NEW ZEALAND – Updates to AEWV Visa Standards

August 17, 2023

Immigration New Zealand announced changes to the Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV), effective 27 November 2023. An AEWV can currently be granted for a period of three years, and requires an individual to earn at least NZ$29.66/hr. The changes primarily affect the term of stay period for AEWV holders.

Looking at the specific adjustments, extensions to the maximum duration will go into effect. Individuals earning at least the median wage in New Zealand will now have a five-year maximum for their AEWV. Individuals in the care workforce sector have three years of AEWV eligibility if they are paid at levels 3 or 4.

A maximum continuous stay period of five years is being put in place for AEWV holders who are:

  • Paid at least the median wage;
  • Covered by the care workforce sector agreement, paid at level 4; or
  • Covered by the transport or seasonal snow/adventure tourism sector agreements.

Finally, a maximum continuous stay limit of three years is put into place for AEWV holders covered by the care workforce sector agreement and are paid at level 3.

Once an AEWV holder reaches the end of their maximum stay period, they must spend at least 12 months outside of New Zealand before they can be granted another AEWV. An exemption is put in place for individuals on a pathway to New Zealand residence, they will not need to spend 12 months outside the country. Different maximum stay and New Zealand residence limits will apply to those individuals either earning below the median wage or working under other sector agreements.

Individuals approved for an AEWV before 27 November 2023 will be able to apply to extend, if they are eligible for a longer visa length. Employers will not need to re-advertise the AEWV holders’ role or submit another job check application as part of this renewal process, provided the visa conditions remain the same.

This immigration update is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for legal or scenario-specific advice. Furthermore, it is important to note that immigration announcements are subject to sudden and unexpected changes. Readers are encouraged to reach out to Newland Chase for any case- or company-specific assessments.