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Maximum continuous stay and longer visa length for the AEWV

From 27 November 2023 the Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV) will change to include a maximum continuous stay and a longer visa length.


Changes to the AEWV

From 27 November 2023, we are introducing a 'maximum continuous stay' for everyone with an AEWV. This will be 5 years for people paid at or above the median wage or the level 4 pay rate for the care workforce sector.

We are also increasing the maximum visa length of the AEWV to 5 years for people earning at least the median wage. For people in the care workforce sector paid the level 3 and 4 pay rates, the maximum visa length increases to 3 years.

EXAMPLE From 27 November 2023, if you get an AEWV and you are paid at least the median wage:

  • your visa may last for up to 5 years (maximum visa length)

  • you can spend up to 5 years on 1 or more AEWVs (maximum continuous stay)

  • after 5 years if you want another AEWV you must spend at least 12 months in a row outside New Zealand first (time spent outside New Zealand)

  • after you spend the required time outside New Zealand you may be eligible for a further AEWV for up to 5 years.


Maximum continuous stay Longer visa length

Applying for your AEWV balance

From 27 November 2023 you may be able to apply for the balance of the longer 5-year or 3-year visa. Your current AEWV will not extend automatically to the longer length.

  • If you apply to get the balance, you pay the normal AEWV application fee.

  • If you meet the requirements, your partner and any dependent children are also eligible for a further visa to match the length of your further AEWV. They must meet the usual visa requirements and pay the fees for their applications.

Before you apply for your balance, check the requirements for your situation and what you should consider.

Order we process applications with a reused job token

We expect a significant number of people to be eligible to apply for their AEWV balance of 5 years.

Applications for the AEWV balance with a reused job token go into a queue. We generally process applications in the order we receive them. However, for these balance applications we will only start processing an application when your current AEVW expiry date is within the next 9 months.

If you have a partner or dependent children applying for further visas, their applications will also be queued until we decide your application.

This processing order of AEWV balance applications manages demands on our processing resources, while making sure we treat visa applications fairly.

In the unlikely situation that your current AEWV expires before we complete your balance application, you will be eligible for an interim visa to stay and continue your job for up to 6 months.

NOTE Job tokens may not display for some people who have been granted a Job Change or other specific situations. We will have more information shortly.

Staying in the same job Changing employer, job or location

Employers with workers who can apply for their balance

From 27 November 2023, if you are an accredited employer, you can support your employee to apply for their visa balance if:

  • you are paying them at least the median wage, or

  • you employ them as part of the care workforce sector agreement.

When you can reuse a job token

You do not need to do another Job Check for the role and you can reuse the job token, if:

  • your employee has an AEWV on 26 November 2023

  • you continue to employ them in the same role, in the same location, and

  • you pay them at least the amount listed in their current AEWV conditions.

Send your employee a request to apply for their balance

If you can reuse a job token, you can send your employee a request to apply for a further AEWV to claim their visa length balance.

  1. Log in to Immigration Online: Immigration Online

  2. Go to 'Employ migrants'.

  3. Find the accreditation on the list of 'My granted accreditations'.

  4. Open the 'Options' menu for the accreditation and click 'View accreditation'.

  5. Find the employee on list of 'Migrant workers with visas'.

  6. Open the 'Options' menu for the employee and click 'Send request'.

  7. Complete and submit the form 'Send request to apply for a further AEWV'.

NOTE Job tokens may not display for some people who have been granted a Job Change or other specific situations. We will have more information shortly. Source: Immigration New Zealand

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