What is an Accredited Employer?

New Zealand employers who cannot find suitable New Zealanders for a role, can apply to hire migrants on the Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV).

The purpose of the accreditation process is to ensure that the New Zealand business is viable, meets immigration and employment standards, and will not exploit the migrants they may hire.

Visas that require you to work for an accredited employer:

  • Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV)
  • Care Workforce Work to Residence Visa
  • Partner of a Worker Work Visa
  • Skilled Migrant Category Resident Visa
  • Straight to Residence Visa
  • Transport Work to Residence Visa
  • Work to Residence Visa

Good to know if you are a migrant:

The Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV) is a temporary work visa.

There are now 3 steps to hiring a migrant on an AEWV: Accreditation, the job check and the AEWV application.

Once the employer is accredited they have to advertise their role and get a job check to ensure that there are no suitable New Zealanders they could hire and train before they offer the role to a migrant from overseas.

The three steps for an NZ employer to employ a migrant:
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1.Employer Accreditation

Employers can apply for accreditation .

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

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

The 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.

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2.Job Check

Employers can apply for a job check.

The following principles apply to the job check:

  • jobs must pay market rate
  • terms and conditions must 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
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3.The Accredited Employer Work Visa, AEWV

Migrants can apply for this temporary work visa.

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:
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Sound Financial Position
Revenue, profit and equity levels must prove your ability to sustain employment
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Human Resources Policies and Processes
Must comply with high standards

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Commitment to Training Locals
Training and employing New Zealand citizens or residence class visa holders when possible
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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

Are you a New Zealand employer wanting to employ migrants?

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

List your job vacancies in our Job Pool. It is free.

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.

The Essential Skills Work Visa will close to applications on 3 July 2022.

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 applications 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:
Accredited Employer Work Visa
A visa to work for an accredited employer, if you have a job offer from an accredited employer.
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
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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.

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.

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

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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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