NZ Immigration Lawyers

We are specialised NZ immigration/investment lawyers firm. Our lawyers are all migrants ourselves with passion and ample experience in assisting people who want to come and invest in New Zealand.

We know all the stress, uncertainty, most importantly the inside out of the NZ immigration laws and regulations. We have received steady referrals from other licensed immigration advisors for hard and complex cases requiring intimate understanding of the immigration law and court/tribunal appearance. We are proud of ourselves being the New Zealand expert immigration/investment specialised lawyers providing with full range of various immigration services in the Auckland business district especially with focus on NZ business migration. We have been successful in assisting a number of high profile expatriates in applying for permanent residency or work visas. Recently, we have concluded all NZ immigration work visas applications for China Southern Airline (the largest in China) which started their daily flights from Guangzhou to Auckland since end of 2012.


 1.       NZ Resident Visas – Investor / Investor Plus categories


New Zealand’s business migration categories are designed to contribute to economic growth, attracting “smart” capital and business expertise to New Zealand, and enabling experienced business people to buy or establish business in New Zealand.


New Zealand has an open, largely corruption free, sound, stable legal and political systems. We do not have capital gain tax (except shares trading) or stamp duty. The business compliance is relatively simple and less costly compared to other developed countries.


a)      Investor Immigration Visa categories


If you are aged 65 years or less, have at least 3 years of business experience and investing $1.5 million in New Zealand for 4 years together with settlement fund of $1 million, you may apply for permanent residency under this category. You need to have IELTS test overall band score of 3 or more but your family member can pre-purchase ESOL tuition as an alternative option. The minimum time in New Zealand will be 146 days in each of the last 3 years of the 4 years investment period. There are stringent requirements about the proof of source of fund, being transferred through the banking system, health and characters etc… The investor category is a points-base category under which applicants must first submit “Expression of Interest” which will be entered into a pool if the minimum score of 20 points obtained. Immigration New Zealand (“INZ”) can approve a maximum of 300 residence applications per year under this Investor Category. INZ makes a fortnightly selection from the pool of EOIs, selecting those applicants with the highest points total. Once your residence application is approved in principle, 12 months will be allowed for the transfer of your nominated investment funds to New Zealand and allocate them in the acceptable investments like equities, bond or property development etc.


b)      Investor Plus Immigration Visa Categories


If you are able to have investment fund of $10M or more in New Zealand, there are no requirements of business experience and English language. After approval, you need to invest the fund for a maximum of 3 years and spend only 73 days in New Zealand in each of last 2 years of the 3 years investment period.



2.       NZ Resident Visas – Entrepreneur / Entrepreneur Plus Categories


Pathway to residence is available for migrants who can demonstrate that they have been actively participating in their business and contributing to New Zealand’s economies development.


a)      Entrepreneur Immigration Visa Category


If you have successfully established or purchased a business in New Zealand, you have been “self-employed” in that business for at least two years, and your business has benefited New Zealand significantly, you may be eligible for residence in New Zealand under this Entrepreneur Category.


Usually, the first step towards becoming a New Zealand resident under this category is to obtain a long term business visa (“LTBV”) which will enable you to work in your business, you are required to have IELTS test score of 4 or more. There is no minimum investment amount but depending on the nature in your business plan.  We are happy to discuss with you further to tailor make a plan for you. At first, you should be approved a nine month visa to enable your entry into New Zealand and transferring fund to carry out your business plan. Then, you shall be invited to apply for permanent residence after 2-3 years under the Entrepreneur Category.


b)      Entrepreneur Plus Immigration Visa Category


This category provides a fast track to residence because you are not required to operate a business for a minimum period of time before applying, provided that: –

                                                        (i)            You hold a LTBV

                                                       (ii)            Self-employed in a successful business established or purchased by you

                                                     (iii)            You have invested at least $0.5M in that business

                                                     (iv)            You have created a minimum of 3 new full time jobs for New Zealand citizens or residence


In either case, you are required to have sufficient fund for your family living/maintenance. For average family of 1-2 children, $70-80,000pm funding for a family home.


3.       NZ Immigration Work Visas


a)      Long Term Business Visa (“LTBV”).


A visa will enable you to move to New Zealand and buy or establish your own business. It could be the first step on your pathway to applying for residence in New Zealand under one of the Entrepreneur Categories.


In addition to the health, character and English language requirements, you will need to submit a sound business plan; show relevant knowledge about the New Zealand environments; and show how your intended business venture will significantly benefit New Zealand, as well as providing evidence about your relevant business experience. There are various factors to be taken into consideration in order to satisfy the benefited profitability test. It is recommended that you actually travel to New Zealand to undertake source market research, seek various advices from professional people like certified accountant and business consultants etc. before considering your application. 


b)      Working temporarily


Temporarily work visa will be granted if you:

                                                        (i)            Have got a job offer from a New Zealand employer

                                                       (ii)            Have worked in a “skill” occupation that is in the Long Term Skill Shortage List (“LTSSL”)

                                                 or skill shortage list (“SSL”)

                                                     (iii)            Are students and who want to work

                                                     (iv)            Are coming here for a particular purpose or event

                                                      (v)            Want to gain work experience or work after studying in New Zealand

                                                     (vi)            Want to join a partner here and work


c)       China FTA skilled workers


The Free Trade Agreement (FTA) includes commitments for skilled workers from China to enter New Zealand for temporary employment, without labour market testing (but subject to specified qualifications and work experience requirements, registration if required, and the requirement for a bona fide job offer), if they work in one of the following occupations:-


·         Traditional Chinese medicine practitioner


·         China chefs


·         Mandarin teachers’ aides


·         Wu Shu martial arts (including Tai Chi) coaches


·         Chinese tour guides


However, all the above will be subject to the availability of places at different time and various particular requirement.


