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Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV)

Accredited employer work visa (AEWV) has replaced the following formerly existing visas

Rationale behind and future benefits of Accredited Employer Work Visa

This initiative to introduce the AEWV is driven by the need to fill genuine skill shortages, upskill and hire New Zealand workers, combat migrant exploitation.

The new AEWV will allow for

  • A more streamlined process and consequent low immigration risk,
  • Earlier certainty for employers wanting to hire migrants, and
  • Better recognition of various needs of industries and regions

Applications can be made through an upgraded online system, also allowing to apply for a few other visas.

The process: 3 steps of applying for an Accredited Employer Work Visa

  1. Employer must be accredited.

All employers will have to be accredited to hire overseas workforce. Check  the requirements for employer accreditation here. Their good standing, compliance with employment and immigration law, profitability or prospects thereof are among the aspects Immigration New Zealand will consider.

  1. Job check must be approved.

Please see the requirements below for an employer to have the job check approved.

In the second check, Immigration New Zealand will need to see evidence that

  • the employer holds accreditation and continues to meet its requirements;
  • the employment agreement and job offer are acceptable;
  • there are no suitable New Zealanders for the role (labour market test), if applicable;
  • the role you are offering should have a matching ANZSCO code (the Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations).

An acceptable job offer must

  • pay at the market rate and the minimum of $29.66 per hour  (unless exemption applies - please see below);
  • be for at least 30 hours per week;

An acceptable employment agreement must

  • name the direct employer,
  • have paid leave entitlements,
  • contain all the clauses required by employment legislation,
  • specify the maximum number of hours the employee may be required to work before being entitled to overtime pay,
  • pay period and corresponding wages,
  • rate of pay for overtime, guaranteed work hours and actual pay,
  • the number of hours the employer may ask the employee to work,
  • inclusive of any hours at overtime rate.

Once the job check is approved, the employer shall give to the migrant

  • the job token number (will be provided after the successful completion of the check)
  • a copy of the employment agreement
  • an offer of employment signed by the employer

How much it costs

The cost of a job check (INZ fee) - $610, reconsideration of a declined job check - $425.

  1. Application for an AEWV can be made.

An AEWV must be applied for online.

INZ will need to make sure the applicant

  • has the required skills and experience
  • is of good character and acceptable health standard
  • holds a valid employment agreement
  • is applying for a job approved by a job check.

INZ will verify whether the migrant meet the necessary criteria, including those common for temporary visas.

  • employment details will need to meet those approved during the job check;
  • the applicant will need to be suitably qualified for the job (in some cases evidence may not be required); and
  • all generic health, character and bona fide requirements are to be met by the applicant.

Roles exempt from paying the median wage

Whereas it is a general requirement for AEWV roles to pay at least the median wage, there are a number of exceptions for occupations in selected sectors of economy which are in need of improvement.

These include

  • tourism and hospitality
  • the care workforce
  • seafood processing (onshore)
  • construction and infrastructure
  • meat processing
  • seasonal snow and adventure tourism
  • transport

All roles paid below the median wage have compulsory stand-down periods applicable after the expiry of AEWVs.

Labour Market Test

Labour Market Test Requirement (including Skills Match Report from Ministry of Social Development)

The test will show the employer's attempts to genuinely recruit New Zealanders. As part of the second check, INZ will determine whether there is a need for a Labour Market Test.

If a Labour Market Test should be done, it will necessitate advertising for the vacancy in a major national resource, for example,

In the ad, the employer must make sure the following is included

  • the description of the job
  • minimum and maximum amount of pay
  • actual location of the job
  • minimum hours of work
  • an estimate of actual earnings if the job pays by piece, commission or there are other rates or bonuses, whatever the case may be
  • minimum required skills, experience and qualifications for the position
  • a pay range that is at least, that is no lower than, the market rate for that role, and
  • unless the role is exempt, the minimum pay should at least equal the New Zealand median wage of NZD $27.76.


There is no need to do a Labour Market Test if

  • The job in on the Green List of occupations, or
  • The remuneration is at least twice the median wage


FAQ about Accredited Employer Work Visa

  • Q: What will happen to businesses that have employees on temporary work visas? Will they also need to apply for accreditation?
  • A: These businesses will not need to get accredited until they want to hire someone on the AEWV.
  • Q: Migrants on a pathway for residency – what will happen to them? In other words, will they have to reapply for an EAWV or be able to continue with their present one?
  • A: Those whose Residence from Work visa applications are being processed (and requiring a further Work to Residence visa to be granted residence) will be able to continue, provided they keep working for the same employer.
  • Q: As regards open work visas (not employer-assisted) – will employers, likewise, need accreditation to hire the holders of those?
  • A: As a matter of fact, there is no need for an employer to become accredited to be able to hire migrants on open work visas, as well as on other visas with the right to work (for example, some student visas).
  • Q: What if an employer already holds accreditation? Will they receive a waiver or have to apply, as a result of the novelty?
  • A: Employers who are accredited under the current requirements will need to apply for accreditation once they want to begin hiring migrants on the AEWV.
  • Q: Where can I access information in more detail?
  • A: More information on Accredited Employer Work Visa is available from the INZ website .



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Our adviser and director has been in the same boat with most of our valued clients who come to seek his counsel. He came to New Zealand as a migrant in 2002 and has been calling it home since then. It is our pleasure to serve your needs and provide professional immigration advisor services to help your dreams come true.
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