26 Jan, 2023

If you have employees who entered New Zealand via the border exemption pathway and they are still on a Critical Purpose Visitor Visa (CPVV) it is time to choose their next visa.

A change in policy late last year now allows CPVV holders to apply for a
Specific Purpose Work Visa (SPWV) instead of requiring an
Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV).

Which visa is the right one for your employees?

To help you secure the right visa pathway, and better understand your options, we have put together the following pros and cons.

Applying for a Specific Purpose Work Visa (SPWV)


-Employer Accreditation not required

-Job Check not required; hence, labour market testing not required

-Cheaper INZ application fee ($735)

-Not necessary to meet new median wage requirements, as long as employment offer is the same or better than that approved for the CPVV

-Ability to support family members on partnership-based or dependent visas

-Access to publicly funded healthcare


-Total duration of visa granted 36 months (including time already spent on CPVV)

Applying for an Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV)

-Longer visa duration granted (up to 3 years not including time already spent on CPVV)

-Access to publicly funded health care


-Employer Accreditation required

-Job Check and tokens required for the role – hence, for most roles, labour market testing also required  

-Slightly higher INZ application fee ($750)

-The individual must have a job offer meeting the median wage at the time of application (or if exempt, the applicable lower rate). The current median wage is $27.76/h, increasing to $29.66/h from 27 Feb 2023

-Due to the above point, the individual may require a pay increase

-For roles not on the Green List or not paying twice the median wage, the ability to support family members will only be in place up to April 2023 (applications must be submitted before then)