New Zealand’s Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV) opens to offshore migrants

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The third and final stage of the new simplified Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV) policy is now open, allowing migrants offshore to apply for a work visa to come and work in New Zealand for an accredited employer.

“We know a major constraint on business is access to skilled labour. This is happening the world over, but the Accredited Employer Work Visa will play a role in increasing the available labour pool to fill skilled worker shortages,” the Immigrant Minister, Michael Wood, says.

“The opening of this visa follows on our previous work, which has seen approvals granted for over 33,000 critical workers, 13,000 working holidaymakers, and 60,000 migrants approved for residency through the one-off 2021 Resident Visa.   

“The AEWV is at the heart of the government’s Immigration Rebalance and is focussed on providing New Zealand with the skills we need while ensuring that migrants are fairly treated. In some cases, we believe that the previous system facilitated a low-cost labour model that was neither good for our country nor migrant workers. As such, the AEWV is centred around a requirement to pay at the median wage, with limited exemptions for transitioning sectors.

As part of the new AEWV policy, employers need to be accredited and have completed a job check before they can hire a migrant from offshore.

Accreditation applications opened on 23 May, and to date, 5,666 applications have been received. Of those, 4,322 have been approved.

Job check applications opened on 20 June, and to date, 732 have been received. An employer must have their job check approved before a migrant can apply.

“This includes evidence of an acceptable job offer, job description and employment agreement, and proof that the role has been advertised for at least two weeks if it pays less than twice the median wage or is not on the Green List.”

Working visa applications are expected to be processed within 20 working days when the application is accurately filed.

Partners and dependents of work visa applicants can also apply for visas from today. 

“Opening visa applications for partners and dependents of workers who are applying for work visas will make it easier for migrant workers to bring their families to New Zealand, making us an attractive place to live and work.”

New Zealand’s borders will be fully open to the world at the end of the month, with student and visitor visa applications opening from 31 July.

Immigration New Zealand has also geared up by recruiting and training more staff to meet the expected demand, bringing on board 230 Immigration Officers in the year to May 31.

The Government has also made changes to help bring more refugee families together.

“From 1 July 2022, the number of places available under the Refugee Family Support Category (RFSC) increased from 300 to 600 each year.

“We have also removed the fees associated with the RFSC, including the sponsorship registration fee, the application fee, and the immigration levy. This will help alleviate the financial burden on sponsors and applicants.

“These changes to the RFSC will enable more New Zealand resident refugees to be reunited with their families,” Michael Wood said.

Source: New Zealand Government 

Read more about the new Accredited Employer Work Visa here 

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