Banner with text: 'URGENT NEWS - New Changes to the AEWV Effective April 7, 2024.

Urgent Updates to AEWV Regulations: Effective April 7, 2024

As of April 7, significant changes have been introduced to the Accredited Employer Work Visa application process and system. 

This swift implementation, taking effect immediately, marks a departure from the usual practice in the New Zealand Immigration system, where prior changes typically allowed for weeks or even months of advance notice.

Quoting directly from Immigration New Zealand’s website, the new changes are substantial: “According to Immigration New Zealand, there are now higher work experience and qualification requirements, a standard of English for people applying to work in roles assessed as ANZSCO skill level 4 and 5, and a shorter stay in New Zealand if you are working in specific roles.

This affects several key aspects for migrants:

1. Qualifications or job experience necessary to apply for an AEWV.

2. Likely duration of the visa.

3. Stand-down period after a certain time.

4. English test requirements for specific job roles.

Qualification or job experience requirements

Unless your position is listed on the Green List and satisfies its criteria, or you’re paid at least double the median wage, the following now applies:

  • Minimum of 3 years’ relevant work experience, or
  • A relevant qualification at level 4 or higher on the New Zealand Qualifications and Credentials Framework (NZQCF).

Changes in the Minimum standard of English

Regarding the minimum standard of English, applicants for an AEWV for 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)

Revision of Maximum Visa Durations for Certain Jobs

For jobs listed at ANZCO levels 4 and 5, the maximum visa duration will be 24 months, extendable by an additional 12 months.

 Subsequently, what was previously named the “stand-down period” will be enforced, requiring applicants to depart the country for a typical period of 12 months.

However, certain ANZSCO level 4 and 5 roles will be exempt from these adjustments, notably those:

  • Listed on the Green List
  • Covered by transport and care sector agreements or on a residency pathway
  • Earning at least 1.5 times the median wage.

The duration of an AEWV and the maximum continuous stay for individuals in ANZSCO level 1 to 3 positions will remain unchanged at 5 years.

New requirements for employers 

In light of recent updates, employers seeking and maintaining accreditation in New Zealand are subject to enhanced criteria. 

Here’s what you need to know:

  • Adherence to Commitments: It is imperative to uphold the commitments made during the accreditation application process. This includes strict compliance with New Zealand’s employment laws, standards, and the Immigration Act 2009.
  • Prompt Communication: Employers must promptly notify authorities of any organizational changes or the cessation of employment for migrant workers. Particularly for accreditations approved, renewed, or upgraded after April 7, 2024, notification within 10 working days of a migrant worker with an AEWV leaving employment is mandatory.
  • Integrity Standards: Employers and key personnel are held to high integrity standards. This entails refraining from employing migrants without the appropriate visa or visa conditions, providing false information, or being involved in immigration breaches in other businesses.
  • Compliance Reporting: Any changes to key personnel within the organization must be reported within 10 working days. Failure to do so may result in non-compliance and potential accreditation revocation or suspension.

Post-accreditation Checks

Each year, a subset of accredited employers undergoes thorough checks to verify ongoing compliance with obligations.

Immigration New Zealand emphasizes the importance of taking their responsibilities seriously and following AEWV conditions closely.

Following assessment, INZ determines if further action is necessary, tailored to the severity of any findings. As of April 7, 2024, employers under active investigation for accreditation breaches risk immediate suspension.

These measures underscore INZ commitment to upholding standards and ensuring accountability among accredited employers.

When to Seek Professional Assistance

While these new changes may seem daunting and catch you off guard, it’s crucial to stay informed and ensure compliance with immigration laws.

Our professional team is dedicated to navigating you through these adjustments, ensuring your transition to living and working in New Zealand is seamless.

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