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If you’re planning to start a business in New Zealand, the Long Term Business Visa may be the way to go, writes Richard Howard …
I m a g e:S h u t te r s to c k
The Long Term Business Visa (LTBV) option is intended for the experienced business person or manager who is seeking to establish and run a business in New Zealand. It is a three-year multiple entry work visa which allows a person to be self-employed and, after two years of business ownership and operation and the achievement of business outcomes, a residence application can be made.
A LTBV applicant needs to have sufficient funds to establish/purchase the business, and to cover their family living costs for three years. The level of business investment is entirely dependent on the nature of the business involved and the average LTBV business investment is just over NZ$100,000 (£51,367). Applicants will need to provide a comprehensive business plan, and evidence they have the relevant skills or management experience to ensure that their business can succeed.
Applicants must also show an in-depth knowledge of New Zealand market conditions and satisfy Immigration New Zealand that their business plan is reasonable and financially viable.
SUBMIT A PLAN While an applicant may have a specific business in mind it may not be feasible to commit to the business until the visa is approved and this may take several months. It can be advisable to submit a generic business plan which is based on the type and location of the intended business without focusing on one particular business.
A generic plan offers more flexibility and negotiating power, because after the LTBV approval, an applicant has nine months to locate and secure a business opportunity which fits with their approved business plan.
The business is required to evidence an economic benefit to New Zealand which can mean introducing new, or