Despite only one approval of the Entrepreneur Plus Visa more people are emigrating to New Zealand under the business visa stream.
22 July 2010
New Zealand Business Visa scheme attracts one rich investor
A New Zealand scheme to attract wealthy migrants to invest in business and create news has resulted in only a single approved application to date, despite widespread interest when the scheme was launched.
The Entrepreneur Plus immigration category, part of the New Zealand Business Visa stream, was introduced last November. It offers entrepreneurial migrants that invest a minimum of $500,000 into a new business and employ at least three full-time workers conditional residency upon approval.
Some 12,000 people registered their interest in the scheme through Immigration New Zealand's website, but only one applicant has been issued a conditional residence permit under the scheme and another declined.
New Zealand Immigration Minister Jonathan Coleman has defended the scheme and the current business migration policies, which he says have brought in $91 million in approved funds from 34 applicants. Dr Coleman says there is a further $188 million pending from 88 investors from programs other than the New Zealand Entrepreneur Plus Visa.
Dr Coleman said factors beyond the control of the government such as the global financial crisis and the difficulty for people to liquidate overseas assets have contributed to the result.
Overall, more people were coming to New Zealand under current policy with 361 long-term business visas approved this year compared with 243 in 2008, Dr Coleman said.