Immigration Alert – Partner work rights

13 Jun 23


On 31 May 2023 the visa conditions for partners of Essential Skills and Accredited Employer Work Visa holders changed.

Most partners now need to work for an accredited employer and earn at least the median wage (currently $29.66). This is unless an uncapped sector agreement is in place allowing a lower hourly rate for that occupation.

Some flexibility has been retained, including:

  • No requirement to have a job offer.
  • No need for employers to advertise.
  • Freedom to move between compliant jobs without updating Immigration New Zealand (INZ).


These new conditions will not apply to:

  1. Partners of New Zealand citizens or residents.
  2. Partners of individuals who meet Green List requirements or earn double the median wage (currently $59.32).
  3. Partners of individuals holding other temporary visas e.g. specific purpose.

Accredited employer search tool

INZ has created a search tool to help partners check if an employer is accredited. This can be found here.

Our thoughts

This change will make it more difficult for employers to hire migrants on partnership visas. In most cases, employers will need to hold accreditation and offer median wage.

This update will not impact individuals that applied for partnership visas before 31 May 2023.


If you have any questions about this article, please contact Tash Rae or a member of our specialist Employment Team.

PDF version: here.

For more information contact:

Tash Rae