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Accredited Employer Work Visa - All You Need to Know

Updated: Sep 8, 2023

The Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV) offers an attractive option for individuals looking to work and potentially settle in New Zealand. In this article, we will provide a comprehensive overview of the AEWV, including eligibility requirements, medium wage threshold, the application process, and the rights and benefits associated with this visa. By understanding these key aspects, you will be well-equipped when applying for an AEWV.

What is the Accredited Employer Work Visa?

AEWV is a type of work visa that allows individuals to work in New Zealand for a specific role with a particular accredited employer.

  • The AEWV will be valid for up to five years from the first day of entry or the first day of your physical presence in New Zealand on this visa.

  • The duration of your AEWV will depend on your income or wage and can range from seven months to five years.

  • Whether you can sponsor your family to apply for associated visas will depend on the level of your income or wage.

The threshold of required income/wage changes every year. To ensure accurate and up-to-date information on income requirements and family sponsorship options, it is recommended to check Immigration New Zealand’s updates or consult with professionals.

Eligibility and Requirements

To increase your chances of a successful outcome, it is crucial to carefully review and fulfil the following criteria:

  1. As an AEWV applicant, you must have a valid job offer from an accredited employer in New Zealand. The employer will provide you with a job code or token that supports your AEWV application.

  2. In addition to the job offer, you must demonstrate that you possess either a relevant qualification or relevant experience to fulfil the role offered. This requirement is mandatory and varies depending on the specific nature of the job. Some positions may not require any formal qualifications or prior experience, while others may necessitate a bachelor's degree or a minimum of three years of relevant work experience. It is essential to ensure that you meet the specific qualification or experience requirements set out in the policy in order to have the visa application approved.

  3. Health and character requirements need to be met. This typically involves undergoing a medical examination and providing police certificates to demonstrate your character.

Rights and Benefits
  • Work rights: The AEWV allows you to work for the accredited employer specified in your visa application.

  • Multiple entry: Generally, the visa is granted for multiple entries. You can enter and exit New Zealand multiple times while your visa is valid.

  • Duration of stay: The AEWV may be granted for a specific period (up to 5 years), allowing you to live and work in New Zealand for that duration.

  • Employment rights: All workers on temporary visas ("migrant workers") are entitled to the same minimum employment rights as any other worker in New Zealand. That means your employer must treat you fairly and provide you with minimum employment standards and a safe workplace.

  • Healthcare: You have access to the same publicly-funded medical treatment as New Zealand citizens if you're in NZ on a work visa that's valid for 2 years or more.

It's important to note that the specific rights and benefits can vary depending on the type of work visa and any conditions imposed by Immigration New Zealand.

The Importance of Meeting the Medium Wage Threshold

The medium wage threshold holds significant importance, and it serves as a key requirement set by Immigration New Zealand (INZ) for AEWV applications.

  1. Visa eligibility: Applicants need to demonstrate that their job offer meets or exceeds the specified wage threshold. If the role they are being offered does not fall under the exemption list, they need to be paid at least medium wage or higher. Failing to meet this requirement can lead to the rejection of the visa application.

  2. Work visa duration: The duration of the AEWV can be affected by the wage. If the wage is at or above the medium wage threshold, the visa can be granted for up to five years. However, if the wage falls below the threshold, the visa duration may be up to two years, depending on the role offered, and the role must be on the exemption list.

  3. Sponsorship of family members: Meeting the wage threshold is a requirement in determining the applicant's ability to sponsor their family members for associated visas. You may not be able to support your partner or dependents if you do not earn at least the medium wage.

  4. Pathways to residence: Meeting the medium wage threshold can have implications for future pathways to residence in New Zealand. Certain residence visa categories, such as the Skilled Migrant Category, require applicants to meet minimum income requirements.

AEWV Application Process

Your employer must be an accredited employer, and they must complete the job check application and provide you with a job token before you can apply for the AEWV.

The process for the AEWV does not take long. The assessment is generally completed within 10 working days from the date you submit the application. However, providing insufficient documents or facing other complications (e.g., health or character issues) may result in a delay in the process.

So, making sure you submit a decision-ready application is important to avoid delays. We have provided a basic checklist below that includes the mandatory documents required for an AEWV. However, please note that individuals' circumstances are different and may require different supporting documents.

Checklist for an AEWV application

  • A job token

  • Valid passport

  • Passport-style photo

  • Job offer letter from an accredited employer, including a job description

  • Evidence of your qualifications or certificates

  • Evidence of your work experience

  • Police clearance certificate

  • Medical examination report

  • Other necessary documents

Want to bring family members? You cannot include your family members in your work visa application. However, you may be able to sponsor them for associated visas, subject to meeting certain requirements. Click here for more information.

Need help?

Visa applications are often difficult and time-consuming. So, whether you're extremely busy and finding it difficult to manage the process alone, or you’re facing a complex situation requiring expert guidance, we’re here to help.

Our team of experienced immigration lawyers and specialists are well-versed in all aspects of the process, and can provide you with the support and expertise to achieve a successful outcome.

Contact us today, and let our dedicated team assist you in achieving your visa goals.



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