4.       Family Union Immigration Visas


INZ also offers opportunity for family reunification by allowing residents and citizens to sponsor family members for residence like partners, dependent child and parent. Please note that on 16 May 2012, the sibling and Adult Child Category of residence closed


                               (i)            Parent Category


The parent category is a two tier scheme where people can submit an EOI under either tier one or tier two of the category. It is recommended to apply for  tier one  or tier two the queue is estimated to be five years, while for tier one to be six months. You must be sponsored by your New Zealand adult child who is 18 years of age or over, a New Zealand citizen or resident for at least 3 years, you have no dependent children, and you need to have IELTS of level 4 or above. The sponsor or sponsor’s partner, who earns $65,000 per annum or whose combined income is $90,000 per annum. You also have a guaranteed lifetime minimum income of at least $27,203 or $39,890 per annum if your partner is included. Also, you need to bring at least NZ$500,000 in settlement funds to New Zealand


                             (ii)            Parent Retirement Category


Similar to the Parent Category about the adult child, but there is no adult income requirement. However, you must nominate funds and or assets equivalent to at least $1M for investment fund, $0.5M for settlement fund, and be able to show an annual income of $60,000 at the time of application.


5.       NZ Work to Residence Visas


Working temporally in New Zealand can be used as a step towards gaining residence and settling here permanently. For any one 55 years or younger, you may be eligible under the Talent (Arts, Culture and Sports) and Talent (Accredited Employers) Residence Categories. Also, if you have an offer of employment on the Long Term Skill Shortage List for which you are suitably skilled or qualified, you may apply for residence under the Long Term Skill Shortage List Category. The salary requirement for the first two categories and the last category at present is $55,000 and $45,000 respectively.


For religious worker aged 55 years or under, holders of a work visa for at least 4 years under Minister of Religious, missionaries and members of religious orders instructions, or specific purpose or event instructors (pastors and lay missionaries) who were granted a work visa before 2 November 2011 may apply for a Religious Worker Residence from Work Visa. You have religious training and or experience in religious work of at least four years and IELTS level 5.


6.       Residence Skill Migrant Category (“SMC”)


The SMC offers you the opportunity to move to New Zealand to work and live permanently if you are 55 or under and IELTS score 6.5 or equivalent.


You shall apply under a points system. You get points for age, experience, employability and qualification. As a typical example, if your age is 30-39 years, you shall get 25 points; if you are a close family in New Zealand, you shall get 10 points; if you have a job offer, you shall get 50 points; if you work in an area of absolute skills shortage, you shall get bonus points of 10 points; if you have 8 years work experience in skill employment, you shall get 25 points; if you have a recognised level 7-8 qualification (e.g. bachelor degree) you shall get 50 points; if your partner hold a level 7+ qualification, you shall get 20 bonus points. Then, you get 190 points in total.


The first step is to submit an “Expression of Interest” (“EOIs”) to the Immigration New Zealand (“INZ”) online or on paper if your EOI has a score of 100 points or more. If goes into the pool of EOIs, every two weeks INZ automatically select EOIs with a points score of 140 or over from the pool. Then INZ selects EOIs with a points score of between 100 and 139 which include points for a skilled job or job offer. If INZ still has spaces available, they use additional criteria to select lower-score in EOIs. Once you are selected, you will need to give INZ evidence you can claim all the points you have claimed, and proof that you and everyone else on your application meet all of your health, character, and English language requirements.


There are 3 possible outcomes:

                                (i)            INZ grant you residence;

                               (ii)           INZ defer your application and offer you a temporary work visa so you can work while you get a skilled job.

                                  If you get skilled work, INZ will approve your residence application;

                               (iii)            INZ decline your application



       7     CITIZENSHIP


A.      By Grant


You are eligible to apply if you intend to reside continually in New Zealand; able to understand and speak English; are of good character; understand the responsibilities and privileges; being New Zealand residue physically (at least 1350 days during the 5 years period or at least 240 days every each year) for the last five years before applying.


Intention to reside is matter of fact. If you wish to go overseas, you must advise the Citizenship Office. Applicant under 16 years of age need the consent of their parent(s) or legal guardian(s) to apply. Applicant under 14 years old are not required to meet the English, character and knowledge requirements. Some people with previous criminal convictions in New Zealand may be able to cancel their Criminal record under the criminal Records (Clean Slate) Act 2004. Please consult us.


B.      By Descent


 If you were born in New Zealand; were adopted in New Zealand on or after 15 Jan 1949 by A New Zealand citizen parent; were born outside on or after 01 Jan 1978 and one parent was a New Zealand citizen who was on overseas services; or a British subject who was born before 01 Jan 1949 and NZ residence throughout 1948 or naturalised in NZ before 1949; or married to a man who automatically became a New Zealand citizen on 01 Jan 1949. All these are not conclusive. Please consult us further.