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Accredited Employer Work Visa

Visas designed to fill employment gaps when no New Zealanders are available or cannot be quickly trained

Accredited Employer Work Visas (AEWV) are designed to develop a highly skilled workforce, high quality jobs and workplaces, and high value industries in New Zealand. It is normally granted for 3 years, but in some cases will be granted for 2 years (for example, if the salary is below median wage and there is a sector agreement in place).

Accredited Employer Work Visas may only be granted if:

  • you will work for an accredited employer who has offered you at least 30 hours work a week.
  • you are suitably qualified by training and experience to do the job
  • where the employment is paid below the median wage, you are not subject to the stand-down period
  • your employer has a Job Check number (a number referring to a job that has been approved as part of a Job Check application) that has not been used to approve another Accredited Employer work visa application.

New Zealand median wage is NZD $29.66 an hour, unless it is on an exemption list (information valid as of March 2023).

In some cases, be eligible for a Straight to Residence Visa, or after 2 years in the role a Work to Residence or Highly Paid Residence Visa.

An applicant is suitably qualified to do the job they have been offered if they have the qualifications, work experience, skills and other specifications that were listed by the employer, in the Job Check application, as the minimum requirements for the job.

Visa process:

  1. Employer applies for accreditation which normally takes 10 working days
  2. Employer advertises the role for at least 2 weeks on a national listing website or channel where suitable New Zealanders are likely to apply
  3. Employer applies for a Job Check. Job checks are valid for 6 months or until you no longer have accreditation, the take about 10 working days
  4. Migrant applies for a visa

Employer accreditation

Employers who want to be accredited and employ migrants under the Accredited Employer Work Visa need to meet criteria to show they are good employers for migrants. These criteria change depending on their business model.

Employer needs to be a viable, genuine business able to meet one of these financial requirements:

  • have not made a loss over the last 2 years
  • have had a positive cash flow each month for the last 6 months
  • have enough capital or external investment for your business to remain viable, or
  • have a credible 2-year plan to ensure your business remains viable.

Employers must also be compliant with New Zealand immigration law, employment and business standards. Employers cannot be on the Labour Inspectorate stand-down list or permanently banned from hiring migrants.

Job check

Employers need to apply for a job check with:

  • accreditation to hire on the Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV)
  • an acceptable job offer, job description and employment agreement
  • evidence they advertised if the job pays less than twice the median wage or is not on the Green List
  • the Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO) code that best matches the job you are offering based on the INZ view of ANZSCO.

From 31 October 2022 five sector agreements will begin and the list of roles exempt from the AEWV median wage threshold will be updated.

Details of Sector Agreements for specific AEWV occupations announced

Roles exempt from the AEWV median wage threshold

Disclaimer: information on our website is presented for general guidance only and may not reflect the latest changes in immigration law (though we always aim to update it as soon as practically possible). Please refer to Immigration New Zealand website for official immigration instructions.