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New Accredited Employer Work Visa for Employees

understanding the changes: From Essential Skills to AEWV

What is happening?

On July 03 2022 INZ will stop accepting all Essential Skills Work Visa applications and on July 04 will open the Accredited Employer Work Visa.


The Essential Skills Work Visa (ESWV) is the most common and standard form of temporary work visa in NZ. For many migrants, the ESWV is just “the work visa” for which they are eligible. While there are certainly other types of work visas, the ESWV is for many the easiest pathway to stay and work in NZ after a student/visitor/working holiday visa and before being eligible to apply for residency. This is why the announced changes are so important for thousands of people bout in and outside NZ.

What is the Accredited Employer Work Visa?

The Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV) is a new temporary entry visa that is the replacement for the ESWV.

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What are the differences that the new visa will bring?

The main difference between the 2 visas is the application stages. Currently, for the ESWV, the application is done in a single stage while for the AEWV this will be divided into 3:


Employer Accreditation


Job Check


Visa Application

Going from 1 stage to 3 sounds scary. Is this new visa going to be way more complicated to obtain than the ESWV?

The main change that the AEWV introduces to the migration process is employer accreditation. Currently, employer accreditation was only required for employers who wanted to sponsor their employees for a very specific type of visa. The vast majority of employers sponsoring ESWV are not accredited. The AEWV will change that. All employers who want to hire a migrant in NZ will need to be accredited.

On the other hand, the job check and the visa application are stages that are, for the most, already part of the ESWV process. The job check might have stricter conditions regarding advertising the position or the wage, but the definitive instructions have not been released yet. As of now, INZ says that all jobs need to pay the national medium wage (set to be $27.76 from July 4) but it also said that is considering whether there will be any exemptions to this norm and will provide more flexibility when calculating the pay rate for the AEWV.

Are you an Employer?

Check our advice on employer accreditation

What happens if my visa is about to expire and my employer hasn’t completed their accreditation in time?

INZ currently states: “If you are in New Zealand with an expiring visa, and your employer has not completed the steps in time for you to apply before expiry, you can apply for a bridging visa. This will be a visitor visa, and will not allow you to work.”
We will update as soon as we have more information about this bridging visa.

Is there any update regarding residency pathways and the Skilled Migrant Category?

The Skilled Migrant Category remains suspended until further notice, however, INZ has said it’s being reviewed. About new residency pathways, INZ says that “A pathway to residence will be introduced in the future for migrants who have held an AEWV for 2 years and are paid at least 200% of the median wage” No more information is available at the moment.

What are the prices and timeframes of each stage?

Employer registration

Fees from $740 to 3870,
Duration from 12 to 24 months.

Job Check

Fees of $610, valid for 6 months
(or expiration of employer accreditation, whatever happens first).


Fees of $540,
visa valid for 3 years.

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