Accredited Employer Work Visa

The Accredited Employer Work Visa (“AEWV”) was to replace six temporary work visa categories on 1 November 2021:

  • Essential Skills Work Visa;
  • Essential Skills Work Visa – Approval in Principle;
  • Talent (Accredited Employer) Work Visa;
  • Long Term Skills Shortage List Work Visa;
  • Silver Fern Job Search Visa; and
  • Silver Fern Practical Experience Visa.

However, the introduction of the AEWV has been delayed until mid-2022.

Before hiring a migrant on the Accredited Employer Work Visa, an employer will need to:

  1. apply for accreditation under the new system – “the Employer Check”;
  2. apply for a job check to make sure the role they want to fill cannot be done by New Zealanders – “the Job Check”/”the Labour Market Test”; and
  3. request a migrant worker to apply for a visa – “the Worker Check”.

Talent (Accredited Employer) Work Visa

To be able to apply for a Talent (Accredited Employer) Work Visa:

  • The employer must be an accredited employer; and
  • The applicant will have to be paid at least NZD $79,560 per year (before tax).

Under the Talent (Accredited Employer) Category, there is a pathway to residence. A Talent (Accredited Employer) Work Visa holder may apply for residence if:

  • they have been employed by an accredited employer for at least 24 months; and
  • they earn:
    • at least $55,000 a year; or
    • at least $79,560 a year if they applied for their Talent (Accredited Employer) Work Visa on or after 7 October 2019.

The Talent (Accredited Employer) Work Visa was one of the six temporary work visa categories to be replaced on 1 November 2021 by the AEWV. However, while the introduction of the AEWV has been delayed to mid-2022:

  • The Talent (Accredited Employer) Work Visa will be phased out on 1 November 2021, and as such, will close to any new applications on 31 October 2021; and
  • The last day for an employer to apply for accreditation (for the Talent (Accredited Employer) Work Visa) was 30 June 2021.


  • if an employer is not accredited, but would like to be; or
  • if an employer is accredited and would like to employ new migrants between 1 November 2021 and mid-2022 under the Talent (Accredited Employer) Category;

it’s tough luck – no can do!

The pathway to residence for a Talent (Accredited Employer) Work Visa holder, however, will be maintained after 1 November 2021. So, Talent (Accredited Employer) Work Visa holders will be able to apply for residence after 1 November 2021 as long as they meet their Visa conditions.

Essential Skills Work Visa

Whilst the Talent (Accredited Employer) will close to any new migrants on 31 October 2021, a person will be able to apply for an Essential Skills Work Visa (“ESWV”) until the AEWV is introduced in mid-2022.

To apply for an ESWV, the employer must have determined that there are any no New Zealand citizens or residents available to do the work offered (i.e. the Labour Market Test), except, for example:

  • If the job is on one of the Skill Shortages Lists/Essential Skills in Demand Lists and the applicant is able to meet the qualification and/or work experience
    requirements listed.

INZ will also require a Skills Match Report if, for example, the applicant will paid below the median wage (which at the moment is $27 per hour) and the role is not undersupplied.

Unlike the Talent (Accredited Employer) Work Visa, with the ESWV there is no employer accreditation requirement and no pathway to residence.

Changes were made to the ESWV settings on 19 July 2021 to:

  • Extend the maximum duration from 12 to 24 months when paid below the median wage (which at the moment is $27 per hour);
    • The duration when paid the median wage or above has not changed – it is three years;
  • Where the applicant is remaining in their current full time employment and not changing their role, employer or region of work, not require:
    • A Labour Market Test (nor Skills Match Report) if the applicant is a holder of a:
      • Any type of work visa (including a Working Holiday Visa);
      • A student visa that has unlimited work rights (i.e. to study Masters or PhD degree); or
      • A Critical Purpose Visitor Visa granted as a critical health worker, or granted for more than six months as an “other critical worker”;
    • An Employment Agreement;
    • Evidence of the applicant’s qualification(s), work experience and/or occupational registration;
  • Not require a Medical Certificate and/or Chest X-ray Certificate if they were previously supplied with a Visa application, even if they were provided more than
    36 months ago.
  • Not require a Police Certificate(s) if they were previously supplied with a Visa application, even if they were provided more than 24 months ago.

Please note that this is not a substitute for legal advice and you should contact your lawyer about your specific situation. Please feel free to contact us on 03 348 8480 or by email to Viv Zhang – and Rebecca Nicholson –