There have been some new residence criteria introduced by
Immigration New Zealand which may impact on Long Term Business Visa
Where there has been a change in policy, immigration have
previously allowed applicants on a pathway to residence not to be
disadvantaged by new policy. With the present changes, Immigration
New Zealand have specifically noted in the instructions that
current LTBV holders will have to meet new residence
The result of the change in policy is that some LTBV holders will
not be able to meet a benefit test at the residence visa stage. If
an LTBV holder does not meet the benefit test at the residence visa
stage the application for residence will be declined.
Broadly, the key points to note for residence are that as at the
date the application for residence is lodged evidence will need to
be provided to Immigration New Zealand that:
• The business has been performing as outlined in the business
• The business has been operating for at least 2 years;
• The principal applicant has been self-employed in the business
for at least 2 years;
• The business must be "significantly" benefiting New Zealand (see
• The business must be trading profitably on the date the
application for residence is lodged or a business immigration
specialist is satisfied that it clearly has the potential to become
profitable within the following 12 months (see below).
Significantly benefiting NZ
The benchmark to satisfy the benefit test at the residence visa
stage has been raised higher than previously. One of the ways this
test can be met is if at least 1 new full time position (at least
30 hours per week) for a New Zealand resident or citizen has been
created. The employment test excludes contract/casual roles.
Must be trading profitably at the time application
The definition of trading profitably under the immigration
instructions is that:
• The business has met or exceeded the projected annual turnover
from the original business plan; and
• The business is making sufficient profit to enable the principal
applicant to pay him or herself at least the minimum wage per
As the minimum wage increased to $14.25 per hour from 1 April 2014
this would mean that based on a 30 hour per week the business must
be generating enough profit to pay the principal applicant an
annual salary of at least $22,230.
If you are an LTBV holder we recommend a review of your
circumstances and business operations now to establish whether the
forecasts as set out in your original business plan will be met and
whether the new criteria for residence will be met within the
currency of your existing visa.
An application for residence is likely to take approximately 6-9
months for Immigration New Zealand to process under the
entrepreneur residence category.
If you are concerned that you may not meet the new criteria for
residence we recommend giving early consideration as to whether
alternative pathways to residence may be available to you within
the currency of your existing visa.