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Compulsory Visa Employer Accreditation in 2022

If you run a NZ-based business and employ migrant workers, you now need to be an accredited employer to be able to sponsor them for a work visa.

Home » Employer Accreditation

Compulsory Employer Accreditation in 2022

If you own a business and employ migrant workers, you must be accredited to continue doing so during 2022.

This is part of the consolidation of 6 types of temporary visa categories into a single one, the Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV). One of those visas, the Talent-(Accredited Employer) relied on an accreditation framework from the employer. Now this accreditation process has been revamped and will become a commonplace procedure for NZ companies interested in sponsoring migrants. You will need to apply again even if you have been accredited under the previous system.

Immigration New Zealand (INZ) intends to consolidate several temporary visa categories into a single one. These are:

The new AEWV process is divided into 3 stages: the accreditation process, the job check and the visa application.

Applications for essential skills work visas will close on July 3 2022, any employer wishing to renew the ESWV of an employee will have to apply for accreditation and meet the AEWV conditions.
The core of the accreditation process is proving to INZ that the employer meets a set of conditions, which are stated as

Types of Accredited Employer Visa

There are different types of employer accreditation types.

1

Standard

If the employer wants to employ up to 5 migrant workers on AEWVs at any one time. It has a fee of $740

2

High-volume

If the employer wants to employ 6 or more migrant workers on AEWVs at any one time. It has a fee of $1220

Other types of migrant workers who are on visas such as student, working holiday, partnership-based or post-study work visas are not counted towards the total
As of now, the process for both types of accreditation is the same and the only differences are fees and the number of migrants the employer will be able to apply. INZ has said this might change in the future with additional requirements for High–volume accreditations
Franchises and employers placing migrant workers with controlling third parties (including labour-hire companies) have no restriction on the number of AEWV holders they can employ, but there are extra requirements that must be met. Accreditation fees for franchises are $1980 and for employers wanting to place migrants with controlling third parties is $3870.

An Accredited Employer visa may be granted for the period for which the employment is offered, up to a maximum of 3 years. Every application must be made with an employer being duly accredited and a Job Check stage being approved and valid.

Job Check stage

After accreditation is secured, the employer must apply for a job check for each job they need a migrant for. Multiple positions for the same job can be included in one job check. The job check process is made to ensure the openings meet NZ employment laws and standards and the employer has tried to recruit or train New Zealanders for the position with no success. An approved job check is valid for 6 months or until the employer no longer holds accreditation, whichever is earlier.

Visa Application stage

The vast majority of applicants are on the Paying Student Visa category

How can we help the employer?

This new hiring process does not need to be stressful. We can take over one, two or all stages of the AEWV application. We especially recommend doing this process in its early stages when the High-Volume Accreditation still doesn’t have additional requirements.

The accreditation process has now become a staple of the employment landscape and can no longer be avoided. We have experience in liaising with INZ on the behalf of employers to get them the required permits, exceptions or visas to start work.

We can assist with the Job Check process including preparation of the necessary evidence that you have no other recourse but to hire immigrants for the openings you need to fill and that you have satisfied all of INZ criteria regarding this process.

We have a proven record of success with temporary visa applications and can liaise directly with the employee to take over the final visa application process including potential health or character waiver issues.

Accredited Employer NZ

With this, the proposed framework will require employers to hold “Employer Accredited” status with INZ, before a visa may be approved for them to employ a migrant worker.   This will include employers with existing staff members on a work visa that need visa extensions as well. 

No visa shall be approved outside of this compulsory scheme after mid 2021.  

To comply with this new requirement, the employers will need to apply for accreditation with INZ and in enough time to avoid delays. The accreditation process is a very stringent and involved process whereby INZ must be satisfied that the business fully complies with New Zealand Employment and Immigration Law, amongst other factors in their assessment.  

Hurry to avoid queues and unnecessary delays in hiring your (migrant) staff starting from mid-2021

Accredited Employer NZ Process

This is a new process that must be completed before applying for the visa or the employee starting work. The accreditation process is stage 1 of the new Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV) framework which has been created by Inmigration New Zealand (INZ) in order to promote the hiring of New Zealanders, the protection of migrant workforce and to streamline the recruitment of migrants when there are no suitable New Zealanders for the job.

This new process aims to give the employer more control and responsibilities during the hiring process than before.

The next two stages, the Job Check and the Visa Application are more similar to the previous process required under the Essential Skills Work Visa, the visa category the AEWV is replacing.

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    • 1. How to become an Accredited Employer nz?

      Accreditation is done by applying to INZ (either directly or assisted by an immigration adviser) and it opens from May 23 2022. Processing time has been estimated to take about a month.
      The company can choose to apply for a standard or a high volume accreditation. Standard accreditation allows the company to employ 1 to 5 migrants on AEWVs. High Volume employers are allowed to hire more than 6 migrants on AEWVs.

    • 2. What is accredited employer?

      Accredited employers are companies that are allowed to sponsor migrants under the new Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV) which is set to become the standard visa to sponsor migrants for temporary work roles.
      Accreditation is only relevant for hiring migrants under the AEWV. Employers don’t need to be accredited to hire migrants under other types of visas with work rights such as partnership, student, working holiday, post-study, RSE (Recognized seasonal employer), etc.

    • 3. How to check accredited employer?

      INZ has not released yet the exact document checklist for becoming accredited. However, they have stated that the process hinges on demonstrating that the company is a genuinely operating business, with no recent history of non-compliance with employment and immigration law and to demonstrating a commitment to training and developing New Zealanders as well as improving pay and conditions over time.

    • 4. How much does it cost to become an accredited employer?

      Immigration New Zealand fees are $740 for standard accreditation and $1220 for High Volume accreditation. Both accreditations have an initial duration of 12 months, after that renewals are valid for 24 months. Our fees are $800 for a standard accreditation and $1,800 for a higher volume one.

    How can Visa Advisers help?

    We are experienced with facilitating employer accreditation applications with INZ.  We can also provide support staff to assist you with the required documentation (if required)