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Published on April 2024

Latest Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV) Changes 2024

Changes are being made to the Accredited Employer Work Visa by the New Zealand government. Learn what these modifications entail for visa applicants.

New Zealand Immigration Minister Erica Stanford has announced some immediate adjustments made to the Accredited Employer Worker Visa (AEWV).

“Getting our immigration settings right is critical to this Government’s plan to rebuild the economy," she said.

“The Government is focused on attracting and retaining the highly skilled migrants such as secondary teachers, where there is a skill shortage. At the same time, we need to ensure that New Zealanders are put to the front of the line for jobs where there are no skills shortages,” Erica added.

“I am bringing in a suite of changes that will improve the AEWV scheme and ensure we are better testing the local labour market and reducing the risks of putting New Zealanders out of work. Many of these are not new, but rather a return to pre-pandemic settings that better balanced the needs of business with the wider interests of New Zealand," said Erica.

Key changes for AEWV applicants

  • English language requirement for level 4 & 5
  • Work experience and skills criteria
  • A maximum of 3 continuous years stay instead of 5 years

If you are in level 4 & 5 ANZCO (Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations) with equal or above required AEWV wage rate, and hold a 3-year visa then you will not be able to access the max 5 years anymore (if applied your first AEWV before June 21 2023). However, if you are in the Level 4 & 5 pathway to residence, these changes will not affect you.

Anyone who applies for an AEWV on or after 7th April 2024 has to meet the new criteria as explained below.

Changes made for new AEWV applicants

Given are the changes made in detail:

Minimum standard of English

For ANZCO levels 4 & 5, you will have to show that you can understand and speak in English. You can meet the language requirements through English language tests or your citizenship, your university and qualification completed* (only in case you studied from an English-speaking country). However, this language requirement will not be needed for existing applications, partners or children of the applicant.

Minimum skill requirement

When you apply for a new AEWV, you need to show proof of your work experience. Employer will check for necessary skills you have before giving you the job.

You now need to have the following unless your role is paid at least twice the median pay or is on the Green List and satisfies the Green List role requirements:

  • Minimum three years of relevant work experience
  • A relevant qualification at level 4 or above of the NZQCF (New Zealand Qualifications and Credentials Framework)

For below Bachelor’s degree levels, proof of qualification along with International Qualification Assessment (IQA) will be needed. For work experience, proof that you did the work is needed (documents you wrote can’t be included).

Shorter visa length and stay for some jobs

The maximum continuous stay in New Zealand on one or more AEWVs is now limited to 3 years. You will have to depart New Zealand for a predetermined period of time (usually 12 months) after your stay period expires, before you are eligible to apply for another AEWV.

Some ANZSCO level 4 & 5 jobs will not be affected by these new changes, including those:

  • Who are on the Green List
  • Who earn 1.5 times the median wage
  • Who are on pathway to residence, in transport sector and care sector agreements

Stanford presented these changes as the first steps toward a more comprehensive plan to enhance the immigration system, with the goals of attracting talent, managing net migration, securing long-term finance, and enhancing risk management.

For further information, you can contact Tutel, New Zealand visa consultant in Kochi.