Recent articles published by Immigration New Zealand (INZ) highlighted interesting views on how the Department believes businesses operate.
INZ now requires Long Term Business Visa (LTBV) applicants to identify specific existing business that they would purchase.
An LTBV application typically takes six to nine months to process.
Approved applicants can take up to three months to arrive and settle in New Zealand. INZ therefore believes that Kiwi business owners will be willing to wait that long (12 months) before the sale of their business takes place.
Let us examine how this process works, at least in the eyes of INZ.
· The applicant investigates cafes that are for sale
· The applicant selects the specific café he or she wants to buy
· The applicant and the café owner negotiate a price for the café
· The applicant asks to examine the financial records
· The café owner being very keen shows him or her financial records and asks, “Will you be buying my cafe this month?”
· The applicant tells the café owner a few facts about himself or herself
o I am a foreigner
o I don’t have a visa to work or live in New Zealand
o But that is OK because I will apply for an appropriate permit
o You will be impressed because I will apply for an LTBV
o First, I need to write a business plan for INZ
· No problem. So, we can settle next week?
· Not next week. That is bit early
· The week after then?
· Maybe not
· Well, when?
· It will take two weeks to get my application and business plan ready; I am told it will take maybe two months to be allocated to a case officer; It will take another three to six months before it can be approved; And then I will need another month before I arrive with my family
· What are you saying? How long?
· Maybe 12 months, if my application gets approved.
· What happens if it is not approved?
· Then I can’t come to New Zealand
· So what about my business?
· No problem. You can find another buyer. Is that OK?
· Of course brother, that’s sweet as.
But what did the seller really say?
Go away; stop wasting my time.
Tuariki Delamere is a former Minister of Immigration who developed and implemented the Long Term Business Visa policy.