Coming to New Zealand for Business - Specific Purpose Work Visa or Business Visitor Visa

Coming to New Zealand for Business - Specific Purpose Work Visa or Business Visitor Visa

Introduction

Are you planning to come to New Zealand for a business purpose, either for a short period of time or for a definite period of time, the business visitor visa or the specific purpose visa might be what you need to apply for.

The business visitor visa allows you to stay in New Zealand for up to three months if you are coming on an official trade mission recognised by the New Zealand Government, or to sell goods and services in New Zealand; to buy New Zealand goods and services; to negotiate or discuss the set-up, expansion or wind-up of a business in New Zealand; to carry out any business with the authorised representatives of an overseas company, body or person.

The specific purpose work visa allows business people to travel to New Zealand for a specific business purpose or event. Once that purpose or event is finalised, you must leave New Zealand.

If you are looking to obtain a general work visa so that you can work for a New Zealand employer, this article is not going to be much help to you. Instead, you should be looking into applying for an Essential Skills Work Visa or other work visa.

Short-Term Secondments

You may be eligible for a You may be eligible for a specific purpose work visa if you are a senior business person on a short term secondment (12 months or 24 months – see below) to a substantial New Zealand company or a New Zealand subsidiary of an overseas company.

What's a Substantial New Zealand Company?

There is no definition of There is no definition of 'substantial New Zealand company' for Immigration New Zealand ("INZ"). If a New Zealand company (company registered in New Zealand) employs over 100 people, a strong case can certainly be made that the company, on the face of it, meets the definition of substantial. The financials of the company will also be a factor for consideration. In other words, the assessment will always be on a case by case basis.

How Long Will the Work Visa be for?

Twelve months or less depending on the purpose of your secondment to the New Zealand company. If there are good reasons for a longer secondment, there is scope for a further 12 months (making a total of 24 months) to be granted to complete the purpose of the secondment.

Long-Term Secondments

If the secondment is for a longer period, say between three-six years, you might still be eligible for a specific purpose work visa if:

       
  1. You are a senior business person who has been employed by your organisation for at least 12 months prior to making the specific purpose work visa application.
  2.    
  3. Your organisation is a multinational company.
  4.    
  5. You are being seconded to a New Zealand company which is part of the multinational group.

How Long Will the Work Visa be for?

Three years or less depending on the purpose of your secondment. If there are good reasons for a longer secondment, there is scope for a further three years (making a total of six years) to be granted to complete the purpose of the secondment.

Do not fit Into Either of the Above Categories?

There is a 'catch-all' provision in the specific purpose work visa category that allows people to come to New Zealand for any other specific purpose or event if they meet the objectives of the visa and the circumstances justify the grant of the visa.

What are the objectives of the specific purpose work visa policy?

In a nutshell, it is all about bringing benefit to New Zealand without risk of impacting upon employment opportunities in New Zealand.

Other Examples of Specific Purpose or Event

Principal applicants under the Migrant Investment Instructions or the Parent Retirement Category who have been approved in principle can come to investigate investment opportunities and make direct investments in New Zealand;

Referees or judges of sports events, shows, displays or exhibitions; Dance and music examiners of recognised international teaching institutions;

Installers or servicers of specialised machinery or equipment supplied by an overseas company can come to install or service the equipment in New Zealand as a condition of purchase;

Sports players and professional sports coaches taking up a paid position in a New Zealand sports club;

Entertainers, performing artists, film and video production crew, and associated support personnel intending to engage in any form of private or public performance in New Zealand or work on any film or video production in New Zealand;

Philippines nurses who have a job offer from a District Health Board and have been accepted for the Nursing Council's Competence Assessment Programme who want to obtain New Zealand occupational registration;

Principal applicants for residence under the Entrepreneur Residence Visa Category instructions who currently hold a valid visa granted under the Entrepreneur Work Visa Category or Long Term Business Visa Category instructions.

Want to Know More About Business Visas to New Zealand?

Talk to Anet Tarabova.  Anet is a Solicitor at McVeagh Fleming specialising    in the areas of immigration law and civil litigation.

Anet can be contacted by email (atarabova@mcveaghfleming.co.nz) or on +64 9 966 3604.

See our Expertise pages

Immigration

Employment Law

© McVeagh Fleming 2018

This article is published for general information purposes only. Legal content in this article is necessarily of a general nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. If you require specific legal advice in respect of any legal issue, you should always engage a lawyer to provide that advice.