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What is an Accredited Employer Work Visa NZ

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What is an Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV) NZ?

The Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV) is the most common work visa for people wanting to work in New Zealand.  This visa involves a 3 steps approach, and has several requirements for both the migrant and the employer applying for the job check, and later issuing the job offer.

Important Updates as of April 2024: Immigration New Zealand (INZ) introduced significant changes to the employer, and employee requirements in order to apply for this visa.  The changes also included (for some roles) reductions to the maximum length of this visa.

Quick Visa Summary


Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV)


2 + 1 year for some jobs Or Up to 5 years (specific roles)

Our Fees


Immigration New Zealand (INZ) Fees


Processing Time After Lodgement

Up to 12 weeks


Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV)


2 + 1 year for some jobs Or Up to 5 years (specific roles)

Our Fees


Immigration New Zealand (INZ) Fees


Processing Time After Lodgement

Up to 12 weeks

AEWV Overview

The Accredited Employer Work Visa requirements operate on a 3-check system.
Two steps are employer led and the last step is the visa application itself.

Changes to the AEWV introduced in April 2024.

Relevant experience or relevant qualifications for the job is the first newly introduced requirement 

  • At least 3 years of relevant experience in the job.
  • At least a level 4 diploma (assessed via NZQA)

This is applicable to all job roles and ANZSCO levels, except to those roles in the green list (and meets the Green List role requirement) or jobs paying twice the national median wage.

The visa length has been reduced to 2 years for roles under the ANZSCO Levels 4 and 5, with the possibility of extending the visa an additional year using a new job check application. 

This restriction is not applicable to roles in the ANZSCO levels 4 and 5 that 

  • Are on the green list or, 
  • Are in the transport and care sector agreements and are already in a pathway to residence or, 
  • Are earning 1.5 the national median wage. 

These changes do not affect roles in ANZSCO levels 1, 2 and 3.   Their maximum visa duration remains at 5 years.

Applicants for an AEWV in roles under level 4 or 5 in the ANZCO must now meet the updated English level requirements.  

This entails achieving one of the following:

  • An IELTS (standard or academic) or an One Skill retake with level 4 overall
  • A TOEFL with 31 points overall 
  • A PTE (academic) with 29 overall 
  • Cambridge English B2 first (or First for schools) with 142 overall 
  • An OET with grade D or higher (in all 4 skills)

Other changes have also been introduced to employers when applying for job checks.

Are you an Employer?

Check our advice on employer accreditation

What do you need to apply

Discover the essential requirements you need to obtain the accredited employee work visa in New Zealand and prepare your application with confidence.


Typically a copy of your passport and an acceptable photo

Character information

Typically, a police check (PCC) for your country of origin and those countries where you have lived more than 12 months

Health information

Typically Medicals and x-rays

Job Offer & Job token

Several employer documents, including but not limited to an employment agreement complying with INZ’s regulation.  This includes but it is not limited to the job check application, wage requirements, advertisement duration, etc.

Proof of relevant experience or relevant qualification

New since April 2024

Occupational registration

Applicable to some roles

English language (tests)

As required

The AEWV has replaced several prior visa types:

Since its implementation in July 2022, this visa has replaced the following temporary visa categories:

It’s important to note that certain temporary visa categories, including partnership visas, working holiday visas, and student visas with work rights, remain unaffected by the AEWV policy.

What are the Visa processing times in NZ?

According to the New Zealand government website, it can take up to 12 weeks for processing. Click here to get the latest information. Some applications take more time than others, which usually depends on the following factors:

The application is not complete or it is overloaded

Sometimes the applications are missing key documents, which the government needs to ask for. It also could happen that you sent more information or documents than what was needed, and this could slow the application too. It is important to send exactly what was asked for.

The government needs more information

They will send you letters asking for the needed documents. For some visas, you can check your application status online to know if there is anything missing or if the process is moving forward.

The government is waiting for information from others

The government may ask other organisations for information like international qualification verification or international police certificates. It takes time for other organisations to provide the documents we ask for. We cannot control how long those organisations take to provide the documents.

There is a high volume of applications

This circumstantial situation can slow your application process.

Got Questions?

We are here to help you

The increased complexity of the AEWV application process may be daunting to many.

It’s crucial to stay informed and ensure compliance with immigration laws, and latest regulations, in order to increase your chances of a successful application.

Our professional team is dedicated to navigating you through these complexities, maximising your chances when applying for this visa or providing the best options for your case.

Feel free to reach out to us for assistance. We’re here to support you at every stage of the journey.

Some Frequently asqued questions

Self-employment is not permitted under this visa. However, you can apply for an Entrepreneur Visa, which allows you to stay up to 12 months for the start-up stage of your visa, and 24 more months once you prove that you started your business.

If your business is related to science or ICT sectors or shows a high level of innovation or export potential, a potential requirement will be waiving a NZD $100,000 capital investment. 

The Entrepreneur Work Visa will not be granted if you’ve been made bankrupt, been involved in a business failure in the last 5 years, or been involved in fraud or financial wrongdoing.

As per the latest changes, this could be 2+1 years (on lower ANZSCO levels roles that are not in the green list) and up to 5 years for roles in levels 1, 2, or 3 of the ANZSCO list.

This is the time you are required to stay outside of New Zealand once you reach the maximum continuous stay of your AEWV visa. This is typically 12 months before you can apply and get another AEWV.

If you hold or are granted an AEWV -but not for a Green List role-, your partner or spouse can apply for a work visa with conditions. You need to earn at least the median wage, but not more than twice the median wage.

Your spouse or partner can only work for an accredited employer, cannot be self-employed, and cannot work for less than the median wage in roles covered by a capped sector agreement (meat or seafood processing).

Are you an accredited employer?

Check our advice on employer accreditation