Sep 25, 2023

Government announces further tightening of AEWV settings for employers hiring migrant workers

Immigration Update – Changes to support visa holders, set to impact employers

The Government has just announced further changes to the immigration system to increase protection and support for migrant workers. Whilst these initiatives have arisen to help prevent exploitation, they will mean extra obligations and requirements for employers and should not be ignored.

Below is a quick summary outlining the latest updates.

What are the updates and how will they impact employers?

90-day trial period to be abolished

The 90-day trial period is to be removed for those employed on an Accredited Employer Work Visas (AEWV) moving forward. The decision aims to protect new arrivals from early dismissal whilst still settling into New Zealand life. A 90-day trial will still apply for those who already hold an AEWV, or those who have already applied for an AEWV. Probationary periods are still allowable.

Job Checks must not include a trial period

From late October 2023, any new ‘Job Check’ must not include an employment agreement with a trial period. The update will not apply if a Job Check has already been approved but a Job Check that is under assessment will be declined if it includes a trial period (regardless of the submission date), or Immigration New Zealand may request updated information. Breaches of this standard could lead to loss of accreditation.

Financial assistance for those on an MEPV

Short-term, basic financial support and job search assistance will now be available to those on the Migrant Exploitation Protection Work Visa (MEPV).

MEPV extensions

An option has been introduced for MEPV holders to apply for a second MEPV if they need more time to search for a job.

There are requirements you need to meet in this ever changing landscape, or you could risk being unable to hire or retain the talent you need for your business.

If you have any current Job Checks underway or are looking to hire and want to ensure a smooth successful process, don’t leave it to chance. We can help you get prepared.


Nassim Lalehzari
Chief Commercial Officer – Visas
IAA License #201200100

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