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What is an Accredited Employer Work Visa?

The Accredited Employer Work Visa is a temporary visa that lets you work and stay in New Zealand. Because this visa lets you stay up to 5 years, it’s a popular choice for many migrants who want to work in New Zealand.

With an AEWV, you can work in New Zealand for an accredited employer who has offered you at least 30 hours work a week. You can also study for up to 3 months in any 12-month period.

You can apply for this temporary visa if you have a job offer from an accredited employer, the skills and qualifications required for the job, and in some cases, you must show that you can speak and understand English.

IELTS is the English test trusted by Immigration New Zealand for visas. Here are some reasons why you should choose IELTS for your Accredited Employer Work Visa application:

  • With almost 15 IELTS test locations around New Zealand, it’s easy to find a location that suits you to sit your test.

  • There's more flexibility with test dates and times as IELTS on computer is now testing up to 7 days a week, multiple times a day.

  • With IELTS, you can choose your test. Why take an Academic test when you don't need to? IELTS General Training examines your English using everyday, non-academic English.

Book IELTS for your Accredited Employer Work Visa

Why choose IELTS?

The most trusted English language test. With your IELTS result, you're one step closer to your visa goals.

Fast Results

  • list?.image?.titleWith IELTS on computer, you get your results in 3-5 days
  • list?.image?.titleAccess your IELTS on computer scores online
  • list?.image?.titleSend your results to as many organisations as you wish, with no additional fee

Test availablility

  • list?.image?.titleAvailable in multiple test centres and with tests availabile up to 7 days a week -- find a date & time that's convenient for you
  • list?.image?.titleAvailable to take on computer or on paper, so you can choose which format you're more comfortable with
  • list?.image?.titleMany test centres in New Zealand now offer IELTS One Skill Retake

Trusted by Immigration New Zealand

  • list?.image?.titleIELTS is one of the trusted tests that can be used as evidence of English proficiency
  • list?.image?.titleIELTS One Skill Retake is accepted by Immigration New Zealand

IELTS General Training

  • list?.image?.titleIELTS General Training is the only general English test accepted by Immigration New Zealand
  • list?.image?.titleIELTS General Training is available to take on computer or on paper

2024 Changes to new Accredited Employer Work Visa applications

On April 7, 2024, Immigration New Zealand announced important changes to the Accredited Employer Work Visa.

Brief overview of changes:

  1. New minimum skill requirement

  2. Minimum standard of English

  3. Shorter visa length and stay in New Zealand for some jobs

New Minimum Skill Requirement

If you want to apply for a new AEWV, you need to show proof of your past work or your education. Your boss needs to see that you have the skills for the job before they hire you.

If your job is not on the Green List or you don’t earn at least double the average wage, you need to have:

If your education is less than a Bachelor’s degree, you need to apply for an assessment of your studies.

To show your past work, you need to give proof that you did the job. You can’t use documents that you wrote yourself.

Minimum Standard of English

If your job is classified as ANZSCO level 4 or 5, you need to show that you can speak and understand English. IELTS is trusted by Immigration New Zealand to show your level of English. You need an overall IELTS score of 4.0 for the Accredited Employer Work Visa.

This requirement will not apply to applications submitted between 21 June 2023 and 6 April 2024, or to people travelling as the partner or child of AEWV applicant.

Read more on English language requirements for the Accredited Employer Work Visa

For some jobs, you can only stay shorter in New Zealand

People with level 1 to 3 jobs in ANZSCO can still stay for 5 years with an AEWV. But, if you have a level 4 or 5 job in ANZSCO and you earn the needed wage for an AEWV, you can now stay in New Zealand for up to 2 years. You can apply for one more year with a new Job Check.

The total time you can stay in New Zealand with one or more AEWVs is now 3 years. When this time is up, you need to leave New Zealand for about 12 months before you can apply for another AEWV.

Some jobs are not affected by these changes. You can read more about those here.

What changes if you have an existing Accredited Employer Work Visa?

If you have an AEWV now, the changes announced in April 2024 might change how long you can stay in New Zealand before you need to leave, or if you can get another AEWV.

If you got your first AEWV before 21 June 2023 and have a level 4 or 5 job in ANZSCO that pays the needed wage for an AEWV, and you now have a three-year AEWV, you can’t stay for the maximum time of five years anymore.

