An aerial view of Auckland, New Zealand - Partner of a Worker Work Visa in New Zealand to be revised An aerial view of Auckland, New Zealand - Partner of a Worker Work Visa in New Zealand to be revised


Revised Partner of a Worker Work Visa in New Zealand Takes Effect on May 31

New Zealand
#workvisa #familyvisa

Significant immigration system reforms are being implemented in New Zealand, especially with regard to the Partner of a Worker Work Visa. A revised policy defining new employment terms will go into effect on May 31 for partners of people with Accredited Employer Work Visas (AEWV) and Essential Skills Work Visas (ESWV).

What is a Partner of a Worker Work Visa?

The New Zealand immigration system provides a kind of visa known as the Partner of a Worker Work Visa. It is for people who wish to travel with or join a partner who is in New Zealand on a work visa or who is applying for a work visa.

What's going on with the Partner of a Worker Work Visa?

Open work privileges will still be available to partners of AEWV holders who are hired off the Green List or who are paid at least twice the median income.

As of May 31, 2023, partners of all AEWV holders who are paid at or above the median wage may apply for a work visa with the following restrictions: 

  • They are only permitted to work for accredited employers.
  • They must receive at least the 29.66 NZD/hour median wage.
  • They may be paid below the median salary if they perform labour covered by an uncapped sector agreement, but they must receive the wage threshold.
  • They must be paid at least the median pay in effect at the time they acquire their visa or when they accept a job offer, whichever comes first if they are performing work that is not covered by a sector agreement.

Exceptions for Partners of Worker Work Visa

Some spouses of AEWV or ESWV holders will still be qualified for a work permit that entitles them to employment in New Zealand in any occupation for any company, with no requirement that they meet the median pay. It includes:

  • Migrants who receive salaries at least twice as high as the median salary, or
  • Persons from abroad who are employed in a position on the Green List

These exceptions cover immigrants who, although they didn't fulfil these criteria when they applied for their visa, have done so since, either through a pay rise or having their job added to the Green List.


Partners of AEWV and ESWV holders' work visa terms will alter under New Zealand's updated Partner of a Worker Work Visa, which takes effect on May 31. It tries to rebalance the immigration system by adding additional requirements while granting exclusions for highly-paid and Green List workers.


If partners don't initially match the qualifications, can they later become eligible?

Partners who initially did not match the standards may do so later on after receiving a wage rise or being included in the Green List.

Are job offers required for partners to apply for this visa?

No, partners do not need to have an employment offer to apply for the Partner of a Worker Work Visa. However, the relevant requirements must be met by any upcoming employment offers.


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