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Accredited Employer Work Visa

New employer accreditation regime begins!!

The new Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV) began on 4 July 2022 and all employers wishing to hire migrant employees will need to be accredited with Immigration New Zealand. This change has been signalled by the Government for some 3 years and is now finally happening.

Employers have been bombarded with information overload regarding the employer accreditation..

…so what do you really need to know, and what do you need to do now?

Employers: Request a no-obligation free immigration proposal from Pathways
Employees: Contact a Pathways Licensed Immigration Adviser to explore your visa options

What you need to know:

  • The AEWV replaces six work visa types from 4 July 2022. All employers wishing to employ migrant workers on an AEWV must first be accredited by Immigration New Zealand (INZ).
  • Employers who only employ migrants holding open work visas (eg: post-study, partnership, working holiday) do not initially require to become accredited to continue to employ these workers (but this will change in 2023)
  • Accreditation is only required to support new AEWV applications from 4 July, and accreditation is not required to continue to employ migrant workers on their existing work visas for now - but accreditation will be required to support new work visas for these workers when they need to renew their work visas in the future, and from 2023 to employ anyone on any type of work visa including partners, students and working holiday visa holders
  • There are 4 types of employer accreditation
    • Standard — to employ up to 5 migrant workers on AEWVs at any one time
    • High-volume — to employ 6 or more migrant workers on AEWVs at any one time. This accreditation type also has specific additional requirements for employers who:
      • Operate as a franchise business
      • Place employees with a controlling third-party, such as labour hire companies
  • There are 3 steps to hiring a migrant on an Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV):
    • Step 1 - employer accreditation where the employer’s credentials are assessed
    • Step 2 – the job check where the job details and any job advertising are assessed
    • Step 3 – the migrant check, comprising the AEWV application, and is where the migrant’s credentials are assessed
  • The initial employer accreditation is for 12 months and subsequent accreditation renewals will be for 24 months, except for franchise and labour hire type businesses who will continue to require annual renewals
  • The job must be paid at $27.76 or more per hour (the NZ median payrate), and 3 year work visas will be issued. There is a temporary exception for specified roles in the hospitality and construction sectors where a payrate must be at least $25.00 per hour, and for some roles in the aged care sector for which the minimum payrate is $25.30 per hour. For these exception categories 2 year work visas will be issued
  • Process and timing
    • The accreditation, job check and AEWV application processes are all undertaken online
    • Employer accreditation applications opened from 23 May and are currently taking around 10 working days to process – although high demand may impact on this timing
    • Job check applications opened on 20 June and are also taking around 10 working days to process
    • Migrant check/AEWV applications opened on 4 July are expected to take around 20 working days to process
  • INZ application fees
    • Employer accreditation:
      • Standard - $740, High Volume - $1220, Franchise - $1980, Labour Hire - $3870
    • Job check:
      • $610
    • AEWV application:
      • $750
    • Employers who are already INZ accredited under the previous accreditation regime, and whose existing accreditation will expire from 23 November 2022, can be exempt from their initial accreditation fee, and if they apply before this date.

There are a number of obligations that accredited employers must fulfil as part of their accreditation including, for example, the provision of settlement information and assistance, completion of Employment NZ learning modules for both the migrant employee and key employer staff. There are significant additional obligations for those businesses operating labour hire or similar businesses.


What you need to do now

  • Review the visa status of all of your existing migrant workers to check what type of work visas they hold, when these visas expire, and whether they have a residence application lodged – please be aware the Government has now announced that many work visa holders whose visas are expiring up to 31 December 2022 will now have their work visas automatically extended
  • Consider what your business needs are for new migrant workers in the next year and plan for your accreditation, job check and AEWV application processes accordingly

Request a no-obligation free proposal from Pathways to assist with your employer accreditation and AEWV requirements

Business legal name *
Business website *
Main business address *
Contact person name *
Position *
Contact Email *
Telephone *
Total number of employees *
Number of employees on work visas *
Approximately how many new employees are you looking to recruit from overseas in the next year? *
What roles are they mainly for? *
Are you a franchise business? *
Do you sub-contract/hire-out employees to 3rd parties? *

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