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Temporary Work Visa Transition Information For Employers

NZ Work Visa

With effect from 1 November 2021, a single Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV) replaces the following six temporary work visas:

  • Essential Skills Work Visa
  • Essential Skills Work Visa — approved in principle
  • Talent (Accredited Employer) Work Visa
  • Long Term Skill Shortage List Work Visa
  • Silver Fern Job Search Visa (closed 7 October 2019)
  • Silver Fern Practical Experience Visa

Effect On Employers Hiring Migrants

As a precursor to the new Accredited Employer Work Visa policy, three of the existing accreditation and approval in principle policies stand non-effective from 30 June 2021. The three policies declared non-effective from 30 June 2021 are:

  • Accredited Employer (Talent- Accredited Employer)
  • Approval in Principle (Essential Skills)
  • Labour Hire Accreditation (Essential Skills)

As evident, those employers unable to apply for a new status or renew a current status under these policies will no longer be able to do so from 30 June 2021.

Effect On Migrant Employees

Until 31 October 2021, Migrants will be able to apply for temporary work visas, like Essential Skills and Talent (Accredited Employer) Work to Residence visa. Thereafter, Accredited Employer Work Visa will have to be applied for.

Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV) Application Process

The new AEWV application process will be a three-step employer-led process. Before hiring a migrant on the AEWV employers form 01 November 2021 onwards will need to:

  • Have accreditation under the new system.
  • Apply for a job check to New Zealanders availability.
  • Request a migrant worker to apply for a visa.

As part of the job check, the migrant will need to meet the skills and experience stipulated by the employer for the role.

Just So That You Know

  • Employers will be able to hire migrants under the Essential Skills visa category without accreditation or approval in principle, up until 31 October 2021.
  • Employers who already employ a migrant on a temporary work visa don’t need to keep their accreditation active for the duration of the migrant’s visa.

Important Timelines To Remember

Employers who depend on the migrant workforce in their business must be mindful of important timelines in the interest of their employees.

To be able to use one of these employer accreditation or approval in principle policies between now and 31 October 2021, holding appropriate status is critical e.g

  • If your current status is due to expire between now and 31 October 2021, and you want to use it over this time, you must apply to renew this by 30 June 2021.
  • If your status isn’t due to expire before 31 October 2021, you don’t need to do anything at this time.
  • New applications must be submitted by 30 June 2021. As long as they are submitted by this date, they will continue to be processed.

Additional Information For Migrants

  • The changes to accredited employer work visas will not affect other work visas holders under this new regime.
  • Migrants who have a Work to Residence visa can still apply for residence after 31 October 2021.
  • Migrants who have a current temporary work visa will not be affected by these changes as long as they meet their visa conditions and their visa remains valid.

Temporary Work Visas Not Affected Under New Policy

  • Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) Limited Visa
  • Working holiday schemes
  • Post-study Work Visa
  • Fishing Crew Work Visa
  • Religious Worker Work Visa
  • Specific Purpose Work Visa
  • Partnership work visas including Partner of a Worker Work Visa, Partner of a New Zealander Work Visa, and a Partner of a Student Work Visa.
  • Work visas granted for international or humanitarian reasons, such as domestic staff of diplomats, consular and official staff, and for refugee or protection status claimants.


  • Employers will be able to apply for accreditation from late September, ahead of the 1 November 2021 introduction date.
  • Employers don’t need to be accredited in the new system by 1 November 2021 if they do not plan to start hiring migrants on AEWVs at this time.
  • Employers only need to be accredited under the new system to start hiring migrants on AEWVs.
  • Employers who want to start hiring migrants on AEWVs soon after 1 November 2021 should consider applying during the pre-accreditation period.
  • Businesses employing migrants who hold a current talent or essential skill visa don’t need to become accredited until they want to hire someone on the new visa.

If you have any queries regarding any of the temporary work visa, please contact us. Our team of experienced Licenced Immigration Advisers is here to assist you with all your immigration-related

queries and confusions; please contact us by sending an email at [email protected] or call us on +64 09 3790219

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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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