Accredited Employer Work Visa for New Zealand
If you secure employment from a New Zealand company
The main temporary work visa option
The Accredited Employer Work visa (AEWV) requires the following:
- you have an offer of full-time employment in New Zealand (at least 30 hours per week) AND
- the New Zealand employer is holds Immigration New Zealand accreditation, AND
- the New Zealand employer has made genuine (though unsuccessful) attempts to find a New Zealander to fill the position. Note, some waivers apply for this job check AND
- You must be deemed qualified for the position offered, and paid at or above the NZ median wage ($29.66/hour as at February 2023) unless an exemption applies for certain roles in the careworkforce, transport, tourism, or construction sectors.
- You must have and acceptable standard of health and character
Can I be offered employment without holding a visa?
This is a frequent question; have a look at our ‘catch-22’ page.
You must be paid at or above the minimum salary threshold (or equivalent hourly rate) in order to be eligible for a visa granted for up to 5 years. This is $29.66/hour as at February 2023. Applicants may also support their partner for a work visa application and dependent children for a student visa application. There are exemptions to this median wage, for certain industries and occupations.
Note that Immigration New Zealand will also want to ensure you are paid at "market rate" ie you are offered what a New Zealander would be offered for the same position, based on the experience and the level of responsibility required.
Positions paid below median wage may still qualify a shorter visa under certain conditions, with rights for the partner and dependent children to seek visitor visas only (no work or study rights).
How long can I stay in New Zealand for?
This visa is typically granted from 6 months to 5 years and may be renewable. You may also study for up to 3 months per year, or as part of your employment (if required by your employer). AEWV granted for up to 3 years prior to November 2023 may qualify for an extension to a 5 year visa and apply for the balance.
Note that from November 2023, there is a maximum continuous duration imposed on Accredited Employer Work visas for migrants who do not have a pathway to residency.
Depending on your situation, your Essential Skills Work Visa may come with conditions. These could specify restrictions in regard to:
- a specific occupation, and/or
- a specific employer, and/or
- a specific location, and/or
- travel restrictions
Unless your occupation features on one of the Green list, falls under certain waiver criteria or is paid at twice the median wage, your employer will need to prove they have attempted to recruit New Zealanders before they can hire a migrant.
Note, there are no English requirements for this visa, although INZ will expect you to have sufficient English proficiency to fulfil your work obligations.
Can I bring my family with me?
Your family may not be included in your application. However, they may be able to apply separately based on their relationship to you (spouse and dependents). The type of visas they may apply for depends on the salary you are being offered.