If you have a level 4 or 5 job in ANZSCO and are on a pathway to residence, these changes won’t affect you.

If you apply for another AEWV after 7 April 2024, you need to meet the new rules. This might include the need to take an approved English test, like IELTS. If you have a level 4 or 5 job in ANZSCO, you might not be able to stay and work in New Zealand for the maximum time of five years.

What Are the Eligibility Requirements for an Accredited Employer Work Visa?

You must fulfil the listed eligibility requirements of an Accredited Employer Work visa. Some of those requirements are:

  • You must be able to proof your identity and be of good character.

  • You must be in good health.

  • You must meet the conditions of your visa.

  • You must have a fulltime job offer from an accredited employer.

  • You must have the skills and experience to do the job.

  • In some cases, you also need to show you can speak and understand English. You can do this with an IELTS test.

What IELTS score is required for the Accredited Employer Work Visa

If you need to show evidence that you can speak and understand English, IELTS is the test trusted by Immigration New Zealand. Your IELTS result must be no more than 2 years old at the time you apply.

English test accepted for Accredited Employer Work Visa

Minimum English score required

IELTS General Training

4.0 overall

IELTS Academic

4.0 overall

IELTS One Skill Retake

4.0 overall

In some cases, you may be exempt from needing to provide an English language test.

Which IELTS test is best for me?

The test you choose should be based on what it is you want to do. The IELTS Academic is usually for entry into university. IELTS General Training is used for migration purposes as it uses everyday English.

The New Zealand government accepts both IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training for visa purposes. The organisation where you plan to work or study sets the requirements. So, before you book your test, it is good to check which one is right for you.

Book IELTS for your visa

Do you need IELTS for your occupation

Those applying with an ANZSCO level 4 or 5 job need to take the IELTS for their Accredited Employer Work Visa.

Check the table below to see if you need IELTS for your chosen occupation:

Occupation/Job title

ANZSCO

Need IELTS for AEWV?

Builder's Labourer

5

Yes

Truck Driver (General)

4

Yes

Personal Care Assistant

4

Yes

Retail Supervisor

4

Yes

Dairy Cattle Farm Worker

5

Yes

Meat Process Worker

5

Yes

Fast Food Cook

5

Yes

Kitchenhand

5

Yes

Commercial Cleaner

5

Yes

Aged or Disabled Carer

4

Yes

Beauty Therapist

4

Yes

Delivery Driver

4

Yes

Sales Assistant (General)

5

Yes

Scaffolder

4

Yes

Bus Driver

4

Yes

Waiter

4

Yes

Commercial Housekeeper

5

Yes

Meat Boner and Slicer

4

Yes

Electrical or Telecommunications Trades Assistant

5

Yes

Food Trades Assistants nec

5

Yes

Steel Fixer

4

Yes

Forestry Worker

4

Yes

Agricultural and Horticultural Mobile Plant Operator

4

Yes

Seafood Process Worker

5

Yes

Farm, Forestry and Garden Workers nec

5

Yes

Winery Cellar Hand

5

Yes

Storeperson

4

Yes

Labourers nec

5

Yes

Earthmoving Plant Operator (General)

4

Yes

Cafe Worker

5

Yes

Courier

5

Yes

Car Detailer

5

Yes

Machine Operators nec

4

Yes

Slaughterer

4

Yes

Nursing Support Worker

4

Yes

Hospitality Workers nec

5

Yes

Pastrycook's Assistant

5

Yes

Handyperson

5

Yes

Bar Attendant

4

Yes

Concreter

5

Yes

Excavator Operator

4

Yes

Security Officer

5

Yes

Industrial Spraypainter

4

Yes

Hair or Beauty Salon Assistant

5

Yes

IELTS by IDP app

IELTS One Skill Retake for visa purposes

Immigration New Zealand has approved IELTS One Skill Retake (OSR) for visa application purposes, including the Accredited Employer Work Visa.

IELTS One Skill Retake allows you to retake one section (Listening, Reading, Writing, or Speaking) of the IELTS test without having to re-sit a full test, if you need to improve on just one skill.

Find out more about IELTS One Skill Retake

Immigration and the law

Legislation about immigration changes frequently. It’s important to check the New Zealand Immigration website for changes that may apply to you. You may want to consider getting support from a lawyer or migration agent.

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