Visa News
June 28, 2023

Work Visa rules set to change – again!

In November 2023, the AEWV will have a five-year maximum stay imposed. This means holders of AEWV may only work in New Zealand for up to five years.
Work Visa rules set to change – again!

In November 2023, the Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV) is set to change. This visa only allow a five-year maximum stay. This means anyone holding an AEWV may only work in New Zealand for up to five years. If the holder of an AEWV does not qualify for residence, they must leave New Zealand and cannot apply for another AEWV from offshore for 12 months or longer. This requirement to be outside of New Zealand called a “stand down period”. 

A person already working on an AEWV will be able to extend their visa up to the five-year maximum once the new rules come into force in November 2023. Time already spent working on an AEWV will count towards the five year limit.

Employers still need to satisfy Immigration NZ; there are no NZ citizens or residents suitable and available to do a job being filled by a migrant worker before the next AEWV is granted. Businesses will find the stand down period difficult to manage when good workers will get to the end of the five-year visa and then must leave the country. 

Tougher rules for partners of migrant workers qualifying for work visas were rolled out on 31 May. Partners issued with a partner work visa have the following visa conditions attached:

  • May only work for an accredited employer; and
  • Cannot be self-employed; and
  • Paid at or above the median wage (currently NZ$29.66 per hour) unless working in jobs covered by certain sector agreements.

There is an exception if migrant workers hold a work visa based on a Green List occupation or by paid twice the median wage. In these cases a partners can work for any employer and the median wage requirement does not apply. 

Partners wanting to renew their current partner work visas should take immigration advice before they apply to make sure they qualify.   

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