New AEWV Scheme: Significant changes you need to know

New AEWV Scheme: Significant changes you need to know

At Immigration Chambers, we understand the pivotal role that the Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV) scheme plays in the realm of New Zealand immigration. The recent announcement by the government on 7 April 2024 regarding substantial changes to this scheme has sent ripples through the business landscape, impacting employers and visa applicants alike.

This article explains the complicated changes to the policy in a way that is easy to understand for everyone involved, including business owners, HR managers, people who hire new workers, and migrant workers.

Impact on AEWV Holders

Duration of Stay

For individuals currently holding an AEWV, the changes may influence the duration of their stay in New Zealand. Those who secured their first AEWV before June 21, 2023, and are engaged in ANZSCO level 4 and 5 occupations meeting the required wage threshold will no longer qualify for the maximum duration of five years. Instead, they may be subject to shorter visa durations.

Eligibility for Further Visas

Applicants seeking renewal of their AEWV on or after April 7, 2024, will need to fulfill the updated criteria. Particularly for individuals in ANZSCO level 4 and 5 roles, there may be restrictions on the maximum duration of stay, necessitating adherence to the revised guidelines.

Key Changes Affecting Employers

Meeting Skill Requirements

Ensuring compliance with the AEWV skill requirements set by Immigration NZ (INZ) is now paramount for employers. This includes verifying that applicants possess a minimum of 3 years of relevant work experience and the skills specified in the Job Check.

Expanded Grounds for Accreditation Suspension

The scope for suspending accreditation has widened, encompassing any potential breach, not just specific accreditation requirements. Maintaining accurate records is imperative, with INZ holding employers accountable, irrespective of whether they manage this directly or through third parties.

ANZSCO Assessment Standardization

ANZSCO assessment has become standard procedure, aligning with the new policies indexed to ANZSCO skill levels. Employers must anticipate a deeper assessment against ANZSCO codes, now integral to AEWV applications.

Enhanced Job Check Requirements for ANZSCO Level 4 and 5 Roles

Employers seeking to fill positions at ANZSCO levels 4 and 5 face additional obligations, including extended advertisement durations for 21 days rather than 14 days and engagement with Work and Income. Moreover, declaration in the Job Check regarding unsuccessful New Zealand applicants is now mandatory.

Definition of ‘Suitable and Available New Zealanders’

A clear definition now exists for ‘suitable and available New Zealanders’, necessitating employers to declare if no local applicant meets this criterion. Failure to do so may result in Job Check declination.

Revised Process for Migrant Employee Departure Reporting

Employers must promptly inform INZ within 10 working days if a worker on AEWV leaves their job a month or more before visa expiration. Non-compliance can jeopardize accreditation status.

Phasing Out of Franchisee Accreditation

The Franchisee Accreditation type will cease to exist by late 2024, prompting affected employers to transition to standard, high volume, or triangular accreditation models.

Also read: AEWV Employer Accreditation: How To Apply

Changes Affecting Employees

Reduced Duration for ANZSCO Level 4 and 5 Roles

Workers in ANZSCO level 4 and 5 roles, applying for AEWV after 7 April 2024, are subject to reduced visa durations, impacting their stay in New Zealand.

Minimum English Requirement

English language proficiency is now a prerequisite for AEWV applicants in ANZSCO level 4 and 5 roles. Multiple acceptable English tests, including IELTS and Pearson, are outlined.

Minimum Work Experience or Qualification Mandate

Applicants from 7 April 2024 must meet government-set minimum requirements, necessitating a minimum of 3 years of work experience or a Level 4 relevant qualification.

Work to Residence Changes for Bus and Truck Drivers

Bus and truck drivers applying for AEWV after 7 April 2024 will no longer be eligible for a Transport Sector Work to Residence visa.

Updates to Green List and Sector Agreements

Green List Amendments

The Green List saw additions and omissions, affecting eligibility for certain roles. Notably, roles like Aviation Engineer and Naval Architect have been included, while others have been removed.

Construction & Infrastructure Sector Agreement Alterations

Several roles under the Construction & Infrastructure Sector Agreement will no longer progress, impacting the eligibility of individuals in these professions.


In conclusion, these changes to the AEWV scheme signify a paradigm shift in New Zealand’s immigration landscape. At Immigration Chambers, we recognize the importance of staying abreast of such developments and are committed to guiding businesses and individuals through these transitions. By adapting to changing labor market dynamics and enhancing visa requirements, New Zealand aims to sustain its attractiveness to skilled migrants while safeguarding the interests of both employers and local talent.

Changes to the Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV)