Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV) Scheme

The Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV) is a new temporary work visa, which replaces six visas including the Essential Skills and Talent (Accredited Employer) Work Visas.

Accreditation & Recruitment Process for Employers of Foreign Workers

Employers who want to hire migrant workers on the AEWV must be accredited by Immigration New Zealand.

The accreditation process ensures that New Zealanders are hired first, before considering migrants.  Under the AEWV scheme, when migrants are hired, the accreditation process checks immigration and employment standards and ensures that the employer is a viable business with good business practices and will not exploit the migrants they hire.

The employer accreditation and recruitment process can be broken down into three key requirements in order to be eligible and successfully employ a foreign worker.  

It is important to note that whilst going through the accreditation process, employers can concurrently begin advertising for foreign workers which saves time and enables you to fill vacancies efficiently.


1. Complete Employer Accreditation Application

The online application includes the following:


Select Employer Accreditation Level

There are four different types of employer accreditation, depending on the business structure:

  • Standard accreditation is for standard businesses hiring up to 5 migrants.
  • High-volume accreditation is for standard businesses hiring 6 or more migrants.
  • Franchisee accreditation is for businesses that are part of a franchise. There is no limit to how many migrants you can hire.
  • Controlling third party accreditation is for businesses who place migrants with third parties while being the direct employer named in the employment agreement. There is no limit to how many migrants you can hire.

Pay Employer Accreditation Fee

The Employer Accreditation Fee will depend on the type of accreditation required.

Applicants are required to have:

  • an NZBN unless you are a foreign diplomatic mission
  • a business IRD number

How long will accreditation take?

Immigration NZ estimates that most accreditation applications will be completed within 10 working days.

2. Apply for Job Check

Once an employer is accredited, they must apply for a job check with Immigration NZ before offering the role to someone overseas. This is to ensure there are no suitable New Zealanders who could be hired and trained.

The check aims to support local employment opportunities, and ensure employers are offering attractive wages to New Zealanders, before they look to recruit migrants. The job check will also help ensure migrants recruited into New Zealand on an AEWV are mostly filling higher-skilled roles.

Before applying for a job check, the available job(s) need to advertised nationally to establish whether any New Zealand workers are available. A median wage of $27.76 will apply to all job check applications.

For a guideline to the requirements of the job advertisement, click here.

Note: if the job pays at least 200% of the median wage or is on the green list of occupations, you do not need to provide evidence of advertising for the job check

3. Support Foreign Worker with Visa Application

Once the job check is approved, the employer can ask the foreign worker to apply for their AEWV visa. The experience and qualifications for the job need to match what was outlined in the job check.

The employer will need to send the job token (provided by Immigration NZ), to the foreign worker to include in their visa application. The token is valid for 6 months.

If the visa is approved by Immigration NZ, the foreign worker can accept the job under the terms of their visa.

Once the candidate accepts the job, you are required to provide your new staff with information, support, and resources to help them settle in and to live in New Zealand.

You may be asked for evidence that you have done this and therefore it is important to document everything you have done and the information you have provided to the individual.

For a guideline to the information you must provide and the additional resources available for you and your foreign worker, click here

How long will the processing of a visa application take?

Immigration NZ estimates that most accreditation applications will be completed within 20 working days

Do you need assistance with the accreditation process?

We can complete the accreditation process on your behalf & ensure your business is ready to hire foreign workers.