How long you can stay on an AEWV

The total amount of time you can stay in New Zealand on one or more Accredited Employer Work Visas — this is also called a maximum continuous stay — changes depending on your role, pay and when you applied for your first AEWV.

What a maximum continuous stay is

The maximum continuous stay is the total amount of time you can stay in New Zealand on one or more Accredited Employer Work Visas (AEWVs).

You can apply for a further AEWV before your current AEWV ends, and stay in New Zealand until you reach the end of your maximum continuous stay.

Applying for your AEWV balance

When you get to the end of your maximum continuous stay you need to leave New Zealand for a specified amount of time — normally 12 months — before you can get another Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV).

How long you can stay

You can stay for up to 5 years depending on:

  • how much you are paid
  • the ANZSCO level of your job, and
  • when you applied for your first AEWV.

Green list roles

Check the ANZSCO list

Wage rate requirements for visas

Your maximum continuous stay may be less than 5 years if you:

  • are paid less than the February 2023 median wage, or
  • applied for your AEWV on or after 7 April 2024, and your role is at ANZSCO level 4 or 5.

How long you must be outside New Zealand

At the end of your maximum continuous stay you must spend at least 12 months in a row outside New Zealand if you are paid:

  • the February 2023 median wage rate or above, or
  • below the February 2023 median wage rate in a role other than meat and seafood processing.

You must spend at least 4 months in a row outside New Zealand if you are paid below the February 2023 median wage rate in a meat or seafood processing role.

Check these tables to find out the length of your maximum continuous stay and how much time you must spend outside New Zealand.

If you applied on or after 7 April 2024

Table 1: AEWV length, maximum continuous stay and time outside New Zealand if you applied on or after 7 April 2024
Role Maximum visa length Maximum continuous stay Time you must spend outside New Zealand
Roles paid at least the February 2023 median wage rate, and at ANZSCO level 1 to 3 5 years 5 years 12 months
Roles paid at least the February 2023 median wage rate and on the Green List 5 years 5 years 12 months
Deck Hands (ANZSCO 899211) paid at least the February 2023 median wage rate 5 years 5 years 12 months
Roles paid at least 1.5 times the February 2024 median wage rate (NZD$47.41 per hour) 5 years 5 years 12 months
Roles paid at least the February 2023 median wage rate, and at ANZSCO level 4 or 5 2 years 3 years 12 months
Care workforce sector roles paid NZD$28.25 an hour or above, or equivalent salary. 3 years 5 years 12 months
Care workforce sector roles paid below NZD$28.25 an hour or equivalent salary. 3 years 3 years 12 months
Construction and infrastructure sector roles paid below the February 2023 median wage 2 years 2 years 12 months
Bus drivers paid at least NZD$28 an hour as part of the transport sector 2 years 3 years 12 months
Seasonal snow and adventure tourism sector roles paid below the February 2023 median wage 7 months 3 years 12 months
Tourism and hospitality sector roles paid below the February 2023 median wage 2 years 2 years 12 months
Meat processing sector roles paid below the February 2023 median wage 7 months 7 months 4 months
Seafood processing (onshore) sector roles paid below the February 2023 median wage 7 months 7 months 4 months

If you applied between 21 June 2023 and 6 April 2024

Table 2: AEWV length, maximum continuous stay and time outside New Zealand if you applied between 21 June 2023 and 6 April 2024
Role Maximum visa length Maximum continuous stay Time you must spend outside New Zealand
Roles paid at least the February 2023 median wage 5 years 5 years 12 months
Transport work to residence roles, including any roles removed on 7 April 2024 5 years 5 years 12 months
Care workforce sector roles paid NZD$28.25 an hour or above, or equivalent salary. 3 years 5 years 12 months
Care workforce sector roles paid below NZD$28.25 an hour or equivalent salary. 3 years 3 years 12 months
Construction and infrastructure sector roles paid below the February 2023 median wage 2 years 2 years 12 months
Bus drivers paid at least NZD$28 an hour as part of the transport sector 3 years 5 years 12 months
Seasonal snow and adventure tourism sector roles paid below the February 2023 median wage 7 months 3 years 12 months
Tourism and hospitality sector roles paid below the February 2023 median wage 2 years 2 years 12 months
Meat processing sector roles paid below the February 2023 median wage 7 months 7 months 4 months
Seafood processing (onshore) sector roles paid below the February 2023 median wage 7 months 7 months 4 months

 

If you applied on or before 20 June 2023 

Table 3: AEWV length, maximum continuous stay and time outside New Zealand if you applied on or before 20 June 2023
Role Maximum visa length Maximum continuous stay Time you must spend outside New Zealand
Roles paid at least the February 2023 median wage rate, and at ANZSCO skill level 1 to 3 5 years 5 years 12 months
Roles paid at least 1.5 times the February 2024 median wage rate (NZD$47.41 per hour) 5 years 5 years 12 months
Roles paid at least the February 2023 median wage rate and on the Green List 5 years 5 years 12 months
Roles paid at least the February 2023 median wage rate, and at ANZSCO skill level 4 or 5 2 years 3 years 12 months
Transport work to residence roles, including any roles removed on 7 April 2024 5 years 5 years 12 months
Care workforce sector roles paid NZD$28.25 an hour or above, or equivalent salary. 3 years 5 years 12 months
Care workforce sector roles paid below NZD$28.25 an hour or equivalent salary. 3 years 3 years 12 months
Construction and infrastructure sector roles paid below the February 2023 median wage 2 years 2 years 12 months
Bus drivers paid at least NZD$28 an hour as part of the transport sector 3 years 5 years 12 months
Seasonal snow and adventure tourism sector roles paid below the February 2023 median wage 7 months 3 years 12 months
Tourism and hospitality sector roles paid below the February 2023 median wage 2 years 2 years 12 months
Meat processing sector roles paid below the February 2023 median wage 7 months 7 months 4 months
Seafood processing (onshore) sector roles paid below the February 2023 median wage 7 months 7 months 4 months

Calculating time for maximum continuous stays

We count your maximum continuous stay from:

  • when your first AEWV was issued, or
  • when you arrived in New Zealand on an AEWV, if your AEWV was issued while you were outside New Zealand.

Unless you have already spent the required time outside New Zealand, any time spent on an AEWV including time spent on an AEWV paid below the median wage — counts towards your maximum continuous stay.

Your maximum continuous stay does not include time spent on:

  • other temporary visas such as visitor and student visas, or
  • other work visas such as a Post Study Work Visa, partnership based visa, working holiday visa or an Interim Visa.

Care workforce roles paid below the February 2023 median wage

For people in the care workforce sector paid at or above NZD$26.16 an hour or equivalent salary, the AEWV length is 3 years.

For workers paid NZD$26.16 an hour, this gives you enough time to complete the level 4 qualification and move to the higher pay rate and pathway to residence. If you move to the NZD$28.25 an hour rate, you can apply for a further AEWV to get the maximum continuous stay of 5 years.

For workers paid NZD$28.25 an hour, this gives you time to apply for residence after you have completed the required 2 years of work experience while being paid NZD$28.25 an hour.

Applying for your AEWV balance

You may be able to apply for the balance of the your visa, if you have time remaining on your maximum continuous stay. Your current AEWV will not extend automatically to the longer length.

Applying for your AEWV balance