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2022 Work Visa - Coming Changes

Immigration New Zealand has outlined some brief guidelines on the new Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV) that will replace the Essential Skills Work Visa category from 04 July 2022. 

If you are planning to apply for a work visa soon, then please take note - these changes could affect you, especially if you are in ongoing employment or earn less than $27.76! 

If applying for Essential Skills before 04 July… 

If applying for AEWV from 04 July… 



- Three-year visa length if paid $27 per hour or more 


- Two-year visa length if paid under $27 


- Streamlined process for ongoing employment (eg. no job advertisement needed)



- Three-year visa length if paid the new median wage of $27.76 or more


- Ineligible for a work visa if paid under $27.76 (exceptions may apply - details not yet confirmed)


- Job advertisement needed, including for ongoing employment, unless the role pays 200% the median wage



- One-step process: migrant worker submits a visa application.


- No ability to apply from 04/07/2022.


- $495 in INZ application fees 



- Three-step process (Employer expected to pay for steps one and two) 


- Step One (from 23/05/2022): Employer accreditation ($740 - $1220) 


- Step Two (from 20/06/2022): Job check (to prove no NZ workers are available) ($610) 


- Step Three (from 04/07/2022): Visa application and worker check ($540 plus $55 immigration levy)



- No work visa-related residence pathway (unrelated  residence pathways may exist however, eg. 2021RV) 



- If earning 200% the median wage you may have a pathway to residence on this work visa (details unconfirmed) 



- Eligibility criteria already established and confirmed


- Partner/Child eligibility criteria also confirmed



- Eligibility criteria not yet confirmed (as of 23/03/2022)


- Partner/Child requirements presumed to remain unchanged, but this is not yet confirmed


We are aware that many current workers may be unaffected if they are able to get residence under 2021RV, including workers earning under the new median wage of $27.76. However, if you are ineligible for residence at this time and/or you are planning to apply for Essential Skills soon, then you may want to consider submitting your application before 04 July if the new policy disadvantages you.

Please do not leave your Essential Skills Work Visa application to the last minute, as it can take several weeks to prepare everything. Get in touch with us if you need help - it's what we do!


Book an appointment with one of our Licensed Immigration Advisers now:

See Online Booking Page

Or fill out the form below for our team to contact you:

See here for more information - we will update you as more becomes known to us.

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