About the Visa

The AEWV (Accredited Employer Work Visa) allows New Zealand employers to hire foreign workers if they can’t find suitable locals. Launched on July 4, 2022, it replaced six old work visa types to simplify hiring skilled workers from abroad.

Purpose

Helps fill skill gaps by letting accredited employers bring in overseas talent under specific rules.

Validity

Up to 5 years.

Eligibility

Applicants earning at least the median wage (NZD 29.66 per hour) qualify for an AEWV visa.

For Existing AEWV holders

They can extend their stay by applying for the remaining visa time under the new rules.

For Existing AEW Visa Holders

People with a valid AEW Visa can extend their stay by applying for the remaining visa time under the new rules.

Benefits of Accredited Employer Work Visa

  • Steady Job: Work at least 30 hours a week with a trusted employer, ensuring job security.
  • Learning Time: Study for up to 3 months each year to improve your skills and knowledge.
  • Family Help: Earn at least NZD 43,322.76 a year to bring your family with you and stay together.
  • Path to Permanent Residency: After 2 years, you can start the process to become a resident, helping New Zealand’s economy and community.

Note: The cost and availability of New Zealand visas can change because of decisions made by the New Zealand Immigration authorities.

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Important Updates to AEWV from April 7, 2024

Changes for New Applicants

Enhanced Work Experience and Qualification Requirements:

– Pre-Employment Verification: Job seekers must meet extra skills and qualifications beyond what employers mention. Employers need to confirm these before offering a job.

Standard Criteria:

If not in Green List roles or earning twice the median wage, applicants must have:
– At least three years of relevant work experience, or
– A level 4 or higher qualification according to NZQCF.

Qualification Validation:

Qualifications below a Bachelor’s degree need an International Qualification Assessment (IQA) to confirm their educational value.

English Skills Adjustments:

– Language Skills: For jobs at ANZSCO levels 4 or 5, candidates must prove they can speak English well to communicate effectively.
– Exemptions: This rule doesn’t apply to current applications or to partners and kids of AEWV applicants.

New Visa Durations for Certain Roles:

– Visa Length: AEWV now lasts up to two years, with an option for a one-year extension, matching job contracts and market needs.
– Stay Limit: After three years on AEWV, people must leave New Zealand for 12 months before applying for another AEWV.

Changes for Current AEWV Holders:

Visa Length:

If you applied before June 21, 2023, for ANZSCO level 4 and 5 jobs at the AEWV wage rate, your stay is now three years instead of five.

Exemptions:

Those in ANZSCO level 4 and 5 roles with a pathway to residence are not affected by this change.

Renewal Rules:

Renewal applications after April 7, 2024, must meet new rules, which could shorten the stay to less than five years.

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Criteria for the visa

For Employers

  • Accreditation: Businesses need to be accredited, which means they must meet high employment standards, train local workers, and operate sustainably. This shows they are trustworthy employers.

For Applicants

  • Wage Threshold: To get a longer visa, you need to earn at least NZD 29.66 per hour, matching New Zealand’s average wage. Note: This amount might change with government updates.
  • Job Assessment: The job offered must meet local standards and fill real skill shortages, prioritizing local workers first.
  • Eligibility: You must meet health, character, and specific job skill requirements to positively contribute to New Zealand’s workforce. Check eligibility details below or click here.

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The ICL Process

1. Get Advice

We help employers and migrant workers see if they meet the AEWV criteria.

2. Gather Documents

We assist in collecting all the necessary papers for accreditation, job checks, and visa applications.

3. Submit and Connect

We handle submitting the documents and talk to Immigration New Zealand if they need more info.

4. Visa Help

We support you through the whole process, keep you updated, and give advice even after you get your visa.

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AEWV Eligibility Requirements

Applicants must meet health, character, and job skill criteria.

Health Check

Doctor’s Checkup: Applicants need a medical exam to ensure they’re healthy and won’t strain New Zealand’s healthcare system.

Character Check

  • Police Check: Required for stays of 24 months or longer, including past visa stays. Not needed for those aged 16 or below.
  • Good Character: Applicants must disclose any past criminal records or deportations.

Job Skills

  • Right Qualifications: Applicants should have New Zealand-recognized qualifications, like degrees or professional licenses.
  • Work Experience: Relevant work experience is needed to meet New Zealand’s skill requirements.
  • Skill Assessment: Some jobs require assessment by a New Zealand professional body.
  • English Language Skills: Applicants must prove they can communicate well in English, often through approved tests.

Other Points to Note

  • Labour Market Test: Employers may need to show no local person can do the job.
  • Following the Rules: Applicants must agree to follow all New Zealand laws, including work and residency regulations.

What Migrant Workers Should Know about AEWV

Your Rights and Responsibilities

Know your work conditions, rights, and what you need to do as a visa holder in New Zealand.

Preparing for Application

Make sure you have the right documents and meet the job requirements for your visa application.

Support for Settling In

Get help adjusting to life and work in New Zealand, including finding services and community support.

What is Employer Accreditation?

Why It’s Needed

Companies must have it to hire foreign workers through the AEWV program.

Benefits

Helps hire international talent easily and shows potential employees that the company is reliable.

How to Get It

Prove the company is stable, trains local staff, and follows work laws and standards.

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FAQs

What Is the Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV) in New Zealand?

The AEWV is a visa type in New Zealand that allows foreign nationals to work for an accredited employer. It's part of New Zealand's efforts to ensure that employers prioritize hiring local talent before recruiting from overseas.

Who Can Apply for an AEWV?

Any foreign national offered a job by an accredited New Zealand employer can apply for this visa. The job offer must align with the skill level and pay requirements set by Immigration New Zealand.

