Changing or ending employment on an Accredited Employer Work Visa?6 Apr 2023

If you are holding an accredited employer work visa and are changing your employment role, employment location, employer, or any combination of these, then you may be able to apply for a Variation of Conditions (VOC) of your visa to enable you to change your employment.

To undertake a VOC, you must have a new job offer from an Immigration New Zealand (INZ) accredited employer, and the employer must have a valid job check approved from INZ for this role. The role must also be paid at the current market rate and at least at the median wage ($29.66 per hour) applicable at the time when the VOC application is made.

A VOC application can be submitted online. You need to include in your application:

• the offer of employment and employment agreement
• if you need to work out a notice period, a cover letter that sets out how long your notice period is
• your existing AEWV job check approval number
• evidence that you are suitably qualified for the offered role

The INZ fee for a VOC application is $210, and applications can be approved within 1-3 weeks. If the VOC application is successful the work visa will be re-issued with the new employment conditions, however the visa expiry date will remain the same. Only once the VOC has been approved can the new employment commence.

If you want to change to a job which is paid below the median wage, it must be for a role which is exempt from paying the median wage, and this is currently only possible in a small number of industry sectors.

If your employment ends, for whatever reason, this is a material change and you are obligated to inform INZ of this change in your circumstances. Your employer may also directly inform INZ that your employment has ended. There is no timeframe within which you must advise INZ, but generally this should happen within a few weeks, and certainly within one month from the job ending. During this time, you should use your best endeavours to find another suitable job and to lodge a VOC or a new visa application. If you are able to lodge a VOC or new visa application within a reasonable timeframe this will avoid the need to advise INZ about your job ending as the VOC, or the new visa application, effectively does this.

If you are unable to find a new job within a month our advice would be to apply for a visitor visa to maintain your lawful status while you are considering your future options.

Changing jobs, and especially having your job end, can be a challenging situation and especially when your visa status is dependent on your job. In this situation it is important to seek professional advice about your visa options by contacting one of Pathways™ licensed immigration advisers .