The new Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV) went into effect on July 4, 2022, and all employers who want to hire migrant workers must be accredited with Immigration New Zealand. The government has been signaling this change for three years and it is finally happening.
This visa was designed for people who have a skill that a New Zealand-accredited employer requires.
The AEWV replaced six work visas that were previously available:
- 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
- Silver Fern Practical Experience Visa
Important checks of AEWV:
- Employer check: The employer must be accredited to hire a migrant as a worker from overseas. Employers can apply for standard accreditation and high-volume accreditation (for six or more workers on AEWVs)
- Job check: This involves that the employer pays the market rate. A Labour Market Test is required.
- Migrant check: The visa applicant must meet health and character requirements and have skills and experience in relation to the job check.
Different levels of AEWV:
- Standard accreditation is for standard businesses hiring up to 5 migrants.
- High-volume accreditation is for standard businesses hiring 6 or more migrants.
- Franchisee accreditation is for businesses that are part of a franchise. There is no limit to how many migrants you can hire.
- Controlling third party accreditation is for businesses who place migrants with third parties while being the direct employer named in the employment agreement. There is no limit to how many migrants you can hire.
- A full-time job offer in New Zealand (at least 30 hours per week) AND the New Zealand employer is accredited by Immigration New Zealand.
- The New Zealand employer made genuine (though unsuccessful) attempts to fill the position with a New Zealander.
- You must be qualified for the job and be paid at or above the NZ median wage ($27.76/hour as of June 2022).
- You must be in good health and have a good character
- You must have the necessary skills and qualifications for the job you’ve been offered
- There must be no New Zealanders available do the work you’ve been offered unless a waiver applies
Benefits of AEWV:
- Work for an accredited employer in New Zealand.
- Live and work in New Zealand for up to three years if your salary is at or above the New Zealand median wage, and up to two years if your salary is less than the median wage.
- Study for up to three months in any 12-month period, or do any required study as part of your job.
- If you earn at least NZD $43,322.76 per year, you can pay for your dependent child’s visitor or student visa.
- Work only for the employer who offered you the visa application for the duration of your visa — if your situation changes, you must change the terms of your visa or apply for a new visa.
- To enter New Zealand, your dependent spouse or partner will be granted a visitor visa. Most spouses and partners who want to work in New Zealand must apply for an AEWV separately. These applications will be accepted beginning in December 2022.
The role of the employer in applying for an AEWV:
1. Request Accreditation :
Employers in New Zealand can apply for one of four levels of accreditation:
- Standard accreditation: Standard businesses can hire up to five migrants.
- Accreditation at a high volume: Standard businesses that hire six or more migrants
- Franchisee accreditation: Franchise businesses with no limit on the number of migrants they can hire.
- Controlling third-party accreditation: Companies that place migrants with third parties while remaining the direct employer named in the employment agreement, with no limit on the number of migrants the company can hire.
2. Publish the Position:
Before hiring from overseas, Immigration New Zealand requires the employer to confirm that no suitable New Zealand citizens or residents are available for the position.
The employer must do so by posting a job advertisement that meets Immigration New Zealand’s requirements.
3. Submit an Application for a Job Check:
Employers must apply for a job check once they are accredited and have a job ad. With the job check, Immigration New Zealand will evaluate the job offer, employment agreement, and advertisement.
4. Request that the migrant apply for an AEWV visa :
When the job check is approved, the employer can instruct the migrant to apply for a visa. If their visa is approved, they can begin working under the terms of their visa.
5. Timing and procedure :
- All accreditation, job screening, and AEWV application processes are completed online.
- Employer accreditation applications were opened on May 23 and are currently taking approximately 10 working days to process – though high demand may impact this timing.
- Job check applications were opened on June 20 and will take approximately 10 working days to process.
- Migrant check/AEWV applications submitted on July 4th are expected to take approximately 20 working days to process.
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