New Zealand leads the Global Life-Work Balance Index by Remote Research, surpassing 60 high-GDP nations in workplace satisfaction. With an impressive Happiness Index of 7.2 and a Total Index Score of 79.35, it’s a top destination for migrants seeking better opportunities and an ideal work-life balance.(

These exemplary figures reflect more than New Zealand’s natural beauty; they underscore its progressive employment practices. Central to this is the Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV), a cornerstone of New Zealand’s innovative approach to work and immigration. This guide delves into the AEWV, exploring its role in reshaping the employment landscape.


 Understanding the Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV)

The AEWV, a pivotal policy instrument by Immigration New Zealand (INZ), is at the forefront of addressing the country’s skill shortages. It enables New Zealand employers to recruit foreign workers under certain conditions, facilitating overseas employment while ensuring the protection of local job opportunities. This balance is crucial in maintaining the nation’s economic stability and workforce diversity.

The Rationale Behind AEWV:

The inception of the AEWV was driven by the need to streamline the work visa process and align it with New Zealand’s evolving economic and labor market needs. The visa serves as a bridge connecting overseas talent with local employers who face skill gaps that cannot be filled domestically. It reflects a strategic approach to immigration, aiming to bolster the workforce while safeguarding the interests of local employees.

Legal Framework and Key Statistics

The AEWV operates within a robust legal framework, established under the Immigration Act 2009 and its subsequent amendments. This framework ensures that the visa process is not only transparent and fair but also aligns with New Zealand’s broader economic strategies and labor market conditions.

Impact of AEWV on Immigration Trends:

As of 6 November 2023, the impact of the AEWV is evident in the numbers: 94,015 AEWV applications approved and 29,868 employers accredited (source:

Above figures highlight the significant role the AEWV plays in shaping New Zealand’s immigration landscape. The demand for this visa reflects the country’s attractiveness as a work destination and its commitment to maintaining a high standard of labor practices.

Eligibility CriteriaIGL Immigration- Accredited Employer Work Visa The AEWV scheme sets specific eligibility criteria for both employers and prospective employees, ensuring a fair and systematic immigration process.

For Employers:

New Zealand employers seeking to recruit under the AEWV must demonstrate adherence to several criteria:

  • Good Workplace Practices: Compliance with labor laws, including employment standards and health and safety regulations.
  • Human Resources Policies: Implementing effective human resources policies and processes.
  • Training Domestic Staff: Proven efforts in training and employing local staff.
  • Financial Stability: Demonstrating business stability and sustainability.

For Employees:

Prospective employees must meet the following requirements:

  • Job Offer: A valid offer from an accredited employer.
  • Skills and Qualifications: Necessary skills and qualifications for the offered job.
  • Health and Character: Compliance with INZ’s health and character standards.
  • Salary Threshold: Earning at or above the median wage, currently NZ$ $29.66 an hour.

Table 1 :  New Zealand Median wage rates for current and previous years

AEWV - NZ- Median-Salary-Past& Future


Upcoming Changes in Salary Thresholds:

In response to the evolving economic landscape, New Zealand is set to update its median wage rate to $31.61 per hour by February 2024. Based on the latest figures from Stats NZ, this adjustment underscores the government’s commitment to ensuring equitable pay for foreign workers.

To assist with planning for 2024, we’ve prepared a table outlining current and projected median wage rates and corresponding annual salary figures based on a standard 40-hour work week. This resource is designed to help employers and job seekers navigate the changing economic conditions in New Zealand.

Table 2: Current vs projected New Zealand Median wages for Feb 2024, including Hourly rates and Annual Salaries(based on 40-hour weeks)

Source –

Application Process

The application process for the AEWV is comprehensive, involving several vital steps to ensure thorough vetting and compliance.

  • Employer Accreditation:

Employers must first apply for and obtain accreditation status, demonstrating their commitment to fair labour practices and their need for foreign talent.

  • Job Check:

A critical step where employers verify that the role cannot be filled locally. This ensures that the AEWV is used appropriately and does not undermine the local labour market.

  • Employee Application:

Following job check approval, employees can apply for the visa. This stage involves the submission of various documents, including passports, job offers, qualifications, health, and character certificates. The costs vary, with fees for accreditation, job check, and the visa application itself. The length of stay is up to 3 years, and the cost starts at NZD $750.

  • Timeline:

The processing time for AEWV applications can take up to 65 weekdays, depending on case complexity and application volume.

Benefits of the AEWV

The AEWV offers significant benefits to both employers and employees, making it a sought-after visa category.

For Employers:

  • Access to a broader talent pool, enabling them to fill skill gaps efficiently.
  • Simplified recruitment process, saving time and resources.
  • Enhanced reputation as a compliant and fair workplace, attracting high-caliber talent.

For Employees:

  • Increased job security, as the visa is tied to specific accredited employers.
  • Potential pathways to residency, offering long-term opportunities in New Zealand.
  • Equal employment rights and conditions, ensuring a fair work environment.

Additional Visa Features:

  • Work in New Zealand for a minimum of 30 hours per week.
  • Study allowances for up to 3 months annually.
  • Eligibility for various residence and skilled migrant visas.

Policy Updates and Changes

New Zealand’s immigration policy, including the AEWV, undergoes periodic updates. Recent changes include the adjustment of salary thresholds and streamlining of the accreditation process. These updates reflect the country’s commitment to adapting its immigration policies to current labor market dynamics.

Impact on Applicants:

For employers, these changes necessitate adapting to new salary thresholds and revised accreditation criteria. Employees must stay informed about updated salary requirements and how they impact their eligibility.


The Accredited Employer Work Visa is a pivotal pathway for skilled workers seeking employment in New Zealand and for local employers needing international talent. Understanding the eligibility criteria, application process, and staying abreast of policy updates are essential for a successful application. The AEWV offers mutual benefits to employers and employees, fostering a balanced and fair work environment. We encourage potential applicants and employers to stay informed and consider seeking professional advice to navigate the complexities of the AEWV process successfully.

20+ Years in AEWV Expertise – ICL Immigration

Celebrating over 20 years of excellence, ICL Immigration excels in guiding applicants through the AEWV process:

  • Tailored AEWV Consultation: Expert advice shaped by two decades of experience.
  • Impressive Success Rate: 97% AEWV success rate, showcasing our expertise.
  • Trusted by 1000+ Clients: Our experience is reflected in extensive client trust and positive reviews.


For the latest statistics and more detailed information, always refer to the official Immigration New Zealand website.


Leave a Reply