Long Term Business Visa (LTBV)

Long Term Business Visa (LTBV)

The appropriate visa that is required to establish and operate a business in New Zealand is the Long Term Business Visa or LTBV.

PathwaysNZ has successfully processed more than 100 LTBV cases. However since the introduction of more restrictive policies in 2002 the number of applications currently being made has significantly decreased. The LTBV application process is detailed, time consuming, often uncertain, and relatively expensive compared with other possible visa options. For these reasons PathwaysNZ will always first explore and exhaust all other visa options before agreeing to accept instructions for LTBV cases. LTBV clients must be genuinely intent on, and have the ability, to undertake their planned business in New Zealand.

For a LTBV application to be successful an applicant must:

Satisfy the English Language standard

Submit a well researched, comprehensive and individual Business Plan clearly demonstrating:

  • The viability and potential profitability of the proposed business
  • How the business will benefit New Zealand
  • The applicant’s knowledge of New Zealand and New Zealand business practices 

As part of its LTBV service PathwaysNZ is able to undertake the required business research and prepare the Business Plan

  • Have actual business or management experience relevant to the proposed business
  • Have sufficient funds to establish or purchase the proposed business and to cover family living costs for the 3 year LTBV term
  • Demonstrate a genuine commitment to undertake the planned business
  • On approval of the LTBV application the applicant will initially be granted an interim 9 month work visa. Within this period the applicant must transfer their business investment funds, as specified in their Business Plan, through the trading bank system into New Zealand and provide evidence that they have actually established and commenced business operations as per their Business Plan. At this time the LTBV is then reissued to a date 3 years from the date of issue of the original 9 month visa.

It is prudent to base a LTBV application on the purchase or establishment of a defined business as applications can take time to process and it is possible any specific business opportunity may be lost in this timeframe. PathwaysNZ is able to build some flexibility into Business Plans to accommodate a range of potential business scenarios. LTBV applications are currently taking 3-4 months to process. Visas are endorsed restricting the holder to only undertake the actual business in the locality consistent with the Business Plan. However it is possible for minor business changes to be approved, in advance, by INZ. There is no age limit for applicants under the LTBV policy.

The partner of a LTBV holder is issued an open work visa and dependent children up to 20 years can be issued student visa allowing for study up to completion of secondary school. Only dependents aged less than 20 years at the time of the LTBV application lodgement can be included in the application.

LTBV holders who successfully undertake their business in New Zealand can later apply for permanent residence under the Entrepreneur residence policy.

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This page was last updated on 25 September 2009