New Zealand launches new visa for global entrepreneurs

A new visa has been announced to attract entrepreneurs to New Zealand to establish their ventures and create new jobs.

The Global Impact Visa (GIV) will be available as a four year pilot programme delivered by Immigration New Zealand and in partnership with the private sector.

It will be limited to just 400 visas over the four years and aims to attract individual investors and entrepreneurs who want to live and work in New Zealand while launching their business.

“Last year the Government committed to considering a new Global Impact Visa to cater for high impact entrepreneurs, investors and start up teams to launch global ventures from New Zealand,” said Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse.

“Now we are delivering on that commitment and aim to attract younger, highly talented, successful and well-connected entrepreneurs who are at the start of their entrepreneurial career and able to establish their ventures in New Zealand,” he explained.

“GIVs will help meet the Government’s Business Growth Agenda’s innovation and investment objectives by lifting innovation in New Zealand. It will also help expand the pool of smart capital by attracting individual investors and entrepreneurs to live here in New Zealand,” he added.

He also pointed out that the successful implementation of GIVs will create new jobs through the establishment of new ventures, attraction of smart capital and access to global networks.

The private sector partner for the visa programme will be selected through an open procurement process and will manage the attraction, selection and integration of the migrant entrepreneurs in New Zealand. The procurement process for selecting the private partner is due to begin next month.

But some in the industry believe that the visa is not be enough to attract high calibre entrepreneurs from around the world. “There isn’t really a technology plan that’s unique to New Zealand that exploits a new digitally connected world,” said Rod Drury, chief executive officer of Xero, a financial technology firm based in Wellington that is expanding in the US market.

“Because we’re such a small market and we’re the furthest country away from any other trading partner, then it’s so much more important for us,” he added.