What are sector agreements for the Accredited Employer Work Visa? 

What are sector agreements? And what is their purpose?

The Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV) is valid for three years for employees paid at, or above, the NZ median wage.

However, Immigration NZ recognises that there are skills shortages in industries where the pay is below the median wage, and that’s where sector agreements come into play.

Key industry sectors have been identified, with different wage thresholds being allowed, and in most cases AEWV visas are issued for two years where there is a sector agreement in place.

The overall aim is to encourage sectors that have traditionally relied on lower-paid migrants to attract, train, upskill, and retain domestic workers instead.

How sector agreements affect migrants’ partners

AEWV holders who are covered by a sector agreement cannot support a partner – in other words, their partner is not eligible to travel, study, work or live in New Zealand. The partner will need to apply for their own New Zealand visa.

Partners who hold a Partner of a Worker Work Visa may work in a role covered by a sector agreement without being subject to a stand down period. They will not be able to work in capped sector agreement roles.

Which industries have sector agreements?

There are sector agreements in place for:

  • Care workforce
  • Construction and infrastructure
  • Meat processing
  • Seafood, including onshore processing and sea-based fishing crew
  • Seasonal snow and adventure tourism.

A closer look at the construction and infrastructure sector

We work closely with our People Inc partner, RecruitNZ, to bring skilled construction workers to New Zealand, so this sector is particularly relevant.

The current sector agreement for construction and infrastructure is in place until October 2024, at which point it will be reviewed. The wage threshold is set at 90% of the median wage. There is no cap on the number of migrant workers permitted by Immigration NZ for this sector.

The visa duration is for two years, but a stand down period applies afterwards, and the migrant won’t be able to apply for another AEWV role that pays below median wage for at least 12 months.

This affects the following occupations:

  • Metal fabricator
  • Welder
  • Fitter-welder
  • Fitter (general)
  • Painting trades worker
  • Fibrous plasterer
  • Solid plasterer
  • Wall and floor tiler
  • AC and refrigeration mechanic
  • Bricklayer
  • Builder’s labourer
  • Carpenter
  • Carpenter and joiner
  • Landscape gardener
  • Drainage, sewerage and stormwater labourer
  • Roof tiler
  • Glazier
  • Plumber’s assistant
  • Roof plumber
  • Painting trade worker
  • Floor finisher
  • Stonemason.

Do you need help with the AEWV or migrant recruitment?

The VisaAide team is here to help you with advice and applications for the Accredited Employer Work Visa, and all other types of New Zealand visas. And together with our People Inc partners, we can provide an end-to-end service for international recruitment. Contact us to find out more.

"Your commitment in providing services to facilitate the process of my Accredited Employer Work Visa is undeniably fast and I am very thankful for your careful assistance with the entire process until it was successfully approved. It’s an early Christmas blessing for my family and I. Kudos to VisaAide for being fast and reliable."

Accredited Employer Work Visa holder

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