New Zealand Business Visas

Global Impact Visa (GIVs)

Immigration New Zealand has partnered with the Edmund Hillary Fellowship (EHF) to deliver an innovative immigration product for high impact entrepreneurs, investors, changemakers, and start-up teams.

The Global Impact Visa (GIVs) provides individual pioneering entrepreneurs and investors with a three-year visa to create, support, and incubate ventures and models that result in positive global impact, from New Zealand.  After three years, migrants can qualify for permanent residency.

There are two stages to the application process:

  • Submit an application, and be accepted into, the Edmund Hillary Fellowship (EHF)
  • Apply for a Global Impact Visa. 

The Edmund Hillary Fellowship

The Edmund Hillary Fellowship (EHF) fosters humankind’s creative potential from New Zealand, by supporting a community of impact entrepreneurs, investors and changemakers to build meaningful solutions to global problems.

EHF accepts a cohort of Fellows every 6 months through a rigorous application process. New Zealanders building innovative ventures are also part of each cohort to strengthen the community. EHF leverages New Zealand’s unique platforms to test, incubate, and scale innovative ideas that can create a lasting positive impact, in New Zealand and around the world.

EHF operates as a not-for-profit organization owned by the Hillary Institute of International Leadership. By partnering with local and international experts in innovation, and leveraging private sector strengths, the New Zealand Government is better positioned to accelerate impact-based innovation and grow New Zealand for all.

Participation in EHF provides Fellows with:

  • Exclusive access to New Zealand’s Global Impact Visa
  • A global network of talented entrepreneurial and investment leaders who are personally invested in helping each other succeed, offering diverse expertise, mentorship opportunities, cross-sector collaboration opportunities, and a peer-support network
  • Connections to New Zealand’s start-up ecosystem, government leaders, mentors, investors, research and development institutes and Māori communities
  • Immersive experiences to learn Tikanga Māori, the Māori ways of doing things, and how to navigate business within a multicultural society
  • Participation in workshops, skill-sharing sessions, learning opportunities, and retreats with other Fellows
  • A platform to tell their story through international channels
  • A lifelong community of passionate change makers, and an opportunity to be at the front line of leading systemic global change from New Zealand

In return, Fellows are expected to contribute towards New Zealand entrepreneurship communities and actively work on, or invest in, ventures within New Zealand that have the potential for widespread global impact.

EHF has up to 100 places available each year for international candidates, and also accepts New Zealand entrepreneurs and investors. The Fellowship selection process occurs twice a year, after which successful applicants will be sent a Letter of Offer and invited to apply for a Global Impact Visa.

Global Impact Visa (GIVs)

The Global Imact Visa is a three-year open work visa that enables participants in the Edmund Hillary Fellowship to work and live in New Zealand, with a path to permanent residence. Separate visas are also available for immediate family of Global Impact Visa holders.

To be eligible to apply for permanent residence, you must remain in the Edmund Hillary Fellowship for 30 months, and maintain the support of the Edmund Hillary Fellowship.

Who is GIVs for?

The policy is designed to attract individuals and teams with the drive and capability to launch global impact ventures from New Zealand who may not be able to qualify for other visa categories, and investors who wish to support impactful ventures. They will have the combination of relentless drive, skills, global connections, and desire to leverage the unique opportunities New Zealand offers, to build successful innovation-based ventures, and make game-changing impact on the world.

The GIVs selection process

EHF is responsible for identifying individuals and teams who could have a significant impact on New Zealand’s innovation system, whilst Immigration New Zealand is responsible for processing and making decisions on visas.

To be eligible for a Global Impact Visa, applicants must first be accepted into EHF. Once accepted into the Fellowship candidates are able to apply for a Global Impact Visa.

Eligibility for GIVs is conditional on meeting a number of criteria. Selected applicants will be assessed on the basis of their acceptance into EHF’s programme, English language, health and character, and having sufficient funds to support themselves.

New Zealand Visas for Business Start-ups and relocation

Please note that while we take every effort to ensure our information is up-to-date and accurate we present the following information as an indicative guide only.  Be aware that the rules and regulations mentioned below are subject to change and alteration. Take no action without confirming with us they represent an accurate and true picture of the situation today. 

Entrepreneur Resident Visa

his visa is for people who have been self-employed in New Zealand at least 6 months, or have operated a business for two years on another visa that allows self-employment.


Duration –  Indefinitely  


With this Visa you can

  • Continue to operate your own business in New Zealand.
  • Live, work and study in New Zealand.
  • Include your partner, and dependent children aged 24 and under, in your visa application.

Things to note

  • If you apply after less than 2 years of being self-employed, you’ll need to have an Entrepreneur Work Visa, have invested capital of at least NZ $500,000 and have created 3 new jobs in New Zealand.

Entrepreneur Work Visa

This visa is for people who want to work in their own business in New Zealand. To apply, you’ll need to provide a detailed business plan, have at least NZ $100,000 to invest in your business and be able to claim 120 points on our points scale. If you’re granted this visa, you can buy or set up a business without living here permanently, or as a first step towards New Zealand residence.



12 months in the start-up stage of your visa, then another 24 months once you’ve shown us that you’ve set-up your business

With this visa, you can

  • Come to New Zealand to buy or set up your own business.
  • Work in your own business in New Zealand for up to 3 years in total.

Things to Note

  • If your business is in the science or ICT sectors, shows a high level of innovation or export potential, we may consider waiving the NZ $100,000 capital investment requirement.
  • We won’t be able to grant you an Entrepreneur Work Visa if you’ve been made bankrupt or been involved in a business failure in the last 5 years.
  • If you’ve been involved in any kind of business fraud or financial wrongdoing, we won’t be able to grant you a visa.
  • Include your partner, and dependent children aged 19 and under, in your visa application.