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Accredited Employer Work Visa


Starting July 4, 2022, the Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV) program is now in effect. Employers looking to hire migrant workers can now benefit from faster visa processing times and fewer costs.

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What is the Accredited Employer Work Visa?

The Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV) is a simpler and more efficient way to hire overseas skilled workers. Starting July 4, 2022, the AEWV replaces six work visa types and streamlines the process for employers looking to bring on migrant employees.

In order to take advantage of the AEWV, employers must first be accredited by Immigration New Zealand (INZ). Accreditation requires meeting minimum standard requirements and making certain commitments, which may vary depending on the level and type of accreditation. It’s important to note that the accreditation must be held by the direct employer specified on the migrant worker’s employment agreement. For businesses with a regular need for overseas workers, becoming an Accredited Employer can greatly simplify the visa process and save significant time and resources.

The AEWV provides a temporary multiple-entry 30-month Work Visa, with the potential for Permanent Residency through the Work to Residence category.

As an accredited employer, you’ll also enjoy faster processing times and fewer documentation requirements. Furthermore, the AEWV is a great way to eliminate the challenges associated with demonstrating that a New Zealander is unavailable for the role, which is often expensive and time-consuming.

Ready to take advantage of the many benefits of the Accredited Employer Work Visa program? Simply get in touch and one of our professional immigration advisers will be happy to walk you through the entire process.

What is Employer Accreditation?

Accreditation with Immigration New Zealand (INZ) is required for employers looking to hire migrant workers on the new Accredited Employer Work Visa, starting from July 4, 2022.

If your business only employs migrants holding open work visas (such as post-study, partnership, or working holiday visas), accreditation is not yet a requirement but will be necessary in the near future.

However, accreditation will be mandatory to support new work visas for these workers when they renew their visas and for all types of work visas, including partners, students, and working holiday visa holders, later in 2023.

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What are the different types of Employer Accreditation? 

The Accredited Employer Work Visa program offers two main accreditation tiers: Standard and High-Volume.

*Employers operating in labour-hire, tripartite, or franchise sectors may face additional requirements.

Standard Employer Accreditation

This accreditation is designed for employers who currently employ or plan to employ 1 to 5 migrant workers. The process focuses on ensuring compliance with minimum employment standards and is tailored for low-risk standard employers, including small businesses. Upon successful completion, the initial accreditation is valid for 12 months, with 24-month renewal options available.

High-Volume Employer Accreditation

High-volume accreditation is intended for companies that plan to recruit six or more employer-assisted migrants in a year. The process is similar to the standard accreditation, with a focus on higher standards for attracting and retaining New Zealand workers, such as fair wages, skills development, and training. The initial accreditation is valid for 12 months, with 24-month renewal options available.

Labour Hire/Franchise Accreditation

*Employers operating in the labour hire, tripartite, or franchise sectors may face additional requirements, including higher standards to meet and more in-depth checks. These checks typically focus on recruitment practices, training New Zealanders, and detailed up-front verification, and may involve on-site inspections. The initial accreditation and renewals are valid for 12 months.

How does a business become an accredited employer?

To become an accredited employer, your business must meet certain obligations, including but not limited to:

  • Providing comprehensive settlement information and support to your migrant employees
  • Completing mandatory Employer NZ training modules for both your migrant workers and key staff

For businesses operating in the labour hire or similar industries, additional obligations may apply to ensure compliance with the Accredited Employer Work Visa program. These obligations may include increased scrutiny of recruitment practices, training for New Zealand workers, and more detailed verification checks.

Unsure if your business meets these requirements or how to go about ensuring compliance with the AEWV? Book a no-strings-attached consultation with one of our expert immigration advisers today.

What is the AEWV process and how long does it take?

The Accredited Employer Work Visa process involves three key stages: Employer Accreditation, Job Check, and the AEWV Application. All stages can be completed online, offering a convenient and streamlined experience for both employers and applicants.

During the first step of Employer Accreditation, the employer’s credentials are assessed. As of May 23, 2022, the employer accreditation process is taking approximately 10 working days to process, subject to fluctuations in demand.

The job check stage, which began on June 20, 2022, is also expected to take around 10 working days, and consists of evaluating the details of the job and its advertising criteria.

The final stage, the Migrant Check/AEWV Application process, which opened on July 4, 2022, is estimated to take approximately 20 working days to complete.

*Please note that these timelines are subject to change based on various factors and are provided as a rough estimate only.

Why Choose Us 


In order to be considered for accreditation, your first application must include important documentation to ensure the safety and employment conditions of migrant workers. This includes a plan to monitor these conditions, such as checking the third party is not on a standdown list, obtaining necessary decorations and records, getting third-party permission for site visits, and having a documented complaints and resolution process.

