NEW ZEALAND: Accredited Work Visa Process

April 26, 2022


Background

All employers in New Zealand who intend to bring in foreign nationals to take on permanent or local roles will need to have an accreditation status after 4 July 2022.

The accreditation status would come with employee and employer obligations that will then be verified by Immigration New Zealand (INZ) by way of conducting random audit checks at any time an employee holds an Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV). Failure to comply with the requirements of INZ risks that an accreditation application may be declined or an existing accreditation status may be revoked.

Process

There will be three steps involved with individual applications for each process.

Step 1: Employer Accreditation

Employers will be required to demonstrate that their business is:

  • genuinely operating and viable;
  • compliant with immigration and employment law; and
  • providing appropriate employment and community settlement support to migrant workers.

There are three accreditation categories available:

  1. Standard Accreditation – this can be applied for by employers who are employing up to 5 foreign nationals on AEWVs at any one time
  2. High-Volume – this can be applied for by employers who are employing 6 or more foreign nationals on AEWVs at any one time
  3. * Labour Hire – this can be applied for if the foreign nationals are going to be sponsored by third parties such as labour hire or employer of record companies

*Labour hire companies are required to meet additional criteria and the government filing fees are higher.

Step 2: Job Check

A labour market test will be completed to check:

  • If there is a New Zealand worker who will be available to take on the role or if the worker will be readily trainable;
  • If the application does not require advertising given the job is paid at 200% of the median wage;
  • If the applicant is paid at least the median wage (NZD 27.76 hourly) or at a level within the market rate of the occupation; and
  • If the employment contract complies with the local employment and immigration law.

The advertisement must be completed before this step is completed and it has to be posted for at least two weeks on a national advertisement platform or a platform that would be acceptable for any roles paying over the median wage.

Step 3: AEWV Individual visa application

This step will review the foreign national’s eligibility against the requirements of the occupation in addition to the identity, health and character checks.

Key Dates

Date Step
23 May 2022 Authorities will start accepting accreditation applications.
20 June 2022 Upon approval of accreditation, job checks can be submitted.
3 July 2022 This is the last day to file the essential skills applications.
4 July 2022 Authorities will start accepting AEW application filings.

 

Individuals and organizations impacted by this development are encouraged to contact a Newland Chase immigration specialist for case-specific advice.

For general advice and information on immigration and business travel to New Zealand, please contact us.

This immigration update is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for legal or scenario-specific advice. Furthermore, it is important to note that immigration announcements are subject to sudden and unexpected changes. Readers are encouraged to reach out to Newland Case for any case- or company-specific assessments.