Accredited Employer Work Visa


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Employer Accreditation Job Check Employee Check More on The Green List and

The Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV) pathway is the new method for dairy farmers in New Zealand to employ international workers, replacing the previous Essential Skills Visa pathway. This page outlines the three-step process for the AEWV pathway: Employer Accreditation, Job Check, and Employee Check. For dairy farmers, there are specific guidelines for advertising jobs in New Zealand, including detailed requirements for job adverts. The Green List, including roles like herd manager, simplifies hiring for high-demand positions. If you plan to employ international employees, understanding these new rules and promptly applying for accreditation is vital.


Historically, most dairy farmers have employed international workers using the Essential Skills Visa pathway. This pathway no longer exists and has been replaced with the Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV) pathway.

Information on the AEWV pathway can be found at Accreditation for the AEWV | Immigration New Zealand

The AEWV pathway has 3 steps and these must be followed in order:

1. Employer Accreditation

2. Job Check

3. Employee Check

DairyNZ cannot provide immigration advice however we do make the following recommendations:

1. Employer Accreditation

If you currently employ or are planning to employ international employees, apply to get accredited now. No accreditation means you are unable to employ an international worker or renew their visa if they already work for you. To become accredited visit: Employer accreditation: check what you need and apply.

2. Job Check

The requirements around job advertising are much more stringent. Read about all the requirements at Job check: check what you need and apply.

For dairy farms, the biggest changes are that jobs adverts must now:

  • Be advertised in NZ, on Farm Source or equivalent for a minimum of 2 weeks
  • Clearly state the number of hours to be worked, the roster, the remuneration being offered (e.g. a salary or hourly rate and what that is), and the cost of rent if applicable and for what type of accommodation
  • Clearly state the role being offered including job title, tasks and responsibilities.

The detail in the job advertisement must be the same information that appears in the proposed employment agreement you send to INZ as part of the job check. This will effectively be a complete employment agreement but without any employee information.

There is an ability to include ranges around hours and pay in the job advert (although each and every hour must be above the NZ median wage, currently $29.66) to allow for flexibility depending on the people that apply. It is important however to keep in mind that the point of the job check is to see if there are any New Zealanders available to do the job.

If you are employing a farm assistant or assistant herd manager, then it is recommended to be thorough in your job advertisement so you do not need to repeat it.

If you are employing a herd manager or above role then you do not need to advertise within NZ. This is because there is agreement that there is a shortage of people for these roles and therefore they are on an Occupations Green List. All other requirements apply except for advertising the job.

Employers are not allowed to advertise for a herd manager or above role and then employ someone with no experience (or not enough experience).

3. Employee Check

The employee will need to submit a complete employment agreement with their visa application. This employment agreement must be the same (i.e., the hours of work, remuneration and other details fall within the ranges offered) as the proposed employment agreement but with the employee details filled in.

If you are employing someone under ANZSCO 121313 (herd manager or above) they will need evidence that they have the required skills and experience for the role.

Find out more about applying for a work visa at Preparing a visa application.

More on The Green List and what it means

The Green List makes it easier for employers to hire and attract international employees for specified high-skilled, hard-to-fill occupations, with guaranteed residence pathways for eligible people.

The Green List only contains highly skilled roles that have been identified as being in high demand globally and in ongoing shortage in New Zealand. On farm herd manager and above roles on are on the Green List.

These roles do have registration, qualification or experience requirements, and more detail on these is available on the Immigration New Zealand website. For dairy it is an experience requirement.

Employers do not need to provide proof of advertising for these occupations when progressing an accredited employer work visa (AEWV) job check application.

International employees working in a herd manager or above role have a pathway to residence pathway available after working on farm in New Zealand for 3 years (time as a farm assistant counts towards this). Their partners have open work rights. Residence pathways are limited to migrants 55 years or younger.

Find out more at Green List occupations.

Last updated: Sep 2023

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