These changes to Partner of a Worker Work Visa are part of the Government’s plan to rebalance the Immigration system to support a higher-productivity, higher-wage economy.
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 may have new conditions that mean:
- They can only work for an Accredited Employer.
- They cannot work in roles covered by capped sector agreements.
- If working in a role not covered by a sector agreement, they must be paid at least the median wage in effect at the time they receive their visa, or when they receive a job offer, whichever is later. This is currently NZD $29.66.
- If working in a role 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.
This includes most partners of workers who hold an Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV) or an Essential Skills Work Visa (ESWV).
Partners do not need to have a job offer to apply for this visa, and employers do not need to complete a Job Check. When granted, partners can change employers without applying for a Variation of Conditions. There is no minimum number of hours that partners need to work.
People who are currently employed will need to ensure their employment meets the conditions of their new visa when any new visa takes effect. People who are not employed will need to ensure any future job offer meets these conditions.
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.
From 31 May, people will be able to check on the INZ website if an employer is accredited.
The changes do not affect current work visa conditions or people who apply before 31 May 2023. 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).