Are you an entrepreneur? NZ is offering Impact Visas to 400 impact entrepreneurs every year


Immigration New Zealand has partnered with the Edmund Hillary Fellowship (EHF) to deliver an innovative new immigration product for high impact entrepreneurs, investors, and start-up teams.

The Global Impact Visa (GIVs) provides up to 400 individual pioneering entrepreneurs and investors to create and support innovation-based ventures and start-up teams from New Zealand.

By partnering with local and international experts in innovation, and leveraging private sector strengths, the New Zealand government is better positioned to accelerate innovation and grow New Zealand for all.

There are two stages of the application process:

  • Submit an application, and be accepted into, the Edmund Hillary Fellowship (EHF)
  • Apply for a Global Impact Visa.

Global Impact Work Visa
Edmund Hillary Fellowship website

The Edmund Hillary Fellowship

The Edmund Hillary Fellowship (EHF) is a collaboration between the Hillary Institute for International Leadership, a not-for-profit organization that identifies and celebrates mid-career leaders from around the world; and Kiwi Connect, an organization promoting and connecting high-impact entrepreneurship in New Zealand.

EHF has been designed as an end-to-end programme that gives entrepreneurs, start-up teams and investors a platform to incubate and grow innovative ventures.

Hillary Institute for International Leadership website
Kiwi Connect website

Participation in the programme provides Fellows with:

  • Access to a supportive local and global network of investors, advisors, partners, and mentors
  • A community of visionary entrepreneurial leaders and a diverse group of Fellows in each cohort
  • Connection to centers of excellence in different regions of New Zealand
  • Regular events, demo days, retreats learning and sharing opportunities, and a platform to tell your story
  • Help to identify the best integration support for yourself and immediate family
  • Access to investment and scaling opportunities in NZ and overseas
  • Access to top talent, universities, accelerators and incubators, policy makers, investment and Research & Development grants.

In return, Fellows are expected to contribute towards New Zealand entrepreneurship ecosystems and actively work on, or invest in, ventures within New Zealand that have the potential for widespread global impact.

The Fellowship has 100 places available each year for international candidates, and will also accept up to 20 New Zealand entrepreneurs and investors every year.

Global Impact Visa (GIVs)

GIVs is a three-year open work visa that enables participants in the Edmund Hillary Fellowship to work and live in New Zealand.

Upon completion of the three-year programme, international Fellows become part of the EHF alumni community and are eligible to apply for permanent residence. To be eligible to apply for permanent residence, you must remain in the Edmund Hillary Fellowship for 30 months, and maintain the support of the Edmund Hillary Fellowship.

GIVs is initially being run as a four-year pilot.

Who GIVs is targeting

The policy is designed to attract those with the drive and capability to launch global ventures from New Zealand who may not be able to qualify for other visa categories. They will have the combination of drive, risk appetite and global connections which enables them to launch or significantly contribute to successful innovation-based ventures in New Zealand.

The GIVs selection process

EHF is responsible for identifying entrepreneurs who could have a significant impact on New Zealand’s innovation system, whilst Immigration New Zealand is responsible for processing and making decisions on visas.

To be eligible for a Global Impact Visa, applicants must first obtain entry into EHF’s programme. Once nominated for acceptance into EHF, candidates are able to apply for a Global Impact Visa.

Eligibility for GIVs is conditional on meeting a number of criteria. Selected applicants will be assessed on the basis of their acceptance into EHF’s programme, English language, health and character, and having sufficient funds to support themselves.