• 13th May 2022

New employer accreditation and work visa - New Zealand

New employer accreditation and work visa - New Zealand

New Zealand’s Essential Skills Work Visa has been replaced by the Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV) effective from 4th of July 2022. This is a new temporary visa and you must be accredited to hire migrant workers on an AEWV.


If you are an employer and you cannot find suitable New Zealanders for the job role, you can apply to hire migrants on the AEWV. There are three steps to hiring a migrant on the AEWV including accreditation, the job check, and the AEWV application. You can apply for accreditation from 23 May 2022 and for a job check from 20 June 2022.


As this is a new type of accreditation, you are still required to apply even if you have been accredited under the previous system.

Employers must meet a minimum set of accreditation requirements, including:

  • being able to show that they are a viable and genuinely operating business
  • showing that you are in compliance with employment, immigration, and business regulatory standards
  • completing activities in order to support the settlement of migrant employees.

There are different types of accreditations depending on your business model, and the number of migrants wish to employ. Depending on this, accreditation will be either simple or require additional documentation.

For standard business models, there are two different levels of accreditation, depending on how many migrants you want to hire:

  • Standard accreditation — if you want to employ up to 5 migrant workers on AEWVs at any one time.
  • High-volume accreditation — if you want to employ 6 or more migrant workers on AEWVs at any one time.

For franchisees and employers who place migrants with a controlling third party should apply for the accreditation suited to their business model. However, it is to be noted that such business models are an increased risk to migrant workers and thus employers are required to meet additional standards.


After you are accredited, you will need to apply for a job for each job you want to employ a migrant worker for. Employers are required to pay for a job check. Multiple positions for the same job can be included in one job check given that the job details are the same and are all covered by the same advertising and proposed employment agreement. A migrant worker can be hired on an AEWV for a job only if the employer passes the job check.

The job check confirms that:

  • Market rate is paid for job and meets wage thresholds applicable within the relevant job check pathway
  • Terms and conditions of the job are in compliance with New Zealand’s employment laws and standards
  • The job is for at least 30 hours per week
  • You have first advertised the job vacancy to New Zealanders (if required to) including the minimum and maximum expected pay rate and the skills or experience required.

This job check comes with an expiration date. So instances where you offer the job to a migrant but do not employ them, you can offer the job to another applicant. You would not have to redo the job check as long as it has not expired.


Once the job passes the job check, the migrant worker can apply for a visa. Immigration New Zealand checks whether the visa applicant meets the requirements for the AEWV, including that they have the skills and experience for the job.


Once your employer is accredited and passed the job, they can send you an invitation to apply for the job. When you apply for an AEWV you will need to show health, character, and skills and experience. If you have shown skills and experience previously, or through holding occupational registration, you do not need to provide evidence again.

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