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Accredited Employer Work Visa Changes

Accredited Employer Work Visa Changes

Summary of Changes

The Essential Skills Work Visa and Talent (Accredited Employer) Work Visa will be replaced by the new Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV) from 4 July 2022. To hire migrant workers on an AEWV, employers will have to be accredited and submit a job check for the relevant roles before hiring a migrant.

After months of extremely restricted border movements, the plan of reconnecting New Zealand with the world was announced by the New Zealand Government on 3 February 2022.  The new AEWV is part of step 4. It will be open to applications from migrants within New Zealand & from other countries from July 2022.

Also, the Prime Minister has announced that a new minimum wage threshold set at the median wage will be introduced for the AEWV as part of the planned Immigration Rebalance changes.

Awaiting decisions

Whether there will be any exceptions to the median wage rule and whether additional restrictions will apply to some roles still hasn’t been decided by the Government.

INZ Streamlines Steps Involved

Changes have been made to streamline the accreditation and job check steps:

  • High volume accreditation will no longer include requirements like jobs must pay at least 10% above minimum wage or be covered by a collective agreement. This is because the new median wage threshold will apply to everyone.
  • High-volume accreditation will have the same requirements as standard accreditation. However, employers who want to hire more than 5 more on AEWVs at one time must still apply for high-volume accreditation and pay a higher fee.
  • Employers can upgrade from standard to high-volume accreditation at any point of time during the accreditation period but will have to pay a fee. This fee is for the additional risk assurance activities that INZ may have to undertake as the impact of non-compliant cases increases with an increase in the number of migrants employed by a business. There may be further requirements for high-volume employers in the future.
  • Additional accreditation requirements remain for employers who are franchisees or who place AEWV holders with controlling third parties. However, there is no limit on the number of AEWV holders they can employ at one time.
  • The labour market test is no longer regionalized at the job check stage. Vacancies must be advertised by all employers unless the role pays at least twice the median wage.
  • There will be more flexibility in how INZ calculates whether a migrant meets the median wage threshold.

More information regarding the new accreditation and the AEWV can be found here

AEWV Implementation Dates

  • 23 May 2022 – Employers can apply for accreditation
  • 20 June 2022 – Accredited employers can submit a job check
  • 4 July 2022 – Migrants can apply for an AEWV where the employer is accredited & the job check has been completed

Migrant workers can still apply for the Essential Skills Work Visa until 3 July 2022. Employers do not need to apply for accreditation from 23 May 2022 unless they intend on hiring migrant workers on the AEWV soon after 4 July 2022.

Accreditation will be a simple & low-touch assessment for most employers.

Median Wage

From 4 July 2022, the median wage will increase from NZ$ 27.00 to NZ$ 27.76 per hour, in line with when the AEWV opens for migrants.

Employers who submit a job check before 4 July 2022 must use the new median wage figure since the visa applications will be lodged on or after this date.

Get in touch with Immigration Advisors New Zealand Ltd, which provides up-to-date immigration information so you can consider opportunities and prepare yourself for the future. To know all the required procedures, contact us at [email protected]  or call on +64 09 3790219.

Author Details

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Vandana Rai

(LIA 201400900)

Vandana Rai is a Senior Licensed Immigration Adviser and has built a reputation around her rare set of skills, which could be considered ideal for her legal profession.

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