Accredited Employers

New Zealand employers who want to employ migrants will need to become accredited with Immigration New Zealand. The current voluntary accreditation system will close.

Please note that the following outline is a “work in progress” and will be updated along with further announcements from Immigration New Zealand.

Update 16th July 2021: Immigration New Zealand has announced that the new Accredited Employer Work Visa, AEWV, is temporarily deferred.

The introduction of the AEWV, previously scheduled for 1 November 2021, will be temporarily deferred to the middle of next year.

If you want to employ migrants or are currently employing migrants, it is important that you stay up to date with their visa requirements.

NZIC will keep this page updated on the progress of the AEWV, but first of all we recommend that you register for our webinar, which is specifically tailored to inform employers about the implications of these changes for them.

2021
Changes

Employer Webinar on Accreditation Policy Changes

We invite all New Zealand employers to attend our webinar on Employer Accreditation Policy Changes, held by our Senior Licensed Immigration Adviser Dr. Carsten Hallwass.

Carsten will explain the policy changes, what the new process will entail for New Zealand employers wanting to employ migrants, whether the migrant is already in New Zealand or still offshore, and how our new program will help you to retain your skilled staff.

Our next Employer Webinar is on Wednesday, the 4th of August at 9am.

Register your interest to find out about our new program, specifically designed to meet employer's needs!

REGISTER INTEREST IN WEBINAR

Summary of changes:

  • On the 30th of June the current Accredited Employer policies closed to new and renewing applications. Employers accredited under the current system must now apply and meet the policy requirements of the new accreditation system
  • A new Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV) will be introduced mid 2022 and replace 6 existing temporary work visa categories
  • All employers need to be Accredited before they can hire a migrant on an Accredited Employer Work Visa
  • A new employer-led system will also be introduced that is aimed to simplify the application process to make it easier for businesses and regions to fill skills shortages for which there is clearly no New Zealander available to do the job, or be trained to fill the role.

What does this mean for New Zealand employers?

Employers who don’t apply for this status will still be able to support work visa applications under the Essential Skills Work Visa category for now.

Employers employing migrants who hold a current talent or essential skill visa don’t need to become accredited unless they want to hire someone on the new visa system.

The new Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV) will replace the following 6 work visas:

  • Essential Skills Work Visa
  • Talent (Accredited Employer) Work Visa
  • Long Term Skill Shortage List Work Visa
  • Essential Skills Work Visa — approved in principle
  • Silver Fern Job Search Visa (closed 7 October 2019)
  • Silver Fern Practical Experience Visa

The following visas will not be changed by the new visa system:

  • Skilled Migrant Residence Visas
  • Category Working holiday schemes
  • Post-study Work Visas
  • Partnership work visas (including Partner of a Worker Work Visa, Partner of a New Zealander Work Visa and Partner of a Student Work Visa)
  • Interim Visas
  • Fishing Crew Work Visas
  • Religious Worker Work Visas
  • Specific Purpose Work Visas
  • Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) Limited Visa
  • Work visas granted for international or humanitarian reasons, such as domestic staff of diplomats, consular and official staff, and for refugee or protection status claimants.

What will it take for New Zealand employers to employ a migrant?

Employers will be able to apply for accreditation from late September, ahead of the introduction date mid 2022. To become accredited, you have to submit an application for accreditation. To then employ a migrant, a job check will be required, followed by a migrant worker check.


The Accredited Employer Visa application process contains of three checks:

Employer Check

Employers need accreditation in the new system – even if they are accredited under the current system.

Only accredited employers can hire a migrant worker on the AEWV.

The new accreditation levels are:

  • Standard Accreditation for employers who want to have up to 5 migrant workers
  • High-volume Accreditation for employers who want to have 6 or more migrant workers on AEWVs at any one time.

Franchisees and employers wanting to place migrants on AEWVs with third parties (including labour hire companies) will need to meet additional criteria to get accredited.

Job Check

The following principles apply to the job check:

  • jobs must pay market rate
  • terms and conditions comply with employment law

Some job checks will also involve a labour market test.

  • A labour market test shows that an employer has genuinely advertised the role to New Zealanders and there are none available to do the job.

