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Work Visas

Work Visas for New Zealand

Accredited Employer Work Visa

The Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV) has been introduced from 4th July 2022, to replace six previous work visas (including the Essential Skills Work Visa, Talent Accredited Employer Work Visa and Long Term Skill Shortage List Work Visa).

In order to be eligible to apply for an Accredited Employer Work Visa you need:

  • an offer of employment with an Accredited Employer who has had a Job Check approved
  • your offer of employment will need to be full time, paid at the market rate and above the New Zealand median wage (which is currently NZ$27.76 per hour).
  • Unless your occupation is on the New Zealand Green List or pays at least twice the median wage, your employer will need to prove that they weren’t able to find a suitable New Zealand candidate for the role you have been offered.
  • You will need to be suitably qualified for the role through either a recognized qualification or a specified number of years of relevant work experience, and have an acceptable standard of health and character.

An Accredited Employer Work Visa can be granted for the period the employment is offered for, up to a maximum of 3 years.

Partners and dependent children of an Accredited Employer Work Visa holder can now also apply for a relevant visa (e.g. work visa, student visa or visitor visa) based on their relationship with the AEWV holder.

Pathways to residence from an Accredited Employer Work Visa

If your role pays at least twice the median wage (NZD $55.52 per hour) or it is on the Green List ‘Work to Residence’ pathway, you will be able to apply for residence after working in New Zealand for two years, if you meet the eligibility criteria.

The Green List also offers a Fast Tracked ‘Straight to Residence’ pathway for certain occupations.

If your role doesn’t pay at least twice the median wage and isn’t on the Green List, you may still be eligible for residence through the Skilled Migrant Category.

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:

Specific jobs in the construction sector must be paid at least NZD $25 per hour
Specific jobs in the care workforce sector must be paid at least NZD $26.16 per hour
Specific jobs in the tourism and hospitality sector must be paid at least NZD $25 per hour (however the exemption from paying the median wage is only valid until April 2023, unless the role is in the seasonal snow and adventure tourism industry, where it is valid until 2025)
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. If you get another visa for a job paying above the median wage, you won’t have to complete a stand-down period.

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