What Are the Requirements for an AEWV?

Requirements include a valid job offer from an accredited employer, meeting the pay threshold for the offered role, having relevant qualifications and experience, and meeting health and character standards.

What is the pay rate for an Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV)?

For the AEVW, the required pay rate is at or above the current median wage of $29.66 per hour. However, specific roles are exempt from this requirement, as detailed in the AEVW exempt roles list. This list includes 70 occupations, but many will be phased out by 2024.

What are the income requirements for supporting dependent children?

To support a dependent child's visitor or student visa application, the applicant must meet a minimum annual income of $43,322.76. Maintaining this income level is crucial, as failing to do so could have severe consequences, including potential deportation for both the parent(s) and the child. If both parents hold an AEVW, their combined incomes can be used to meet this requirement.

How Does an Employer Get Accredited?

Employers must apply to Immigration New Zealand, demonstrating their commitment to fair employment practices, financial stability, and training and employing New Zealanders.

What Is the Validity Period of an AEWV?

An AEVW can be issued for up to 5 years, called the "maximum continuous stay". After utilizing the entire 5-year duration without obtaining a New Zealand residence visa, you must leave New Zealand. Reapplication is possible after 12 months outside the country. .

Can AEWV Holders Bring Their Family to New Zealand?

Yes, AEWV holders can bring their partner and dependent children. Partners can apply for a work visa, and children can study as domestic students.

What Is the Application Process for an AEWV?

Applicants must submit an online application with all required documents, including the job offer details, proof of qualifications, and health and character certificates.

What Are the Pay Thresholds for AEWV Jobs?

Pay thresholds depend on the skill level of the job and are regularly updated. The current thresholds are available on Immigration New Zealand's website or connect with us for more information.

How Long Does It Take to Process an AEWV Application?

As per Immigration New Zealand, straightforward applications generally undergo processing within a span of 20 weekdays, excluding public holidays. Moreover, AEWV applications have an average processing duration of 14 weekdays, and it's noted that 90% of all applications are finalized within 51 weekdays.

Can AEWV Holders Apply for Permanent Residency?

AEWV holders may be eligible for residency under certain conditions, such as holding a long-term skill shortage visa or meeting specific salary thresholds over time.

What Happens If an AEWV Is Denied?

If an application is denied, Immigration New Zealand will provide reasons. Applicants can address these in a subsequent application or consider alternative visa options.

How can I verify an Accredited Employer and verify a job under the AEWV program?

Verifying an Accredited Employer and securing a job under the AEWV program is crucial for a successful immigration journey to New Zealand. Once you've identified a potential 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 posts: How to Verify Your Job in New Zealand: A Guide for Overseas Professionals How to verify an Accredited Employer in New Zealand..

What are the costs associated with an AEVW?

The application fee for an AEVW, if applied online within New Zealand, is $750. Additional costs include medical examinations, such as an eMedical, which consists of a general medical and chest x-ray, typically costing around $400. No other fees are required by Immigration New Zealand (INZ) post-application.

What are the income requirements for supporting dependent children?

To support a dependent child's visitor or student visa application, the applicant must meet a minimum annual income of $43,322.76. Maintaining this income level is crucial, as failing to do so could have severe consequences, including potential deportation for both the parent(s) and the child. If both parents hold an AEVW, their combined incomes can be used to meet this requirement.

Can I change jobs while on an AEW Visa?

Yes, you can change jobs while holding an AEVW. Still, you must apply for a Variation of Conditions (VOC) to alter the conditions of your current visa. This step is essential to maintaining the validity of your visa, allowing you to remain employed in New Zealand.

What Types of Professions Qualify for the AEWV in New Zealand?

The AEWV caters to various professions, especially those listed in the Long-Term Skill Shortage List or those above the median wage in New Zealand. This includes roles in IT, engineering, healthcare, and other skilled sectors.

How Does the Labour Market Test Influence AEWV Applications?

Before offering a job to a foreign national, an employer must conduct a labour market test. This test proves that there are no suitable New Zealand residents or citizens available to fill the position, thereby justifying the employment of a migrant under the AEWV.

What is Occupation Registration. in New Zealand, and why is it necessary for certain professions?

In New Zealand, certain professions require practitioners to be registered with a professional body. This stringent requirement ensures that professionals meet the necessary standards and qualifications, thereby maintaining the integrity of professions that significantly impact public safety and welfare. Check the details on occupation registration .

Can Migrants on an AEWV Apply for Residence in New Zealand?

Migrants holding an AEWV can apply for residency, particularly if they meet certain criteria such as being in a high-demand profession, earning above a specified wage threshold, or possessing critical skills needed in New Zealand.

What Documents Are Required to Apply for Employer Accreditation?

Employers seeking accreditation must submit various documents demonstrating their commitment to fair employment practices, financial stability, and the training and employment of New Zealand citizens or residents.

What Support Does ICL Immigration Provide for Employers Seeking Accreditation?

ICL Immigration offers comprehensive assistance to employers, including guidance on meeting accreditation criteria, preparing the application, and ensuring compliance with New Zealand's immigration policies.

What Are the Steps to Apply for the New Accredited Employer Work Visa?

The application process involves obtaining a job offer from an accredited employer, ensuring the role meets specific salary and skill level criteria, and submitting an application with all required documents to Immigration New Zealand.

How Does ICL Immigration Help in Preparing a Strong AEWV Application?

ICL Immigration provides expert services in preparing and submitting AEWV applications, including assessing eligibility, organizing necessary documentation, and offering tailored advice to maximize the chances of approval.

Disclaimer: The information provided is subject to change based on New Zealand government policies. For the most current information, please refer to Immigration New Zealand or contact ICL Immigration for updated guidance.

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