When a labour market test is required:

  • For jobs that pay below the median wage

When a labour market test is not required:

In the cities (Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, Hamilton and Dunedin):

  • Jobs paying at or above 200% the median wage, or
  • Jobs that are on a skills shortage list, and pay at or above the median wage

In the regions:

  • Jobs paying at or above the median wage

Migrant Worker Check

The migrant worker must show they meet:

  • health requirements
  • character requirements
  • identity requirements
  • skills and experience as stipulated as part of the employer's Job Check
With your application you have to demonstrate that you comply with the following requirements:
Sound Financial Position
Revenue, profit and equity levels must prove your ability to sustain employment
Human Resources Policies and Processes
Must comply with high standards

Commitment to Training Locals
Training and employing New Zealand citizens or residence class visa holders when possible
Good Workplace Practices
A history of compliance with all immigration and employment New Zealand laws

You need to meet these accredited employer criteria throughout the whole term of your
accreditation

Are you a New Zealand employer wanting to employ migrants?

We have helped many New Zealand employers with their accreditation application.

Find out how we can help you become accredited and employ skilled migrants.

What do the policy changes mean for migrant job seekers?

Employers must complete the employer accreditation process before migrants can apply for a work visa. This is an employer led process, see above.

Current temporary work visas will not be affected, as long as visa conditions are still being met and the visa remains valid.

Different to the current system, the new regulations do not provide a designated pathway to residence. There are 'rumours' that this might be introduced at a later stage.

With Residence from Work Visa application underway however (requiring a further Work to Residence visa to be granted residence), applicants will be able to continue this process if they remain with their current employer.

Current Accredited Employer Pathway to Residence
The current Accredited Employer Work to Residence Program consists of two stages:
1.
Accredited Employer Work Visa
A visa to work for an accredited employer, if you have a job offer from an accredited employer.
Requirements:
To be eligible for a work visa under the Talent (Accredited Employers) Work policy you must:
  • hold an offer of employment in New Zealand from an accredited employer
  • be aged 55 years of under
  • meet the health and character requirements for residence
  • meet the requirements for bona fide applicants
  • meet the general requirements for lodging a visa
2.
Residence from Work Visa
A resident visa for people who have been employed in New Zealand by an accredited employer for more than 2 years.

Requirements:
You might be able to apply for a residence visa subsequently to the work visa if:
  • you have held a work visa granted under this policy for a period of at least 24 months
  • you have been employed in New Zealand throughout a period of 24 months by any accredited employer
  • your job meets minimum salary requirements (NZ$79,560 since 7 October 2019 or NZ$55,000 before that date)
  • you hold full or provisional registration, if full or provisional registration is required to practice in your the occupation
  • you meet health and character requirements.

Requirements of the job offer under current policy

Your offer of employment must meet the following strict requirements:

  • from an accredited employer
  • for employment in New Zealand
  • in the employers core area of business activity
  • where the employer will have direct responsibility for your work output
  • for a period of at least 24 months
  • for full-time employment (at least 30 hours a week)
  • current at the time of assessing the application and at the time of visa grant
  • for a position with a minimum base salary of NZ$79,560
  • accompanied by evidence of full or provisional registration, or eligibility for such registration,if lawfully required to take the offer
  • compliant with all relevant employment law in New Zealand
  • with an employer who has a history of compliance with employment law, and not included on a list of non-compliant employers maintained by the Labour Inspectorate


a note from our licensed immigration advisers

Are you a migrant and working for an accredited employer?

Complete our Free Assessment to find out if you qualify for residence in New Zealand under the current Accredited Employer Pathway to Residence policy.
Free Assessment

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The great work done before has surely helped to achieve this quick positive result. NZIC are really professional and know what to do when to do it and how to do it. That is so convenient and efficient! I’m still working with them for the next steps and would like to thank them again for their help and support.  Thank you.  Kind Regards.

FB
France
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Anna was worth her weight in gold---she was fantastic at helping me format my CV and search for jobs that suited my skill set.  In the end, I got a great job in a great city.  Carsten and his team were very thorough and helpful when it came time to apply for and get our visas. They are now helping us with our resident visas, and I'm certain that the process will be the same. I'd recommend them highly.

KJ
USA
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NZIC guided me all the way through getting my first work visa to permanent residency. Their job seeking support was key when I first arrived in NZ, communication was always easy and clear. I'm very thankful for their help and definitely recommend their services.

DO
Brazil
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Dear Jannie, just want to drop a note to thank for your everything. Your help is much appreciated! You are a wonderful and professional job search coach! I am so lucky to have you supporting me!

MK
Hong Kong