On Sunday 7 April 2024 New Zealand’s Immigration Minister announced immediate changes to the Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV) scheme.

The Government has indicated changes are designed to ensure more stringent testing of the local labour market to reduce the risk of putting New Zealanders out of work and to reduce what the Government has called “unsustainable” levels of migration.

In 2023, annual net migration to New Zealand hit a near record high of more than 173,000 non-New Zealand citizens in the year to December.

Changes to the visa program include the introduction of English language requirements for low-skilled jobs and setting a minimum skills and work experience threshold for most employer work visas. The maximum continuous stay for most low-skilled roles has also been reduced from five years to three years.

Unless your occupation is on the Green List and meets the Green List role requirements, or is paid at least twice the median wage, you must now have:

·        at least 3 years’ relevant work experience.  To meet the work experience requirement, you must provide evidence proving you did the work — you cannot include documents that you wrote (this includes a CV).
·        a relevant qualification at level 4 or above of the New Zealand Qualifications and Credentials Framework (NZQCF). Evidence of your qualification must be accompanied by an International Qualification Assessment (IQA) if it is below Bachelor’s degree level.

Plans to add 11 roles to Tier 1 of the Green List were also cancelled.

Fortunately, the majority of healthcare roles, including doctors, specialists, sonographers, radiographers, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, speech pathologists, nuclear medicine technologists and podiatrists remain on Tier 1 of the Green List and are not impacted by the changes at this time.

The Green Lists are regularly reviewed with professions added and removed from the lists to meet the country’s labour shortages.

If your occupation is currently still on the Green List there is no better time to make the move to New Zealand.

Contact GHS today.