Breaking News: Further Changes to New Zealand’s AEWV Scheme

Breaking News: Further Changes to New Zealand’s AEWV Scheme


The New Zealand Government has announced significant changes to the AEWV scheme that is Accredited Employer Work Visa as of 26 June 2024. These adjustments primarily impact the visa applications of partners and dependent children of AEWV holders in certain roles. Our detailed guide will navigate you through these changes, providing a clear understanding of the new requirements and their implications.

Overview of AEWV Scheme Changes

Effective immediately, AEWV holders in roles classified under Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO) levels 4 and 5, who do not have a pathway to residency, are no longer able to support visa applications for their partners and dependent children. This change aligns with the broader modifications to the AEWV scheme implemented earlier this year, reverting to settings similar to those under the previous Essential Skills Work Visa.

Key Changes Explained

1. Impacted Roles and Classifications

ANZSCO Levels 4 and 5: These levels encompass a variety of occupations generally requiring lower skill levels. AEWV holders in these roles without a residency pathway can no longer support family visas.

2. Residency Pathways

Exemptions for Residency Pathways: These modifications do not apply to AEWV holders in ANZSCO level 4 and level 5 roles with a residence track. This includes those on the Green List, those covered by sector agreements with residence pathways, and those earning at least 1.5 times the median wage threshold for the Skilled Migrant Category.

Visa Applications for Family Members

1. Independent Visa Applications

Visa Options for Partners and Dependents: Partners and dependent children of AEWV holders can still apply for visas independently. They can seek an Accredited Employer Work Visa or an international student visa, provided they meet the specific requirements of these visas.

2. Existing Visa Holders and Applications

Current Visa Holders: Individuals who already hold visas as a partner or dependent child are not impacted by these changes. Their visas remain valid under the terms they were granted.

Applications in Progress: Applications currently in progress for partners or dependent children will be assessed based on the requirements that were in place at the time of their application submission.

Also read: Update on Employer Accreditation Renewals: Comprehensive Guidance

AEWV Scheme Implications and Next Steps

  • For Employers

Employers must understand these changes to provide accurate guidance to their employees holding AEWVs. This understanding is crucial for maintaining workforce stability and ensuring compliance with immigration regulations.

  • For Employees

AEWV holders need to review their current visa status and consider their options if they are in ANZSCO level 4 and 5 roles without a residency pathway. They should also communicate with their partners and dependent children about the independent visa application processes.


The recent changes to the AEWV scheme reflect the New Zealand Government’s ongoing efforts to align immigration policies with broader economic and social objectives. While these changes introduce new challenges for AEWV holders in certain roles, understanding the new regulations and available options is essential for navigating this transition smoothly.

By staying informed and seeking appropriate advice, employers, employees, and their families can adapt to these changes effectively, ensuring compliance and continued opportunities within New Zealand’s immigration framework.

In order to provide a seamless and effective procedure to clients requiring Accredited Employer Work Visas in New Zealand, Immigration Chambers can offer professional counsel through their team of multilingual professional immigration lawyers during the visa application process. Get in touch with our Licensed Immigration Advisers Auckland at advice@iclegal.co.nz or call on +64 9 802 1151 for any queries regarding the recent update.