By Marcus Leach

Business entrepreneurs have an ideal opportunity in New Zealand, following the country’s relaxation of migration policy rules.

The country’s recent legislative changes have led to a number of UK ex-pats setting up new ventures in New Zealand - which has attracted more than $560m in migrant investment.

“The changes which the New Zealand Goverment have put in place have made the country far more ‘friendly’ for migrants wishing to invest, relocate or set up a business there," Paul Arthur, director of migration specialists The Emigration Group said.

“The change which will have the biggest impact is allowing funds to be transferred through foreign exchange companies rather than banks. Residential property, as opposed to the migrant's own home, is also now viewed as an 'acceptable investment' under the new scheme. These changes increase the opportunity for investment.”

New Zealand has also lowered the criteria to obtain a business visa needed to live and operate a business in the country. Applicants now only have to have either owned/managed a business with five full time employees, or owned/managed a business with a minimum of $1m in annual turnover, rather than meeting both which was a previous requirement.

The new policy also includes a reduction in length of residency - down from 77 days per annum to 44 days - in a bid to attract more Brits.

“New Zealand’s economy has recovered well from the recession and is going from strength to strength. The change in criteria offers some prime investment opportunities for business entrepreneurs. The government is also extremely supportive of new businesses and is keen to attract more Brits, to help continue the country’s economic growth. With such good prospects, combined with advantages of living in New Zealand such as great lifestyle and beautiful weather, New Zealand is an attraction for many Brit Ex-Pats,” Paul added.