature of the business, the forecasted operating expenses and the number of people included in the LTBV application.

"Sufficient funds" needn't just be 'money in the bank'. From our experience, if a person has evidence of business ownership back home, this can be counted as capital available for future liquidation for expenditure in the New Zealand business if need be. A Power of Attorney giving someone else authority to access funds in their bank account for the purpose of operating the New Zealand business is another means of showing ability to obtain finance when needed.

Before taking any significant steps in a business visa application, seek professional advice to ensure it has merit to succeed. Making an application that is bound to be declined can damage your prospects for future visa applications.

Immigration advisors must be licensed to give advice to you, while lawyers are exempt from needing a license. Professional advisors add value by demonstrating that your business can bring benefits to New Zealand; establishing your target market viability; and dealing with any historic immigration issues. An advisor can also tell you exactly what documents are needed and explain to INZ what your documents mean.

Laurent Law is a specialist immigration law firm. They are experienced in facilitating the business visa process to achieve the right results.

For more contact... Laurent Law Barristers & Solicitors

It pays to look at a number of business opportunities in New Zealand, so you get a feel for the market and know what to expect from having done your homework.

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