A four-year pilot scheme for a new visa for innovation-based ventures in New Zealand will start in early 2017, it has been confirmed.

Immigration New Zealand (INZ) will partner with the Edmund Hillary Fellowship to launch the visa aimed at entrepreneurs, investors and start-ups to launch their business in New Zealand.

The Global Impact Visa (GIV) will be limited to just 400 over the four-year pilot with the first applicants expected to arrive in the country in the second half of next year.

Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse said that the Edmund Hillary Fellowship (EHF) has been selected as the private sector provider to deliver the attraction, selection and integration programme for GIVs.

‘EHF will identify potential applicants and build a regional network which will support participants across the country, while INZ will be responsible for processing and making decisions on visas,’ he explained.

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

‘These partners have an exceptional combined record of recognising, rewarding and nurturing emerging entrepreneurs and leaders. By drawing on private sector strengths and knowledge in this space, the government is better positioned to accelerate innovation and continue to grow the contribution migrants make to the economy,’ Woodhouse added.

In addition to the 400 GIVs, up to 80 New Zealand entrepreneurs and investors will be accepted into EHF over the four years, providing the opportunity for collaboration between GIVs migrants and New Zealand entrepreneurs and investors.

Woodhouse also announced that he has signed a Working Holiday Scheme with Luxembourg to allow up to 50 young people aged 18 to 30 from the two countries to work and live in each and will start in April 2017.

It is Luxembourg’s first Working Holiday Scheme. ‘We are pleased to be the first country to sign a Working Holiday Scheme with Luxembourg. This reflects our positive relationship, which has been developed and strengthened through our wider interactions with the European Union,’ said Woodhouse.

‘Working Holiday Schemes provide young New Zealanders with opportunities to live and work in Europe, while working holiday makers from countries like Luxembourg contribute positively to New Zealand through tourism, cultural, and interpersonal links,’ he added.

The Working Holiday Scheme will be open to 18-30 year olds and is expected to start in April 2017.