The Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV) is an essential route for skilled workers planning to relocate to New Zealand. It is designed to address skill shortages within the local labour market.

Significant activity has occurred since the opening of accreditation applications on May 23, 2022, and work visa applications on July 4, 2022. As of April 8, 2023, Immigration New Zealand (INZ) has approved 116,759 AEVW applications, with 34,440 employers now accredited.

For Employers:

1. Employer Accreditation:

  • Ensure that your business is accredited under the INZ accreditation scheme. There are two levels of accreditation: standard and high-volume. Choose the appropriate one based on the number of migrant workers you intend to hire.
  • Submit the accreditation application with evidence of sound financial position, commitment to training and employing New Zealanders, and good workplace practices.

2. Job Check:

  • Once accredited, conduct a Job Check for each role you want to fill with a migrant worker. This ensures the role pays at least the market rate and complies with New Zealand employment laws and standards.
  • Provide details such as the job description, location, salary, and contract terms.
  • Pay the Job Check fee, which varies depending on the specifics of the job and the company.

3. Supporting Documentation:

  • Business financial statements to prove the financial stability of your company.
  • Detailed evidence of engagement with the local labour market.
  • Training and development plans for existing staff.

For Employees (Migrant Workers):

New Zealand flag and a diverse group of migrant workers

  1. Verify Employer Accreditation – There are many instances where migrant workers have to suggest because the employer is accredited; verifying an Accredited Employer is crucial for a successful immigration journey to New Zealand. Once you get a job from an accredited employer, it’s essential to carefully review the accreditation status of the employer, along with the job offer and contract terms. We recommend exploring our comprehensive blog post: How to Verify an Accredited Employer.

2. Visa Application:

  • Once the Job Check is approved, you can apply for the AEVW. Ensure your job offer matches the Job Check approved by INZ.
  • Fill out the visa application form and pay the applicable visa fee.

3. Evidence of Qualifications and Experience:

  • Provide proof of the qualifications, skills, and work experience necessary for the job role. This includes certificates, diplomas, degrees, and professional references or endorsements.
  • If required, get your qualifications assessed by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA).

4. Health and Character Requirements:

  • If necessary, have a medical examination conducted by a certified panel physician.
  • Provide police certificates from every country you’ve lived in for 12 months or more in the last 10 years.

5. Proof of English Language Proficiency:

  • Depending on the nature of the job and your country of origin, you may need to provide evidence of English language proficiency through tests like IELTS or TOEFL.

6. Supporting Documents:

  • Copies of your passport and any previous New Zealand visas.
  • An employment agreement that matches the details in the Job Check.
  • Your application includes other supporting documents, such as marriage certificates or proof of partnership, if you have a partner or dependents.

Additional Information

What to Expect After Submission:

  • Processing Times: The average processing time for an AEWV is approximately 14 weekdays, though complex cases may take up to 51 weeks.
  • Visa Outcome: If approved, the visa will detail your occupation, employer’s name, location of work, and the minimum pay rate. The duration of your visa will depend on your wage level relative to the median wage and sector-specific guidelines.

Residence Pathway Options for AEWV Holders:

  • Pathways to Consider: Depending on your job and wage level, various residence pathways may be available, such as the Skilled Migrant Category, Green List: Straight to Residence, or sector-specific pathways like Care Workforce or Transport Sector Work to Residence.
  • Planning: Understanding Residency pathways early is advisable to plan effectively for potential residence applications.

Sponsoring Family Members:

  • Partner Visas: If your wage exceeds the median salary, you can sponsor your partner for an open or restricted partnership-based work visa.
  • Dependent Children: You can also sponsor school-age children for dependent student visas if your annual income meets the required threshold of at least $43,322.76.

Additional Considerations:

  • Stay Updated with Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV): Significant updates have been made to the AEVW scheme, effective April 7, 2024. These changes aim to align the visa process with current labour market needs and include new English language requirements for specific roles, revised skills and experience thresholds, mandatory consultations with Work and Income for specific job categories, adjustments in visa durations, and updates to accreditation categories.
  • For a comprehensive overview of these updates and guidance on navigating the new requirements, please refer to our detailed blog post: Recent Changes to the NZ Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV).
  • Legal and Immigration Advice: Consider consulting with an immigration adviser or lawyer to ensure compliance and address any complexities in the application process.
  • Document Validity: Make sure all documents, such as medical certificates and police clearances, are current and valid at the time of application submission.

This checklist provides a comprehensive framework for employers and employees when applying for an Accredited Employer Work Visa in New Zealand. It’s a must to stay updated on any changes to immigration policies and procedures to ensure compliance and increase the likelihood of a successful application.

About ICL Immigration

ICL Immigration, based in Auckland, is an established licensed immigration adviser with over 20 years of experience and a remarkable 97% approval rate. We’ve helped over 1,000 immigrants realise their New Zealand settlement dreams.

We specialise in various visa services, including student, residency, work visas and business-related services like employer accreditation. We ensure personalised solutions for individuals and businesses aiming to navigate New Zealand’s immigration landscape successfully.

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