Steps to hiring migrants on the AEWV

There are 3 steps to hiring a migrant on the Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV): accreditation, the job check, and the migrant check. You can apply for accreditation and job check from 9 May 2022.

Getting accredited

If you are an employer who wants to hire migrants on the AEWV you first need to gain accreditation. This is a new type of accreditation - you will need to apply even if you have been accredited under the previous system.

You can apply for a different level of accreditation depending on how many migrants you want to hire.

Some business models will have to meet specific accreditation requirements.

All employers will need to meet standard requirements, including showing you are a genuine, compliant business, and commit to activities to settle migrants and minimise exploitation.

You need to pay a fee for the application.

Accreditation: what you need to commit to

Passing the job check

Once you are accredited, you need to apply for a job check for each job you want to hire a migrant worker for. You can only hire a migrant worker on an AEWV for a job if it has passed the job check. Employers pay for a job check.

The job check confirms the job pays the market rate, the terms and conditions comply with New Zealand employment laws and standards, and you have done a labour market test (LMT) if you need to.

If you do not hire the migrant, you can offer the job to another suitable applicant — you do not have to redo the job check.

Employment law

Labour market test (LMT)

You may need to check there are no New Zealand citizens or residents available for the job by advertising — we call this a labour market test (LMT).

An LMT shows you have advertised the job vacancy, you have listed the vacancy with the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) if the job pays below the median wage, and suitable New Zealanders have had the chance to apply.

You will need to provide specific information about the job including pay rate and required skills and experience, a proposed employment agreement, and, where an LMT is required, evidence of it being completed including evidence of advertising and a vacancy number from MSD if required.

An approved job check is valid for 6 months or until the employer's accreditation lapses, whichever is earlier.

Whether you need to do an LMT or not depends on:

  • how much you are paying
  • where the job is
  • the occupation.

Labour market test

Pay market rate

Regardless of the job's conditions and location you must pay at least the current market rate.

Multiple positions

Multiple positions for the same job can be included in one job check if the job details are the same (for example they have the same occupation, pay range, region or city and minimum job requirements), and are all covered by the same advertising (if a LMT is needed) and proposed employment agreement.

Visa application

If the job passes the job check you can invite the migrant worker to apply for a visa to work in that job.

INZ checks if they meet the requirements for the AEWV, including that they have the skills and experience you advertised for.

Migrant workers or employers pay for this check.

Pathway to residence

A pathway to residence will be introduced in the future for migrants who have held an AEWV for 2 years and are paid at least 200 per cent of the median wage. The details and timing of this will be considered as part of the review of the Skilled Migrant Category.