Immigration Update: Essential Skills Work Visa (ESWV) - Changes benefitting employers who wish to retain their migrant workforce

19th July 2021

From 19 July 2021, several changes will come into play which offer more flexibility to migrants applying for an ESWV.

For certain migrant employees who are applying for an ESWV to remain in their current, full-time employment at the time of application:

  • There is no requirement for INZ to be satisfied that there are no New Zealand citizens or residents available for work (labour market testing),
  • The application may be made without certain employer documents, such as evidence of the employee’s current remuneration payment, employment agreement, offer of employment or skills match report,
  • The application may be made without certain employee documents, such as evidence of qualifications, work experience or occupational registration and evidence of meeting the health and character requirements (if this evidence was provided in a previous visa application), and
  • If the remuneration for the employment is below the median wage, the visa can be granted for up to 24 months.

Introduction of Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV) delayed

INZ has announced that the introduction of the AEWV which was scheduled for 1 November 2021, will be deferred until the middle of 2022. We are yet to receive an update as to how this will impact other visa classes which supposed to be replaced by the AEWV.


Sarah Caulton, Senior Associate