Effective November 2023, the New Zealand Government will place a cap on the continuous stay permitted on an Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV) for individuals who do not have a clear path towards permanent residency. Those who do not meet the minimum educational, occupational, and wage criteria for skilled residency pathways will be required to exit the country for 12 months before applying for a new AEWV visa.
Individuals holding other temporary visas (such as Post Study Work Visa or Working Holiday Visa) will NOT have their time in New Zealand counted towards their five-year continuous stay under the AEWV.
Additionally, the maximum duration for the AEWV will be extended from three to five years, effective November 2023. This will apply only to new visas, while existing visa holders can apply for an extension of up to five years in total (inclusive of time previously spent on AEWV).
However, if you can show that you are on a pathway to skilled residence, you may be able to get a further AEWV. For example, if you start earning 1.5 times the median wage after 3 years on an AEWV and require 1 more year of skilled experience to qualify for 6 points for the Skilled Migrant Category Resident Visa, at the end of the 5 years on an AEWV.
This is an initial announcement by the Minister of Immigration, with more information to come in the upcoming months.
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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.