English language requirements for the Accredited Employer Work Visa

Find out how you can meet our English language requirement for the Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV), if you have been offered a role at ANZSCO level 4 or 5.

Meeting our English language requirements for the AEWV

If you are applying for an AEWV for a job that is at ANZSCO level 4 or 5 you must show that you can speak and understand English.

You can meet our English language requirements through:

  • your citizenship, where you studied and the qualifications you gained
  • English language tests.

ANZSCO levels 1 to 3

There are no English language requirements if you are applying for an AEWV for a job that is at ANZSCO level 1 to 3.

English ability from citizenship, working and studying

There are 3 scenarios where your citizenship, work and study gives us confidence that your English language ability is at the level we require.

Scenario 1

You are a citizen of 1 of these countries:

  • Canada
  • Ireland
  • United Kingdom
  • United States.

You have spent at least 5 years working or studying in person in 1 of those countries, or in Australia or New Zealand.

Scenario 2

You have a qualification that is comparable with a New Zealand level 7 bachelor's degree gained in:

  • Australia
  • Canada
  • Ireland
  • New Zealand
  • United Kingdom
  • United States.

You studied for at least 2 years in any of these countries while being physically located there to get that qualification.

Scenario 3

You have a qualification that is comparable with a New Zealand postgraduate qualification at level 8 or above gained in:

  • Australia
  • Canada
  • Ireland
  • New Zealand
  • United Kingdom
  • United States.

You studied for at least 1 year in any of these countries while being physically located there to get that qualification.

How to provide evidence

We can see evidence of your citizenship through the passport details you supply. You do not need to provide any more evidence of citizenship or where you have lived, unless we specifically ask for it.

For evidence of your qualifications and where you studied, we need a copy of your qualification certificate and academic transcript.

English ability by language tests

Another way to show your English language ability is through getting an acceptable result in an English language test.

English language test results required

Your result must be no more than 2 years old at the time you apply.

IELTS One Skill Retake (OSR)

In 2023 the International English Language Test System (IELTS) provider introduced a One Skill Retake option for both their Academic and General Training tests. The IELTS One Skill Retake must be completed within 60 days of the original test date.

Cambridge language assessments

The Cambridge English: First (FCE) is now called B2 First.

The Cambridge English: First for Schools (FCE) is now called B2 First for Schools.

Table 1: English language test results we accept
Test Minimum score

International English Language Testing System (IELTS):

IELTS — General or Academic module

IELTS — One Skill Retake (OSR) 

4 overall
Test of English as a Foreign Language internet-Based Test (TOEFLiBT) 31 overall
Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE academic) 29 overall
Cambridge English B2 First  142 overall
Cambridge English B2 First for Schools  142 overall
Occupational English Test (OET) Grade D or higher in all 4 skills: listening, reading, writing and speaking.

If you have provided evidence that you speak English before

If we have already assessed that you meet the minimum standard of English language ability as part of a previous Immigration New Zealand application, this may be acceptable to meet English language requirements for your current application. It cannot be an application where the English language was assessed by a third party, such as an education provider.

If your job token is expiring before 30 June 2024

If your job token is expiring before 30 June 2024 we will also accept evidence of your English language test booking when you submit your AEWV application. We will hold your application for a reasonable period of time, until your test results can be provided.

We will complete an assessment on the rest of your application while we wait for your English language test results. We recommend that you consider your ability to meet our English language requirements carefully before you submit your application. Once your visa application has been assessed, you are unlikely to qualify for a refund of your application fee.