Immigration New Zealand have confirmed the changes to visa conditions for the partners of Work Visa holders, that will be in effect from 31st May 2023.
New work conditions for partners of Work Visa holders (AEWV and ESWV holders)
Successful applications for a Partner of a Worker Work Visa, made on or after 31st May 2023, will come with the following conditions:
- Partners can only work for an Accredited Employer.
- They must be paid at least the median wage in effect at the time they receive their visa, or when they receive a job offer, whichever is later (currently NZD $29.66).
- They cannot work in roles covered by capped Sector Agreements.
- If working in a role covered by an uncapped Sector Agreement, they must be paid at least the relevant wage threshold in place. They will not be subject to a stand down period.
- Partners who already have a job when their new visa is approved will need to ensure their new employment meets these conditions.
- Partners who are not already employed will need to make sure any future job offer meets these conditions.
The changes will apply to partners of workers who hold and Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV) or Essential Skills Work Visa (ESWV), with a few exceptions (listed further down in this article).
Flexibility within the new Partner of a Worker Work Visa
The new Partner of a Worker Work Visa still offers flexibility for partners in the following areas:
- Partners do not need to have a job offer to apply for this visa and employers do not need to submit a Job Check.
- Partners can change to another Accredited Employer without having to apply for a Variation of Conditions.
- There is no minimum number of hours that a partner has to work.
- Any subsequent changes to the employer’s accreditation, the median wage or Sector Agreements, will not impact the Partner of a Worker Visa holder if they remain in the same employment.
Exceptions for partners of highly paid and Green List roles
Partners of AEWV and ESWV holders, who are paid at least twice the median wage or who are working in a role on the Green List, will still be able to work for any employer in New Zealand, without these new Partner Work Visa conditions applying.
This includes the partners of migrants who did not meet these requirements when they received their AEWV or ESWV, but have since met them through a pay increase or their role being added to the Green List.
The change in visa conditions also does not impact:
- current Partner of a Worker Work Visa holders
- partners of New Zealanders
- partners of those holding other work visas (such as a Post Study Work Visa)
Workers who aren’t able to support a partner on a work visa
AEWV holders who are covered by any Sector Agreement, and are currently being paid below the median wage, aren’t eligible to support a partner for a work visa.
Similarly, ESWV holders who are being paid below the median wage, also aren’t eligible to support a partner.
However, if they receive a pay rise that brings their earnings to at least the median wage, they might become eligible to support their partner for a work visa.
What can you do if you aren’t eligible to get a Partner of a Worker Work Visa?
Partner’s of temporary workers can explore other visa options to determine if they are eligible to apply in their own right. Alternatively, if they do not intend to work, they can apply for a Visitor Visa.
Get in touch
For further information and guidance regarding partner visa applications, please feel free to get in touch.