New Zealand to raise bar for business immigrants

Updated: 2013-12-13 11:51


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WELLINGTON - The New Zealand government is seeking to attract more foreign entrepreneurs to the country with a new business visa policy to encourage immigrants to set up "high-quality" businesses, Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse announced Friday.

In March next year, a new entrepreneur work visa would replace the existing long-term business visa, which had been largely unchanged since 1999 and attracted "a large number of low-quality applications," he said.

The entrepreneur work visa will operate under a new points-based system with points offered for criteria including job creation, export potential, and business experience.

A minimum capital investment of 100,000 NZ dollars ($82,359) would also be required to ensure applicants have the means to create high growth and innovative businesses.

"New Zealand needs to attract talented, enterprising, well-connected business people to invest and grow businesses in New Zealand," Woodhouse said in a statement.

"These changes are designed to attract talented, entrepreneurial migrants who can invest in our communities, grow profitable businesses, and create jobs for New Zealanders around the country."