During the assessment, the New Zealand Immigration office (INZ) will thoroughly evaluate your business to ensure it meets certain standards. This includes a sound financial position, good human resource practices, good workplace practices, and a commitment to train and employ New Zealanders.

If you would like to take the first step towards becoming an accredited employer, get in touch with one of our knowledgeable immigration advisors. They will walk you through the entire process and ensure you meet the requirements described above.

Job Check

Once your employer accreditation has been approved, you can move forward with a Job Check application. This involves submitting details of your job advertising efforts to demonstrate that you have made a genuine attempt to recruit or train a New Zealander or New Zealand resident for the role.

To ensure the success of your Job Check application, it’s important to be mindful of the requirements that must be met in your job advertisement. This includes clearly stating the terms and conditions of the job, genuinely considering any New Zealanders who apply, and adhering to the AEWV policy requirements.

Please note that the Job Check application is done on behalf of the employer, not by the job applicant, and each check is valid for 6 months or until your accreditation expires, whichever comes first. The processing time for a Job Check application is approximately 10 working days, and upon approval, you will receive a unique “Job Token/Approval Number” for each approved role.

For best results, professional input is highly recommended when submitting a Job Check application. With careful attention to detail and consideration of all requirements, you’ll be well on your way to securing the necessary approvals for your immigration process. get in touch with an ICL immigration advisor today to ensure your application meets all requirements and take advantage of our industry-leading 97% application success rate to avoid having to resubmit your application and pay additional fees.

AEWV Work Visa Application

With your Job Check token in hand, you can proceed with your Accredited Employer Work Visa application!

The AEWV application will require personal information about the applicant, proof of acceptable health and character, and documentation of the necessary job credentials to work in the offered role. You will also need to include a copy of the signed employment offer and agreement. If the applicant has any accompanying family members, separate visa applications will need to be prepared and submitted along with your primary AEWV application.

The AEWV application can be submitted by the job applicant, the employer, or by a professional third party such as ICL on behalf of either. The New Zealand Immigration office (INZ) estimates that it will take about 20 working days to process the application, and upon approval, the applicant will be issued a 3-year work visa. However, for those roles on the reduced pay except list, only a 2-year work visa will be issued.

Ready to get the AEWV process started? Book a free consultation with one of our expert immigration advisors today! Let ICL take the reins and simplify your AEWV journey. Whether you need assistance with a single stage or guidance through the entire process, we’ve got you covered!

What do Migrant Workers need to know about the AEWV?

  • If you’re a foreign national seeking employment in New Zealand, the Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV) can be an excellent option. To be eligible for this visa, you must first secure a job with an Accredited Employer.
  • The AEWV process is initiated by the employer offering you the job. This employer needs to have completed the employer accreditation and job check processes before they can apply for a work visa on your behalf.
  • If you currently hold a Temporary New Zealand Work Visa and are meeting its conditions, you won’t be affected, and your visa will remain valid.
  • If you have a Residence from Work Visa application in progress (which requires a further Work to Residence Visa to obtain residence), you can continue with the process if you stay with your employer.
  • Need help connecting with an Accredited Employer? Book a free consultation with ICL today and allow us to assist you in finding an employer that matches your skills and qualifications

How long is employer accreditation valid for?

Initial employer accreditation is valid for 12 months and subsequent renewals will be for a duration of 24 months. Note: Franchise and labour hire businesses are an exception and will require annual renewals.

Are there any minimum pay requirements for hiring migrants on an AEWV?

Hiring a migrant worker on an Accredited Employer Work Visa requires meeting certain minimum pay requirements. The job must pay a minimum of $27.76 per hour, which is equivalent to the median pay rate in New Zealand. Migrants who meet these criteria will be issued a 3-year work visa.

However, there are temporary exceptions for specific roles in the hospitality and construction industries, where the minimum pay rate is $25 per hour, and for some roles in the aged care sector, with a minimum pay rate of $25.30 per hour. These roles qualify for a 2-year work visa.

How much does the AEWV application cost?

  • Employer Accreditation:
  • Standard Accreditation (for up to 5 migrants at a time): $740 NZD.
  • High-Volume Accreditation (for 6 or more migrants at a time): $1220 NZD.
  • Upgrade Fee: (to upgrade from Standard to HIgh-Volume Accreditation): $480 NZD.
  • Tripartite Agreements (for employers placing migrants with controlling third parties): $3870 NZD.
  • Franchisees: $1980 NZD.
  • Labour Hire: $3870 NZD.
  • Reconsideration (for declined accreditation applications): $240 NZD.
  • Job Check:
  • $610 NZD.
  • AEWV Application:
  • $750 NZD.

Note: Employers who are already accredited by INZ under the previous regime may be exempt from the initial accreditation fee.

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