Our Minister of Immigration, Erica Stanford, is seeking to address the “unsustainable levels of migration” into New Zealand by announcing several changes to the AEWV policy.  Most of the changes affect your lower skilled candidates and became effective 6th April 2024.

What is changing for New Zealand employers

  1. The AEWV process is now using the ANZSCO list and extra rules have been introduced for skill level 4 and 5 (see below).
  2. Employers now need to show that they have taken reasonable steps to ensure that the candidate that they wish to hire is “suitably skilled”.
  3. If a worker on an AEWV leaves your employment a month or more before their visa expires, you must inform INZ within 10 working days.
  4. Amendment to the Green List.

Extra rules for ANZSCO skill level 4 and 5

If your role is skill level 4 or 5, then you now need to:

  • Advertise for 21 days (instead of 14 days), and
  • Engage with Work and Income and get confirmation from them that no viable candidates were found.
  • Your applicant will need to show that they can speak and understand English (this may mean providing an English language test).
  • The duration of the visa has been reduced to 3 years in total.

What does “suitably skilled” mean in practice?

In practice, this means that you need to check that the candidate has the skills required for the job as well as the minimum skill requirement being introduced as part of these changes.  Unless the role is on the Green List (and the candidate meets the requirements) or they are being paid double the median wage, the minimum skill requirement is now:

  • At least 3 years of work experince, or
  • A relevant qualifcation at level 4* or above.

*If the qualification is a bachelor’s degree level or higher, then no further evidence required.  Otherwise, if the qualification is level 6 or lower, then the qualification will need to be accompanied with a NZQA assessment.

Need help?

Please contact our immigration team at KPMG, if you need assistance with your accreditation or for an informal discussion, at immigration@kpmg.co.nz