New Zealand Changes Maximum Stay for AEWV

On June 21, the Minister of Immigration announced changes to the Skilled Migrant Category Resident Visa as well as a change to the Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV) settings.

Skilled Migrant Category Resident Visa

New points-based system

From October 9, 2023, six points will be needed to apply for the Skilled Migrant Category Resident Visa.

Applicants can claim three to six points from one of the following skill indicators:

  • New Zealand occupational registration;
  • qualification (bachelor’s degree or higher); OR
  • employment income or job offer (earning at least 1.5 times the median wage in New Zealand). This skill indicator replaces the previously-announced Highly Paid Residence Visa.

Applicants can only claim points from one of the above skill indicators and cannot combine points from multiple skill indicators.

They can also claim one point for each year of skilled work in New Zealand, up to a maximum of three points.

The points claimed from skilled work in New Zealand can be combined with points from the above three skill indicators.


Skilled job offer

Applicants must have a skilled job or job offer with an accredited employer in New Zealand to apply. This requirement applies even if applicants are claiming the maximum amount of points available. To be considered a skilled job, the job or job offer must be:

  • at least 30 hours a week;
  • either in an ANZSCOLevel 1 to 3 occupation and paid at or above the median wage, or in an ANZSCO Level 4 to 5 occupation and paid at or above 1.5 times the median wage;
  • on a permanent contract or fixed-term contract for at least 12 months.


Unchanged requirements

Some current requirements for the Skilled Migrant Category Resident Visa will not change, including:

  • character requirements;
  • health requirements;
  • English language requirements;
  • age requirements (you must be 55 years old or under to apply).
Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV)

From November 2023, there will be a maximum continuous stay of five years on an AEWV, for anyone who is unable to demonstrate that they are on a pathway to residence.

  • After five years, AEWV holders will need to spend 12 months outside of New Zealand to be eligible to apply for a further AEWV.
  • However, those who can show that they are on a pathway to skilled residence may be able to obtain a further AEWV.

Also from November 2023, the maximum duration of a new AEWV will be extended from three years to five years to align with the introduction of the five-year maximum continuous stay for AEWV holders.

Existing AEWV holders with a three-year visa will be able to apply for another AEWV that will allow them to stay in New Zealand for up to five years (in total). The employer will not need a job check for this if the visa conditions remain the same.

Erickson Insights

Erickson Immigration Group will continue to share updates as more news is available. If you have questions about anything we’re reporting above or case-specific questions, please contact your employer or EIG attorney.