Wondering if you will be able to work in New Zealand? Here’s what you need to know about NZ work visas.
Accredited Employer Work Visa
The Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV) is now the main Work Visa in New Zealand (replacing the Essential Skills Work Visa).
In order to be eligible to apply for an Accredited Employer Work Visa you need:
You can currently be granted an Accredited Employer Work Visa for up to 3 years. However, this will be increasing to up to 5 years from November 2023.
Bringing your family with you
If you have a partner or dependent child moving with you, they can apply for a relevant visa (e.g. work visas, student visas or visitor visas) based on their relationship with you.
Most partners of an AEWV holder will be granted a Partner Work Visa with conditions. This means they will also be able to work in New Zealand but will need to work for an Accredited Employer and be paid at least the median wage (or the wage threshold, if the role is covered by an un-capped sector agreement). However, the partner won’t need to have a job offer to get this visa, and they will be able to change employers without contacting INZ.
Partners of workers in a role on the Green List or earning twice the median wage will be eligible to apply for an open temporary work visa without these conditions.
Dependent children can apply for a Dependent Child Student or Visitor Visa if their parent(s) will be earning at least NZ$43,322.76 per annum.
Pathways to residence from an Accredited Employer Work Visa
There are a number of Skilled Residence Pathways for holders of Accredited Employer Work Visas.
The Skilled Migrant Category is a points system, where you need to claim 6 points to be eligible.
If your role is on the Green List, there are two possible pathways:
Roles exempt from the Accredited Employer Work Visa median wage threshold
Immigration New Zealand have provided a list of specific jobs that are exempt from meeting the median wage threshold, and have their own, slightly lower threshold:
If your role is exempt from the median wage threshold, you can hold an Accredited Employer Work Visa for 2 years. After this, you must complete a stand-down period of 12 consecutive months outside New Zealand, before you can get another Accredited Employer Work Visa for 2 years. However, if you get another visa for a job paying above the median wage, you won’t have to complete a stand-down period.
Find out if your role is exempt from the median wage threshold.