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How to Apply for New Zealand Global Impact Visa


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

The Global Impact Visa (GIVs) provides individual pioneering entrepreneurs and investors with a three-year visa to create, support, and incubate ventures and models that result in positive global impact, from New Zealand. After three years, migrants can qualify for permanent residency.

There are two stages to the application process:

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

The Edmund Hillary Fellowship

The Edmund Hillary Fellowship (EHF) fosters humankind’s creative potential from New Zealand, by supporting a community of impact entrepreneurs, investors and changemakers to build meaningful solutions to global problems.

EHF accepts a cohort of Fellows every 6 months through a rigorous application process. New Zealanders building innovative ventures are also part of each cohort to strengthen the community. EHF leverages New Zealand’s unique platforms to test, incubate, and scale innovative ideas that can create lasting positive impact, in New Zealand and around the world.

EHF operates as a not-for-profit organisation owned by the Hillary Institute of International Leadership. By partnering with local and international experts in innovation, and leveraging private sector strengths, the New Zealand Government is better positioned to accelerate impact-based innovation and grow New Zealand for all.

Participation in EHF provides Fellows with:

— Exclusive access to New Zealand’s Global Impact Visa
— A global network of talented entrepreneurial and investment leaders who are personally invested in helping each other succeed, offering diverse expertise, mentorship opportunities, cross-sector collaboration opportunities, and a peer-support network
— Connections to New Zealand’s start-up ecosystem, government leaders, mentors, investors, research and development institutes and Māori communities
— Immersive experiences to learn Tikanga Māori, the Māori ways of doing things, and how to navigate business within a multicultural society
— Participation in workshops, skill-sharing sessions, learning opportunities, and retreats with other Fellows
— A platform to tell their story through international channels
— A lifelong community of passionate change makers, and an opportunity to be at the front line of leading systemic global change from New Zealand

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

EHF has up to 100 places available each year for international candidates, and also accepts New Zealand entrepreneurs and investors. The Fellowship selection process occurs twice a year, after which successful applicants will be sent a Letter of Offer and invited to apply for a Global Impact Visa.

Global Impact Visa (GIVs)

The Global Impact Visa is a three-year open work visa that enables participants in the Edmund Hillary Fellowship to work and live in New Zealand, with a path to permanent residence. Separate visas are also available for immediate family of Global Impact Visa holders.

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.

Who is GIVs for?

The policy is designed to attract individuals and teams with the drive and capability to launch global impact ventures from New Zealand who may not be able to qualify for other visa categories, and investors who wish to support impactful ventures. They will have the combination of relentless drive, skills, global connections, and desire to leverage the unique opportunities New Zealand offers, to build successful innovation-based ventures, and make game-changing impact on the world.

The GIVs selection process

EHF is responsible for identifying individuals and teams 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 be accepted into EHF. Once accepted into the Fellowship 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.


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