C5 Application Window Closed

The Cohort 5 application window has now closed.
Want to apply to Cohort 6? Please express interest and carefully review the information below to learn about the application process. If you have questions, check the FAQ page or join a webinar.

What You Need To Know

The EHF application process is designed to get to know you as a global changemaker, learn about your work, and assess your potential to create positive impact as part of EHF. We accept applications from all over the world, including from New Zealand citizens and residents. Entrepreneurs, investors and changemakers at all stages of their careers working on positive global impact solutions are eligible to apply.


The EHF application form takes as little as 30 minutes to complete, with an optional 3-minute video submission (highly recommended). Your application can be saved at any time before submitting.

If your primary focus is to build a new venture or scale an existing venture in New Zealand, please apply as an entrepreneur or a team. Co-founders of a venture can apply together as a team. In this case please apply under one single application with a primary applicant, and list details for all other co-founders. We are open to all business models and organisational legal structures.

If your primary focus is investing in and supporting high-impact entrepreneurs and their ventures in New Zealand, please apply as an investor.

Successful international applicants are eligible for the Global Impact Visa to New Zealand, the first visa programme in the world to be focused on impact.

Selection Process and Timeline

Admission to Edmund Hillary Fellowship is through a competitive application process. There are several stages in the evaluation process, with a short-listing process at each step. The final decision on who is accepted into EHF is made by an independent selection panel.


The selection process and timeline for Cohort 5:
  • 1 February 2019: Closing date for scholarship applications. (Scholarships are available only to a limited number of international entrepreneur applicants.)
  • 10 February 2019: Closing date for early bird pricing discount.
  • 31 March 2019: Final closing date for Cohort 5 applications.
  • April to mid-June 2019: Cohort 5 selection period. The EHF selection team review applications, along with the help of subject matter experts. For those who are shortlisted, interviews and references also take place during this time. An independent selection panel makes the final decision about who is offered a place in the Fellowship.
  • Mid-June 2019: Selected candidates are offered a place in the Fellowship and international candidates are invited to apply for a Global Impact Visa from Immigration New Zealand.
  • November 2019: Welcome and induction week in New Zealand for Cohort 5 Fellows. Note that to participate in EHF, it is a requirement for all Cohort 5 Fellows to attend this induction. Fellows are not, however, required to move their ventures and/or families to New Zealand beforehand.


Selection Criteria

We recognise that your potential to create positive impact cannot always be measured by purely standardised metrics. The EHF team and external selection panel assess candidates against a set of both qualitative and quantitative criteria covering entrepreneurial capabilities, track record of executing on ideas, values alignment, exhibited potential to create positive local and global impact, investment record (if applicable), and connection to New Zealand.


Our selection criteria focus on identifying individuals and teams who align with our values, and who:

  • Have a bold vision to address systemic challenges in society and create positive impact in New Zealand and the world
  • Demonstrate the drive and capability to deliver on their vision
  • Can build valuable long-term connections with New Zealand and leverage New Zealand’s unique advantages to innovate
  • Can actively and positively contribute to the EHF community and wider New Zealand startup ecosystem, and exhibit a desire and sufficient potential to continue contributing over 10-20 years
  • Will be good ambassadors for NZ and embody and demonstrate EHF values, which include boldness, interconnectedness, excellence, global impact, authenticity, stewardship & humility


Global Impact Visas

New Zealand’s Global Impact Visa (GIVs) is exclusively available to individuals and teams who are accepted into EHF. The Global Impact Visa is a flexible three-year open work visa, which provides you with the ability to build your venture without restrictions and without minimum days spent in New Zealand each year. Eligibility criteria for GIVs are set by Immigration New Zealand, and are separate from EHF programme selection criteria.


The benefits of GIVs include:

  • A work visa for your spouse/partner and student visas for your dependents
  • Access to public health care services and public education for your dependents
  • Flexibility to travel internationally and plan your move to NZ gradually
  • After 30 months of holding this visa and as an active member of the EHF community, you will be eligible to apply for a NZ Permanent Resident Visa, which does not expire and makes you an integral part of NZ society

To be eligible for GIVs, you must meet the following minimum requirements set by Immigration New Zealand:

  • Acceptance into the Edmund Hillary Fellowship
  • A high level of English language proficiency
  • Good character*
  • Acceptable standard of health
  • Sufficient maintenance funds of NZD $36,000, OR the ability to earn income to support yourself and any dependents in New Zealand during the first year

Read more about Immigration New Zealand’s requirements here. Please note that GIVs application fees are separate from EHF fees, and vary depending on your country of citizenship. Find out about GIVs fees here.

* To apply for GIVs, you need to provide a police certificate background check from your countries of citizenship, and each country in which you, and any family member has lived in for five years or more (whether on one visit or intermittently) since the age of 17. Please note police certificate background checks can take 4-6 months in some countries, so it can be worth applying early for these. Details on each country’s specific police certificate requirements are here.

Application Fees

Application fees are charged at two stages of the process: A portion of the application fee is payable upfront at the time of application, and successful candidates pay the remaining balance of the fee if they are accepted into EHF. The second fee at time of acceptance is waived for applicants who are already New Zealand permanent residents or citizens. Additionally, there is an early bird discount for all applications made by 10 February 2019.


Cohort 5 application fees for EHF are outlined in the schedule below.


* The balance of fees due at acceptance is the fee payable if you are offered a place in EHF and you accept the offer to become an EHF Fellow.
INTERNATIONAL APPLICANTS: Please note there is a separate additional application fee for the Global Impact Visa, payable to Immigration New Zealand. These fees vary by country, between NZD $0 - 500. Check your country’s fees here.


EHF is open to individuals all over the world, and we strive to make the opportunity as accessible as possible. We have a limited number of scholarships to subsidise the application fee for international entrepreneur applicants who qualify. Scholarship decisions are made based purely on financial need. Applications for scholarships close on 1 February 2019. You can apply here. Please note: scholarships are not available for kiwis and investors.

“It is a gift to be part of a cohort working together to make a just, equitable, sustainable and compassionate world.”

– Sonya Renee Taylor, EHF Fellow, The Body is Not An Apology