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Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV)

Key information about the Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV).

19 July 2024
5 minute read

Some of the statistics below are being manually collated while we update our systems. These statistics will be updated fortnightly. 

The AEWV is the main temporary work visa in New Zealand.

It is designed to ensure New Zealanders are first in line for jobs and makes it easier for employers to hire skilled migrants where genuine skill or labour shortages exist.

It also helps combat migrant exploitation by ensuring only employers who are accredited can hire migrant workers.

All applications are made through Immigration Online.

Key information and statistics

Accreditation applications opened on 23 May 2022, Job Check applications opened on 20 June 2022 and work visa applications opened on 4 July 2022. 

As at 16 July 2024 Immigration New Zealand (INZ) has approved 123,124 AEWV applications, and there are 35,781 accredited employers.

On 7 April 2024, changes were announced to the Accredited Employer Work Visa scheme. These include:

  • Introducing an English language requirement for migrants applying for low skilled ANZSCO level 4 and 5 roles.
  • A minimum skills and work experience threshold for most AEWV roles.
  • For roles that fall into the ANZSCO level 4 and 5, employers will need to engage with Work and Income before approval to bring in migrants will be granted.
  • Reducing the maximum continuous stay for most ANZSCO level 4 and 5 roles from 5 years to 3 years.
  • Disestablishing the franchisee accreditation category and for these businesses to apply to bring in workers from overseas through the standard, high-volume, or triangular employment accreditation.

Changes to the Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV)

Accreditation process

Before employers can invite a worker to apply for an AEWV they must apply to us for employer accreditation, advertise the role if they need to, and apply for a Job Check.

Under the AEWV there are a range of verification steps at the application process through the accreditation, Job Check and work visa steps, as well as post-accreditation checks.

We constantly review and adjust our settings to ensure they are fit for purpose and strike the right balance between bringing in the migrants that New Zealand needs and protecting the integrity of the immigration system.

The accreditation process

Post-accreditation checks

Post-accreditation checks can occur at any time. We aim to check about 16% of accredited employers each year. As part of the application process, employers are advised there may be follow-up checks to ensure the undertakings and declarations they make during the application are correct and they are a good employer.

Meeting your AEWV accredited employer obligations

The 16% of post-accreditation checks we undertake are made up from a combination of:

  • random selection
  • targeted checks on a sample of all accredited employer types
  • all controlling third party business models
  • any businesses that have been referred to us through a complaint or issue raised.

Post-accreditation checks are a routine process introduced as part of the scheme. They are not related to investigations into employers of potential concern involving migrant workers holding an AEWV.

We expect employers to take their responsibilities seriously and comply with AEWV conditions, and there are penalties for employers who do not comply with employment or immigration laws.

As at 16 July 2024

  • INZ has undertaken 4,180 post-accreditation checks on 3,031 employers. An additional 369 are underway.
  • The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) has received 3,539 complaints against accredited employers. This number only indicates an allegation involving an accredited employer has been received, not whether the allegation can be substantiated.
  • There are currently 291 active investigations on 281 accredited employers underway (as some are duplicates).
  • 398 employers have had their accreditation revoked and 66 have had their accreditation suspended.
  • 37 employers are under assessment to have their accreditation revoked and there is 1 employer under assessment to have their accreditation suspended. Revocations and suspensions can occur due to a range of reasons, and a number are due to liquidation.

Revoking and suspending employer accreditation

Revocations and suspensions can occur due to a range of reasons, and a number are due to liquidation.

Employers being actively investigated for any breach of accreditation may have their accreditation suspended. Suspending an employer’s accreditation minimises immigration harm where there are reasonable concerns that an employer is not complying with the relevant immigration, employment or business standards.

We can revoke an employer’s accreditation if breaches of accreditation standards are found.

There is a due process followed when considering whether to suspend or revoke an employer’s accreditation. The cases are assessed individually, with all related business areas across MBIE, including INZ, working together.

The vast majority of employers are doing the right thing and treat their migrant workers fairly and well. They are relying on much-needed workers from overseas to fill positions that have been hard to fill within the domestic market.

MBIE — of which INZ is a part — actively monitors employers and will take action where there are concerns.

Immigration law for employers


Post-accreditation checks are separate to getting re-accreditation.

Job Change process

AEWV holders can apply to vary their employer, job, location, under the Job Change application process. This allows AEWV migrants greater certainty, including if they lose their job. 

Changing the conditions of a work visa or applying for a Job Change

Apply for a Job Change or a variation of conditions for work visa holders

Independent Review into AEWV

An independent review into the AEWV was announced in August 2023.

The findings of the review have now been announced by Te Kawa Mataaho Public Service Commission.

Review into the Accredited Employer Work Visa

Further information  

Accreditation for the AEWV