Immigration alert – AEWV visa duration and maximum stay updates
Currently, an Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV) can be granted for a maximum of 3 years. Provided the individual earns at least the median wage (currently $29.66), there is no limit on the amount of time an AEWV holder can spend in New Zealand.
Individuals employed under sector agreements or earning less than median wage have different maximum stay and time outside New Zealand requirements.
On 27 November 2023, the visa duration and maximum allowed stay rules will change. These changes include:
- Extensions to the maximum AEWV duration:
- 5 years for individuals paid at least the median wage.
- 3 years for individuals employed on the Care Workforce sector agreement, paid at levels 3 or 4.
- Introduction of a maximum continuous stay of 5 years for AEWV holders working in a role:
- paid at least the median wage;
- covered by the Care Workforce sector agreement, paid at level 4; or
- covered by the Transport or Seasonal Snow/Adventure Tourism sector agreements.
- Introduction of a maximum continuous stay of 3 years for AEWV holders covered by the Care Workforce sector agreement, paid at level 3.
At the end of a maximum allowed stay, the visa holder must spend at least 12 months outside of New Zealand before a further AEWV can be granted. However, individuals on a pathway to residence can remain on an AEWV without needing to spend 12 months outside of New Zealand. This will include individuals that need more time to gain sufficient skilled work experience to apply for residence.
AEWV holders earning less than median wage or under other sector agreements will continue to have different maximum stay and time outside New Zealand requirements.
Individuals approved an AEWV before 27 November 2023 will be able to apply to extend these, if they are eligible for a longer visa length. An employer will not need to re-advertise the role or submit another job check application as part of this renewal process, provided the visa conditions will be the same.
PDF version here.