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Changes to the Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV)

Sweeping changes to the current AE work visas, which affect Employers , migrant employees and would be migrant employees as well


What is changing for people with an AEWV

If you currently have an AEWV, these changes could affect how long you can stay before you need to spend time outside New Zealand or your eligibility to be granted a further AEWV.

If you applied for your first AEWV before 21 June 2023 and are in an ANZSCO level 4 and 5 job paying at or above the required AEWV wage rate, and currently hold a three year AEWV, you will no longer be able to access the maximum time of five years.

If you are in an ANZSCO level 4 and 5 job on a pathway to residence, you will not be affected by these changes.

If you apply for a further AEWV on or after 7 April 2024, you will have to meet the updated criteria. If you are in an ANZSCO level 4 and 5 job you may not be able to stay and work in New Zealand for the maximum time of five years.


New minimum skill requirement

If you are applying for an AEWV you will need to show evidence of your work experience or qualifications. This is in addition to the skills and qualifications that your employer has identified as necessary for the job and your employer will need to check you meet the skill requirements before they offer you the job.

You are only exempt the skills requirement, if your role is on the Green List and meets the Green List role requirements, or is paid at least twice the median wage, you must now have:

  • at least 3 years’ relevant work experience, or

  • a relevant qualification at level 4 or above of the New Zealand Qualifications and Credentials Framework (NZQCF).

Evidence of your qualification must be accompanied by an International Qualification Assessment (IQA) if it is below Bachelor’s degree level.

To meet the work experience requirement, you must provide evidence proving you did the work , so in other words- its real work experience .


Minimum standard of English

If the job is ANZSCO level 4 or 5, you need to show that you can speak and understand English.

This requirement will not apply to current applications, or to people travelling as the partner or child of AEWV applicant.


Shorter visa length and stay in New Zealand for some jobs

For ANZSCO level 4 and 5 jobs paying at or above the required AEWV wage rate, the maximum visa length for an AEWV is reduced to 2 years, with the ability to apply for one more year with a new Job Check.

The total time you can stay in New Zealand (also called a maximum continuous stay) on one or more AEWVs is reduced to 3 years. When you get to the end of your maximum continuous stay you will need to leave New Zealand for a specified amount of time — normally 12 months — before you can apply for another AEWV.

Important: These changes will apply to anyone who applied for their first AEWV on or after 7 April 2024 or before 21 June 2023.


Some ANZSCO level 4 and 5 jobs will not be affected by these changes, including those:

  • on the Green List

  • in transport and care sector agreements, and on a pathway to residence

  • earning 1.5 times the median wage.

The length of an AEWV and maximum continuous stay for people in ANZSCO level 1 to 3 jobs will remain 5 years.


What is changing for employers

The requirements employers must meet to hire migrants on the AEWV have changed.

There are now more requirements at the accreditation and Job Check stages and during the accreditation period.


There are also,

  • higher work experience and qualification requirements for AEWV applicants,

  • a standard of English for people applying to work in roles assessed as ANZSCO skill level 4 and 5,

  • and a shorter stay in New Zealand for those working in specific roles.

  • Minimum 30 hours of work to be provided.

  • Suspension of Accreditation , can happen under more circumstances

  • ANZSCO is back for work roles now

  • Inform INZ within 10 days of a migrant employee leaving (inz.complianceinvestigations@mbie.govt.nz )

  • Level 4 & Level 5 have higher requirements

    • advertise for 21 days, rather than 14,

    • engage with Work and Income, and

    • declare in the Job Check why any New Zealanders who applied were not hired.

Stay ahead of the curve, be compliant . Talk to us today for your Immigration needs

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