Accredited Employer Work Visa: A Step-by-Step Guide for Employers and Migrant Workers

Learn everything you need to know about the Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV), the primary temporary work visa category in New Zealand for hiring skilled foreign workers. This guide covers the application process, verification steps, post-accreditation checks, and more.

In the realm of temporary work visas in New Zealand, the Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV) takes centre stage. Tailored as an employer-led initiative, this visa pathway serves as a conduit for hiring foreign workers while prioritizing the interests of New Zealanders in the job market.

Designed to streamline the hiring process for skilled foreigners, the AEWV aims to address genuine skill or labour shortages without compromising on the protection of local talent.


Additionally, it plays a pivotal role in combatting migrant exploitation by mandating that only accredited firms can engage foreign workers.

Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV)

The Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV) is the primary temporary work visa category in New Zealand, designed to facilitate the recruitment of skilled foreign workers by accredited employers to address genuine skill or labour shortages.

  • Length of Stay: Up to 3 years
  • Cost: From NZD $750
  • Processing Time: 90% within 65 weekdays

Recently, New Zealand has announced a series of transformative changes to its Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV) category, aimed at enhancing the rights of migrants and simplifying the visa application procedure. These changes, set to take effect soon, will impact both accredited employers and foreign job seekers looking to work in the country.

AEWV Application Process

Securing an Accredited Employer Work Visa involves a meticulous process facilitated through Immigration Online. Applicants undergo automated checks, including medical, character, and police verifications, before their submissions are reviewed by immigration officers.

This careful screening ensures that only deserving candidates proceed through the visa application process.

AEWV vs. Essential Skills Work Visa

Marking a transition from the Essential Skills work visa, the AEWV has been in operation since October 24, 2023. Notably, Immigration New Zealand (INZ) has given the nod to 92,342 AEWV applications, showcasing the popularity and relevance of this streamlined approach.


The shift from employer checks during migrant applications to the current employer accreditation system signifies a strategic move towards efficiency and fairness.

Accreditation Process

Prior to extending invitations for AEWV applications, employers must navigate the accreditation process with the New Zealand Immigration Department.

This involves promoting the position if necessary and applying for a Job Check. The application processing time typically exceeds 10 days, reflecting the thoroughness of the evaluation.

Verification Steps

The AEWV application process unfolds through various verification steps, including accreditation, job check, and work visa stages.


Post-accreditation checks, comprising 15% of the process, encompass random and targeted evaluations on a sample of accredited employer types. This includes checks on franchisees and controlling third-party business models, addressing any concerns raised through complaints.

Post-Accreditation Checks

Post-accreditation checks, integrated into the AEWV scheme, serve as routine evaluations unrelated to potential concerns about employers involving migrant workers. This comprehensive approach ensures that the system remains robust and secure.

Moreover, AEWV holders enjoy the flexibility to apply for a Job Change, allowing them to switch employers, roles, or locations, offering a safety net in case of unforeseen job losses.

Job Change Application Process

AEWV holders can apply to change their employer, job, or location under the Job Change application process. This flexibility provides AEWV migrants with greater certainty, including in job loss.


Additional Key Points

  • AEWV holders can work in New Zealand for an accredited employer offering at least 30 work hours per week.
  • AEWV holders are permitted to study for up to three months within a 12-month or undertake the required study as part of their employment.
  • AEWV holders may be eligible to apply for a Straight to Residence Visa, Work to Residence Visa, Care Workforce or Transport Work to Residence Visa.
  • Skilled work experience gained in New Zealand through the AEWV can contribute points towards the Skilled Migrant Category Resident Visa.


The AEWV streamlines the process of hiring skilled foreign workers while prioritizing New Zealanders for employment opportunities. The comprehensive verification steps and post-accreditation checks ensure that AEWV holders are employed under fair and compliant conditions.

The AEWV offers a valuable pathway for addressing genuine skill or labour shortages in New Zealand while safeguarding the rights and well-being of migrant workers.

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Manish Khandelwal
Manish Khandelwal

Manish Khandelwal, a tech enthusiast with over a decade of experience in the travel industry. Founder and Editor-in-Chief of, he's passionate about writing.

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