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  • Chethani Serasundera

New Changes which on shore visa holders and employers


Details on few extensions and the awaited announcement on the pay rate increase was announced on 10th June 2021 by Immigration Minister Kris Faafoi.


A. For Working Holiday visa holders and Supplementary Seasonal Employment (SSE) work visa holders:

  • Visas which are due to expire between 21 June 2021 and 31 December 2021 period will be extended for another six months.

  • SSE visa holders will have open work rights which will allow them to work in any sector.

  • Onshore applicants who have previously held a temporary work visa will still be able to apply for SSE work visas (new visas granted under this category will be restricted to work in the horticulture and viticulture sectors).

Get in touch with us if you don’t receive your Working Holiday or SSE visa extension by 25 June 2021, we can follow it up for you!


B. For Essential Skills work visa holders:

  • Duration of Essential Skills visas for jobs paid below the median wage will increase from six to 12 months.

  • Implementation of the stand-down period for these jobs will also be further postponed until July 2022.

Apart from the above changes, from 19 July, Essential Skills work visa applications, as well as Skilled Migrant Category residence applications and the Other Critical Worker border exception category visa applications will be evaluated against the updated median hourly wage rate of $27.


C. Accreditation:

  • Applications for accreditation process begins from September 2021.

  • If you wish to support any migrant workers with their visa applications, you as an employer is required to be accredited before 1st of November 2021.

  • The type of accreditation required for your business depends on the number of migrant workers you wish to support as an employer.

i. If you employ only 5 or less migrant workers, the type of accreditation you should apply for is ‘Standard accreditation’.

ii. However, if you have 6 or more migrant workers you are required to apply for ‘High Volume Accreditation’.

  • Before hiring a migrant on the AEWV, employers will need to:

i. Apply for accreditation under the new system.

ii. Apply for a job check to ensure the role they want to fill cannot be done by New Zealanders; and

iii. Request a migrant worker to apply for a visa.


  • The new Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV) replaces the following 6 work visas:

i. Essential Skills Work Visa

ii. Essential Skills Work Visa- Approved in principle

iii. Talent (Accredited Employer) Work Visa

iv. Long Term Skill Shortage List Work Visa

v. Silver Fern Job Search Visa (closed 7 October 2019)

vi. Silver Fern Practical Experience Visa


Wish to get in line for accreditation ahead of time?

We can help you sort out the required documents and get your application in right on time!