The government of New Zealand announced changes to Partnership Work Visas supported by Accredited Employer Work Visa and Essential Skills Work Visa holders.

Key Points:

  • Beginning June 1, individuals applying for Partnership Work Visas supported by AEWV or ESWV holders may be required to:
    • Only work for an Accredited Employer.
    • Not work in roles covered by capped sector agreements.
    • Be paid at least the median wage in effect at the time they receive their visa or when they receive a job offer if the role is not covered by a sector agreement.
    • Be paid at least the current income requirement if the role is covered by an uncapped sector agreement.
  • The changes to the partner visa does not affect current work visa requirements or for those who apply before May 31.
  • There are no changes to visa conditions for partners of New Zealand nationals or partners of those holding other work visas (such as a Post Study Work Visa).
  • Individuals applying for a Partner of a Worker Work Visa supported by an AEWV holder that meets Green List or twice median wage requirements will not be impacted by the changes.

Additional Information: Partners do not need to have a job offer to apply for the Partner of a Worker Work Visa, and employers do not need to complete a Job Check. Once approved, partners can change employers without applying for a Variation of Conditions, and there is no minimum number of hours that partners need to work. More information regarding the changes to the Partnership Work Visa is available here.

BAL Analysis: Those who have not yet submitted a Partnership Work Visa application will be impacted by the changes if their AEWV partner does not meet Green List or twice median wage requirements. Those who have already applied for or have gained their Partnership Work Visa will not be impacted by the changes until they need to renew their visa.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice Group. For additional information, please contact

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