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Changes to New Zealand Immigration Laws

Recently there have been a number of changes to New Zealand Immigration Law and Visa requirements. Here at Assemble we thought we would take this opportunity to give some insight into what these changes are and what they mean, we have partnered with Woburn Immigration Advisors to share these insights.

With the Immigration Green List additions coming through, many sectors are anticipating a reprieve for skill shortage areas. Here at Assemble we don’t expect these changes to have a fundamental impact on the New Zealand Construction, Property and Infrastructure sector.Even with the Green list there are still a number of barriers for getting skilled people into New Zealand; the long and often drawn out processing time by NZ Qualification Authority assessing qualifications and the time being taken by the Medical Assessors to give approval are two of the key factors.

As of the 31stMay 2023 Accredited Employer Work Visa holders who are not being paid twice the median wage or in a Green List role will not be able to sponsor their partner for open work visa rights.

In addition New Zealand has introduced the Accredited Employer Work Visa. The new accreditation requires a job check and then a migrant check which cannot be processed unless the employer is Accredited. Depending on industry group and how essential the skill set is to NZ, the minimum pay rate is a salary of $61,692.80 per year for 40 hours of work a week.

In order to hire offshore talent as an employer you must become Accredited. There are three main stages to this process.


There is a list of accreditation criteria that you need to meet, and two different levels of accreditation:

1. Standard, for up to five migrant workers on AEWV’s; and

2. High-volume, for six or more migrant workers on AEWV’s.


The job check ensures the job pays market rates, 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.


After a successful Job Check an employer can invite the migrant to make an application. This is the final step and the necessary assessments are undertaken along with good health and character checks. If successful, the visa will be granted to allow the migrant to work for the employer.

Employers do not require the new employer Accreditation to employ those on open work visas, such as Student, Partnership and Working Holiday. In the future, a pathway to residence will be introduced for migrants that have held an AEWV for two years and are paid at least 200 per cent of the median wage.

Here at Assemble we are seeing a lot of our employers venture down the accreditation pathway. If this is something you are looking to achieve for your company give one of our team a call and we can share some of our insights or head over to Woburn International for their expert advice