Are you considering switching jobs while holding an Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV) in New Zealand? Exciting news! You can change your employer, role, location, or a combination of these without affecting the duration of your visa. Here’s a guide to ensure your transition is smooth and successful.

Exploring New Opportunities  

Whether you’re after better prospects, a new location, or a different work environment, you’ll likely need to apply for a Variation of Conditions (VOC).

What is a Variation of Conditions (VOC)?  

A Variation of Conditions (VOC) is an Immigration New Zealand form that permits you to alter your employment terms or job specifics. This can include changing your employer, job position, location, or a combination of these factors.

What Do You Need for a Job Change Application?  

Before starting your application, ensure you have the following documents:

  • A Job Offer & Employment Agreement, including a Job Description
  • A cover letter detailing your notice period (if applicable)
  • Your Job Check Approval Number
  • Qualification evidence if you are changing your occupation or role

Acceptance Criteria for Your Job Change. 

Your prospective employer must hold accreditation. The new position must have an approved Job Check application. Your salary must meet the minimum wage criteria unless it qualifies for an exemption.

Job Check Token  

You will be issued a Job Check token that matches your new employment details. For instance, if you are changing your employer and location, the token must correspond to the new employer, the same role, and the new location.

Key Requirements  

Accredited Employers and Job Check  

Your new employer must be accredited to hire migrants under the AEWV scheme. They must also have a valid job check for your new position, and you’ll need the job check approval number for your application.

Changing to a Job Paid At Least NZD$29.66 an Hour  

Updates Effective April 2024  

  • Freedom to Choose: You can switch to any job if your current job has a maximum visa length of 3 years or less.
  • Restrictions: You cannot switch to a job with a 3-year maximum visa length if your current job entitles you to a 5-year visa.

Note: If you applied for your first AEWV between 20 June 2023 and 7 April 2024 and hold a 5-year visa for an ANZSCO level 4 or 5 job, you can change to another job at the same ANZSCO level or higher without losing your 5-year visa.

Changing to a Job Paid Below NZD$29.66 an Hour  

Essential Conditions  

  • Exempt Jobs: The job must be exempt from the February 2023 median wage rate.
  • Remaining Time: The time left on your AEWV must be less than the maximum visa length of the new role.
  • Continuous Stay: The time spent in New Zealand on your AEWV must be less than the maximum continuous stay of the new role.

Understanding Maximum Continuous Stay  

Your maximum continuous stay is when you can stay in New Zealand on one or more AEWVs. You can apply for another AEWV before your current one ends, extending your stay until your maximum continuous stay.

Applying for Your AEWV Balance  

Once you reach the end of your maximum continuous stay, you must leave New Zealand for a specified period — typically 12 months — before applying for another AEWV.

How Long Can You Stay?  

You can stay for up to 5 years depending on:

  • Your pay rate
  • The ANZSCO level of your job
  • When you first applied for your AEWV

Note: Check the ANZSCO list for wage rate requirements.

For Stays Less Than 5 Years  

Your maximum continuous stay may be less than five years if:

  • Your pay is below the February 2023 median wage.
  • Your role is at ANZSCO level 4 or 5.

Time Outside New Zealand  

At the end of your maximum continuous stay, you must spend:

  • Twelve months: If paid the February 2023 median wage rate or above.
  • 4 months: If paid below the median wage in meat or seafood processing roles.

Calculating Your Stay  

Your maximum continuous stay counts from:

  • The issue date of your first AEWV, or
  • Your arrival date in New Zealand on an AEWV will depend on whether it was issued outside New Zealand.

Note: Time spent on other temporary visas (visitor, student) or work visas (Post-Study Work Visa, partnership-based visa) does not count towards your maximum continuous stay.

Applying for the Balance of Your Visa  

If you have time left on your maximum continuous stay, you may apply for the remaining balance of your visa. Your current AEWV will not automatically extend to a longer length.


Navigating job changes while on an AEWV in New Zealand can be challenging, but it can be a smooth process with the right preparation and information. Make sure to meet all requirements, gather necessary documentation, and understand the conditions tied to your visa. Whether you’re seeking new opportunities, a change in location, or a different career path, staying informed and planning will help you make the most of your time in New Zealand. For the latest updates and detailed guidelines, always refer to the official immigration resources.

Start your new job journey confidently and enjoy your experience in beautiful New Zealand!

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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