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  • Bernhard Kreber

New Policy Changes For The AEWV Scheme & The Green List

On 7 April 2024, The Government made changes to its Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV) scheme and the Green List. According to Hon Erica Stanford, Minister of Immigration, "these changes are the start of a more comprehensive work programme to create a smarter immigration system…”

Changes For Current AEWV Holders

If you hold an AEWV with a three-year duration and you:

  • Applied for your visa before 21 July 2023; and

  • Work in a low skill level role (ANZSCO skill level 4 and 5 which cover roles that require no or little prior work experience or formal training); and

  • Are paid at or above the required wage threshold,


You will then no longer be able to stay and work in New Zealand for the maximum time of five years. However, this policy change will not impact you if you are in an ANZSCO level 4 or 5 role and on a pathway to residence, or you obtained your AEWV after 21 July 2023 and before 7 April 2024. Furthermore, if you applied for an AEWV for an ANZSCO level 4 or 5 role before 7 April 2024 and Immigration New Zealand approved your AEWV after 7 April 2024, then you may still be able to stay for the maximum time of 5 years.


Changes For AEWV Applications Made On Or After 7 April 2024

Unless your role is on the Green List and you meet the Green List requirement for the role or your pay is at least twice the median wage, all AEWV applicants must show that they have the minimum skills required for the offered role. This means that you must have at least 3 years’ relevant work experience or a relevant qualification at level 4 or higher. Providing a resume (CV) with your AEWV application is not enough to prove that you have relevant work experience or qualifications. You can, however, provide a letter from a former employer confirming that you have relevant work experience. Unless you have a bachelor's degree, evidence of your qualification must be by way of an International Qualification Assessment.

An AEWV applicant who holds a bachelor’s degree is considered to meet the new minimum skill requirement for any employment offered. AEWV applicants for a ANZSCO level 4 or 5 role must also show that they can speak and understand English. Thus, they must provide proof that they meet the minimum English standard; for example, an overall IELTS score of at least 4.0.

In addition, the visa duration for ANZSCO level 4 and 5 jobs is now 2 years with the ability to apply for one more year if you have a new job check token. Changes to visa duration does not affect ANZSCO level 4 and 5 jobs that are in the transport and care sector agreement and on a residence pathway, or where the pay rate is 1.5 times the median wage in the Skilled Migrant Residence Category (currently $47.41 per hour. AEWV applicants for ANZSCO level 1 to 3 jobs will still be eligible to stay for maximum continuous stay of 5 years.

Green List Changes

Last year, the New Zealand Government announced that 17 new occupations would be added to the Green List in March 2024. These include; Metal Fabricator, Welder, and Panel beater, for example. The Government has since reversed their decision and has only added 6 occupations to the Green List Tier 1, which offers a straight to residence visa pathway.

The following roles, which are in high demand, were added to the Green List Tier 1:

  • Aviation Engineer

  • Aircraft Maintenance Engineer

  • ICT Database and System Administrator

  • Mechanical Engineering Technician

  • Naval Architects

  • Secondary school teachers (effective from May 2024)

Furthermore, Correction Officers were added to the Green List Tier 2, which offers a residence visa pathway after they work for two years in New Zealand.

Reach out to BK Immigration Law if you have any questions about the AEWV scheme or want to determine your eligibility for a New Zealand resident visa.


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