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Immigration work rights for partners of migrant workers

Photo by Miles Holden


From 31 May 2023, partners of most Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV) and Essential Skills Work Visa (ESWV) holders granted a partnership-based work visa must:

  • Work for an Accredited Employer and
  • Be paid at least the median wage or the wage threshold if the role is covered by an un-capped sector agreement


The median wage was set at NZD $29.66 on 27 February 2023.

There are some exceptions to being paid the median wage. Details can be found on the Immigration NZ website.


Visa options for partners

Partners of AEWV and ESWV holders can apply for their own work visa or a partnership visa based on their relationship to an AEWV or ESWV holder (the Partner of a Worker Work Visa).

From 31 May 2023 partners who make a new application for a Partner of a Worker Work Visa will have the new visa conditions if approved. Partners will not need to have a job offer to apply for this visa. When granted, they can change employers without contacting Immigration NZ.

Partners of AEWV and ESWV holders will usually be granted a visa for the same length of time as their supporting partners work visa.

The change does not apply to:

  • Existing partnership-based work visas holders (until their visa expires)
  • Partners of migrants working in occupations on the Green List or paid twice the median wage
  • Partners of New Zealanders
  • Partners of those holding other temporary visas


There are specific requirements for working within sector agreements.

Partners who do not want to work can apply to come to New Zealand on Visitor Visas.

All applications will be made using the Partner of a Worker form.


For any questions regarding this update or any further immigration matters, please contact Arno Nothnagel, our NZ Immigration Director, here.

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