Practice guidance: Accredited employer work visa

13 June 2022

Practice guidance is our interpretation of how professional standards apply in a particular situation. It is designed to help practices deal with common issues, using judgement to apply the advice to their own situation. It represents our best efforts at the time of publication but standards and expectations change over time and particular care should be used when reading old advice.

If you are an employer looking to employ a veterinarian from overseas who needs a visa to work here, the most likely visa pathway to follow is the Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV). This page sets out some simple guidance to understand the process and what is required.

More information can be found on the INZ website (The accreditation process | Immigration New Zealand).

We also recommend that you check that any candidate you are considering is eligible for registration with us (Registration) as this will be required as part of the job check and in order for them to work as a veterinarian in New Zealand. If you are in any doubt, you can contact us.

The process

The AEWV process is in 3 steps:

  1. The employer gets accredited
  2. The employer gets a job check and gets an approved job
  3. The candidate applies for a AEWV.

Apply for employer accreditation

The application can be started any time online. The Immigration New Zealand (INZ) application page has information about the process (Employer accreditation: check what you need and apply | Immigration New Zealand).

A business can choose to apply for standard (up to 5 migrants) or high volume (6 or more) accreditation with the fee varying depending on which is applied for.

INZ estimates it will take up to 10 working days (2 weeks) to process either type.

Apply for a job check

Normally employers must advertise the job locally before applying for a job check but, because veterinarians are on the Green List, this can be skipped.

Once accredited, the veterinary employer can apply for a job check. This can be done online and a job description and employment agreement will need to be included.

This page sets out what is needed and how to apply: Job check: check what you need | Immigration New Zealand.

Note that veterinarians will need to be working for at least 30 hours per week and paid more than the NZ median wage of $27.76 per hour (i.e. $57,740 per year assuming a 40 hour per week contract).

If the job check is approved, you can offer the job to the overseas veterinarian. INZ will send a job token (unique number) that can be sent to the person for use when they apply for a visa.

This process is also estimated to take up to 10 working days.

The candidate applies for a visa

Once you have an approved job check, you can ask the candidate to apply for their visa. They will need the job token received in the previous step.

INZ estimates that it will take 20 working days (4 weeks) to process a complete visa application.

Speak with INZ if you have questions

New Zealand based employers can request a call from INZ to ask questions about the AEWV. This can be done via the INZ website: Request a call back — for New Zealand employers | Immigration New Zealand

Timing and costs

Based on current information from INZ (June 2022), the likely costs for to get a visa for one migrant employee are:

  • Employer accreditation (assuming standard accreditation is applied for): $740
  • Job check: $610
  • Migrant applicant and immigration levy: $595

Total: $1945 (additional costs if any step is declined and reconsideration is needed).

The total processing time by INZ is estimated to be 40 working days (8 weeks) and any time spent preparing the application at each stage will have to be added to that.