Immigration NZ have announced changes to visa durations, eligibility and Job Checks.

Immigration NZ Changes to Accreditation and Visas

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Immigration New Zealand Changes to Accreditation, Job Checks and Visas

Immigration NZ announced some drastic changes to the Accredited Employer Work Visa scheme on Sunday, 7 April.


  • High migration numbers
  • Focus on increasing Skilled and decreasing Unskilled/Lower Paid workers
  • Ensuring Kiwi employment

Added requirements & conditions for ANZSCO Level 4-5 roles

For candidates requiring visas and who don’t meet ANZSCO skill levels 1 to 3, INZ have introduced changes to eligibility, labour market tests and visa duration.

These changes don’t apply to ANZSCO levels 1-3, those on the Green List and/or those earning 1.5x the median wage (currently $47.41 per hour).

Click to see INZ’s Green List

Suitable Candidates

To be considered suitable for a visa, candidates must have

  • 3 years verifiable relevant work experience -or-
  • a relevant qualification equivalent to NZQA Level 4 -or-
  • Bachelor’s degree


  • pass an English language test
    • they may be exempt if they’ve studied, lived or worked in AU, NZ, UK/Ireland, Canada or USA for a specified period of time.

See INZ's definition of suitable candidates

Job Check Process

Addition or variation to existing process:

  • Employers, or an agency on their behalf, must list (again) with Work & Income NZ as part of the Job Check
  • Advertising must be for a minimum of 21 days (up from 14 days)
  • employers make a declaration if any job applicant are suitable/available NZ workers.  This is added to the list of applicants and reasons why each is not suitable

This is already part of FRENZ practice but INZ have made this a mandate for everyone.

Important: if you are doing the Job Check yourself, note that there is no wiggle room in changing what you’ve listed with WINZ and it must match what is in the general role advertising


If the worker has held a previous visa for the role, they may be deemed to have met the minimum skills

Visa Maximum Stay

  • 3 Year Maximum Stay with 1x 2 year visa and an option to apply for added 1 year Visa (with Job Check)
  • When/if they meet the criteria, a promotion to an ANZSCO Level 1-3 role can get a 5 year (max) visa

Employers’ Accreditation Responsibilities

Employers under the Employer accreditation have some additional requirements to ensure continued accreditation…


  • Employers must notify INZ within 10 working days if:
    • there are any changes to key persons at the organisation, or a change in the business structure (e.g., move from partnership to company)
    • an AEWV holder’s employment ends more than a month before their visa expires
  • Employers must sight evidence of a prospective employee’s qualification or experience (such as payslips, tax certificates, COE, reference letters or qualifications)*
  • Or if they don’t sight the evidence, they need to get the applicant to either:
    • Do a practical test
    • Demonstrate knowledge through a job interview
    • Sight evidence that they hold occupational registration

*Note: if you have a FRENZ candidate, we will have collected & retained these as part of our practice.

Existing (reminder)

  • key persons complete Employment NZ modules once every accreditation period
    • these are people who were listed on the accreditation, generally as Directors, and people who have responsibility for hiring and managing staff
    • you can access the modules HERE
  • at least 30 hours per week of work for AEWV holders (accreditation can now be revoked if this isn’t met)

Changes to the Accredited Employer Work Visa

Shortening of Visa Duration and Maximum Stay

INZ have made changes to the length of time that visa holders can stay in New Zealand which is a departure from recent promise of 5 year duration to all…

  • 5 Year Maximum Stay / Visa for those who
    • ANZSCO Level 1-3 and paid median wage
    • Green List role and paid median wage
    • Transport Work to Residence pathway and paid median wage
    • Paid 1.5 x median wage
    • Application submitted before 6 April 2024
  • 3 Year Maximum Stay / 1x 2 year Visa +1 Year Possible  for those who don’t meet any of the above

Job Changes / Variations to Visas

  • ANZSCO level (4-5) employees can’t do a variation unless its to an ANZSCO 1-3 (meeting that criteria and in accordance with the Job Check).
  • New English and Skills requirements do not apply to Job Change applications
  • Approved and valid Job Checks can still be used, but any AEWV applicant needs to meet the new requirements

Frequently Asked Questions

QWhat happens with my current Job Check if it’s for an ANZSCO 4-5 position?

A – The Job Check is still considered active and you don’t need to do WINZ but the proven experience and/or qualification as well as English test must be met for any candidates to secure a visa.

QWhat if I have an application that has already been submitted to INZ?

A – Applications (either for visas or Job Checks) submitted before 6 April 2024 will be processed under the previous instructions. Applications that have not yet been submitted are subject to the new criteria depending on ANZSCO, e.g., English language, proven experience…

QWhat if I want to change jobs?

A – Given the new rules, its best to contact us to discuss your specific situation.

QWhat is ANZSCO?

A – ANZSCO (Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations) is a system used to classify jobs, set job duties & qualifications and group them based on similar kinds of roles.  You can find a Full list of ANZSCO roles HERE

QWhat are the Residence opportunities for various roles?

A – This will depend on the role  – its ANZSCO level and place on the Green List.  You can see a sample list of roles, levels and resident visa pathway HERE.

We are still getting clarification on INZ’s more ambiguous rules and will update as we do.  However, if you have questions or need assistance, please get in touch by emailing or calling us

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8 Adelaide Street,
Auckland 1010. New Zealand

+64 21 711 071 | 0800 891 314

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