Accredited Employer Work Visa

Want to live and work in New Zealand? If you have a certain skillset, you may qualify for the Accredited Employer Work Visa. This guide explains the application process and what to expect.

What is an Accredited employer work visa?

An Accredited Employer Work Visa allows an employee to live and work in New Zealand for up to three years. Certain occupations can also gain a pathway to residence. These jobs are listed on what is called “The Green List”, and for these roles, migrants can apply for residence immediately if they are within the listed professions or after completing two years of work in NZ. This visa category is for workers whose skills are in high demand in New Zealand but are not available locally.

Find out more about the Green list of occupations and criteria here.

What are the criteria for the AEWV?

Applicants must have a full-time job offer from an accredited New Zealand employer:

  • who has been unable to fill that position with a local worker
  • who has completed a Job Check
  • the employer needs to demonstrate that the pay is equal or above the median wage
  • and the employer must be able to demonstrate that attempts to recruit talent locally have failed by completing a labour market test.

All applicants must:

  • Meet “good character” requirements – a police certificate from your country of origin is required
  • Meet “good health” requirements – a medical certificate from your country of origin is required
  • Provide evidence of work experience and qualifications for the job offered

What is the application process and how long does it take?

You apply online. Immigration New Zealand has said it takes 20 – days (on average) and up to 44 working days to process the visa application. As soon as you have a job offer, you should begin getting your documents in order, including work verification documents, evidence of qualifications, police clearances, and medical and X-ray certificates.

To apply, send your application, supporting documents, and application fees to Immigration New Zealand.

Note: There is no official list of accredited employers. Employers do not need to declare online that they are accredited. If you have a job offer and are in doubt about an employer’s accreditation status your best option is to simply ask if they are accredited.

Pro tip: To reduce your processing time, make sure your application is error-free and includes complete information and all documentation as specified by INZ requirements. Not sure you’ve done it all correctly? Contact us to evaluate your case.

How much does the AEWV application cost?

Application costs will vary, depending on your country of origin and what country you’re in when you apply for your visa. Also bear in mind that you will have to pay for medical screenings, police records, and possibly translations. The AEWV Visa cost starts at $750. To confirm your fee, visit INZ fee finder and enter your location.

There are no refunds if your application is declined. For country-specific information on application costs, visit INZ’s fees finder.

When to get help

If you’re considering applying for the AEWV to work in New Zealand, you should seek legal advice at the outset. If your visa application is rejected, your fees will not be refunded, and you’ll have to start the entire process over from the beginning.

The AEWV category produces a significant number of unsuccessful applications due to applicants not fully understanding or completing the paperwork. What things do people most often get wrong on their Visa application?

Common reasons for rejection include:

  • Applicants may not be able to prove their ability to do the job at the level required
  • Job experience or skills achieved overseas may not match the criteria of the job check application or fail to meet the standards required
  • Character requirements are not met
  • Health conditions are not met

In our experience, many applicants and employers misinterpret the rules set forth by INZ and fail to meet the requirements.

How we can assist

We can review your application and advise you on what evidence you should provide to build the best case. Employers are unlikely to hold a job open for you if you run into difficulty obtaining a visa, so it’s important that all documentation is accurate and up to date to ensure smooth processing for all parties involved.


Want to learn more?

For information about other visa types, check out our Partnership Visa Guide and tips on how to navigate the New Zealand Immigration System.

If you want the best chance of success, don’t leave anything to chance. Engage professional assistance from NZIL and ensure you get it right the first time. Contact us today.

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