Transitioning to the new Accredited Employer Work Visa

The Government has confirmed the Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV) will be introduced on 4 July 2022.

Businesses and regions are encouraged to train, upskill and hire New Zealand workers. Where genuine skill or labour shortages exist, accredited employers can hire skilled migrant workers using the AEWV.

Employers must be accredited to employ migrants on the new visa. Applications for accreditation will open on 9 May 2022.

Some WTR visas close to new applications on 31 October 2021

On 7 May 2021, the Government confirmed that the Talent (Accredited Employer) Work Visa and the Long Term Skill Shortage List Work Visa will close to new (first time) applications on 31 October 2021. These visas are being phased out in preparation for the AEWV.

Transition information is available about:

  • applications submitted by 31 October 2021
  • changing employers
  • if an employer’s accreditation has expired since the visa application was submitted
  • applying for a subsequent WTR visa while awaiting the outcome of a Residence from Work application
  • applying for a subsequent WTR visa if currently unable to return to New Zealand.​

Employers can continue to employ onshore temporary migrant workers on an Essential Skills Work Visa, without employer accreditation, until the AEWV is introduced.

Key dates

Talent (Accredited Employer) Work Visa closes to new applications31 October 2021

Long Term Skill Shortage List Work Visa closes to new applications31 October 2021

Applications close for the Silver Fern Practical Experience Visa 31 October 2021

Applications open for AEWV employer accreditation 9 May 2022

Applications open for AEWV job checks9 May 2022

Applications close for the Essential Skills Work Visa 3 July 2022

Applications open for Accredited Employer Work Visa4 July 2022

Other temporary work visas such as Recognised Seasonal Employer Limited Visa and Working Holiday scheme visas are not affected by the introduction of the AEWV.

What migrant workers need to know about the transition

Migrants who have a current temporary work visa will not be affected by these changes as long as they are meeting their visa conditions and their visa remains valid. Work to Residence (WTR) visa holders who have applied for a Residence from Work (RFW) visa may apply for a subsequent WTR visa after 31 October 2021, if they meet the requirements under the relevant visa category.

Immigration New Zealand, INZ
October 25, 2021