Latest AEWV News For NZ Employers Sep 2023

Latest AEWV news you need to know

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The Government has announced changes to the immigration system to address compliance issues, for the benefit of both migrant workers and ethical employers. This is as a result of investigations into accredited employers and feedback on AEWVs (Accredited Employer Work Visas).

Removal of 90-day trial periods for the AEWV

To encourage accredited employers to treat migrant workers fairly, and only recruit someone when they have a genuine labour need or skills gap, 90-day trial periods will no longer be allowed for new Accredited Employer Work Visas (AEWV). Employers found in breach of this could lose their accredited status.

Note that this rule will not apply to already-approved Job Checks, or migrant workers who already hold, or have applied for, an AEWV.

Almost 200 accredited employers are under investigation

Immigration NZ is investigating almost 200 accredited employers – a small number of which have already had their accreditation suspended or cancelled.

A number of factors have prompted these investigations, with allegations of migrant exploitation being one of the reasons. The Government is implementing an independent review of the Accredited Employer scheme: the report on this is anticipated in mid-December.

While this review is underway, Immigration NZ is taking additional time to process visa applications, and are frequently requesting additional information when processing AEWVs.

To put the review into perspective, the majority of the 28,000 or so accredited employers have followed Immigration NZ’s rules, and are good employers. Almost 80,000 AEWVs have been issued to migrant workers, and approximately 250 Exploited Migrant Work Visas have been issued.

We recommend that employers should keep good records, keep up-to-date on immigration changes, ensure new workers are given excellent settlement support, and track visa expiry dates. If you need any assistance with this, please do contact us, we’ll be happy to help.

MBIE will require judicial warrants for out-of-hours compliance visits

The Government will be amending the Immigration Act 2009 to require a judicial warrant for out-of-hours compliance visits. This follows the recommendations in Mike Heron KC’s independent review, where he recommended legislating specific criteria for these visits.

Officials are continuing to work on this legislative change and will provide a specific proposal by the end of November 2023. The legislation will be progressed as a standalone bill that will be passed as soon as possible in the next term.

Other immigration changes and updates

Read our article on other immigration changes and updates.

Contact us for personalised advice

Our team of immigration consultants is here to help you – please contact us for personalised advice for your organisation. Call us on 0800 4 VISAS (0800 484 727) or email

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