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  • Writer's pictureTHI

Changes to Partner of a Worker Work Visa

Updated: Aug 8, 2023

Work conditions for partners of migrant workers

People who successfully apply for a Partner of a Worker Work Visa on or after 31 May 2023 will have new conditions that mean:

  • they can only work for an accredited employer

  • they cannot be self-employed

  • they cannot work below the median wage in roles covered by capped sector agreements.

  • if they are working in a role:

    • not covered by an uncapped sector agreement, they must be paid at least the median wage in effect at the time they receive their visa, or job offer, whichever is later. This is currently NZD $29.66.

    • covered by an uncapped sector agreement, they must be paid at least the relevant wage threshold in place. They will not be subject to a stand-down period.

Points to note:

  1. Partners do not need to have a job offer to apply for this visa, and employers do not need to complete a Job Check.

  2. When granted, partners can change employers without applying for a Variation of Conditions.

  3. There is no minimum number of hours that partners need to work.

  4. Any later changes to the employer’s accreditation, the median wage and sector agreements will not impact the visa holder if they remain in the same employment.

  5. The changes do not affect current work visa conditions or people who apply before 31 May 2023.

  6. There are no changes to visa conditions for partners of New Zealanders or partners of those holding other work visas (such as a Post Study Work Visa).

Exceptions for partners of highly paid and Green List workers

Some partners of AEWV or ESWV holders will continue to be eligible for a work visa allowing them to work in any occupation for any employer in New Zealand, with no median wage threshold. This includes partners of:

  • migrants who are paid at least twice the median wage, or

  • migrants who are working in a role on the Green List.

Some AEWV and ESWV holders cannot support a partner work visa

Points to note:

  1. AEWV holders who are covered by a sector agreement and paid below the median wage are not eligible to support a partner work visa.

  2. ESWV holders paid below the median wage (or lower-skilled if the visa application was made before 27 July 2020) are also not eligible to support a partner work visa.

  3. If they receive a pay rise to at least earn the median wage, they may be able to support their partner for a work visa.

  4. Partners of temporary workers can explore other visas to see if they are eligible to apply in their own right. Partners who do not want to work can apply for a Visitor Visa.


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