In order to take advantage of the Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV) program, employers must first be accredited by Immigration New Zealand.
If you are a New Zealand business with a regular need for migrant workers, becoming an Accredited Employer can save your business significant time and resources by allowing you to take advantage of the Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV)
As an accredited employer, your business will benefit from faster processing times and fewer documentation requirements, along with eliminating the challenges associated with demonstrating that a New Zealander is unavailable for the role.
In some cases, if you and your partner have been living together outside of New Zealand for five or more years, and your partner is a New Zealand citizen, you may be granted a Permanent Resident Visa. However, your partner must be either overseas when you apply or have been back in New Zealand for less than three months.
The Employer Accreditation process may seem overwhelming at first, as it requires meeting certain minimum requirements and making specific commitments to your migrant workers, all of which may vary depending on the level and type of accreditation your business requires. However, ICL is here to simplify the process for you, as our experienced immigration advisors have helped countless business get accredited, and can help you with every step, from start to finish.
If you’re ready to take advantage of the many benefits of the AEWV, including saving time and money, get in touch with one of our professional immigration specialists and take the first step towards accreditation.
Is it a requirement for my business to get accredited?
Starting July 4, 2022, employers who wish to hire migrant workers under the new Accredited Employer Work Visa are required to be accredited with Immigration New Zealand (INZ).
While accreditation is not mandatory for businesses that solely employ migrants with open work visas, like post-study, partnership, or working holiday visas, it will soon become a requirement. This means that businesses employing such workers should prepare to obtain accreditation in the near future.
Furthermore, accreditation will become mandatory for all work visas, including those for partners, students, and working holiday visa holders, starting later in 2023. Therefore, all employers intending to support new work visas for these workers when renewing their visas will need to be accredited.
How does a business become an accredited employer?
If you want to become an accredited employer, your business must fulfil specific obligations, which include, but are not limited to:
- If you’re a foreign national seeking employment in New Zealand, the Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV) can be an excellent option. To be eligible for this visa, you must first secure a job with an Accredited Employer.
- Completing mandatory training modules for both your migrant workers and key staff with Employer NZ
If your business operates in the labour hire or related sectors, there may be additional obligations to comply with the AEWV program. These could involve increased scrutiny of recruitment practices, training for New Zealand workers, and more detailed verification checks.
Still unsure whether your business meets these requirements or how to ensure compliance with the AEWV? Schedule a no-strings-attached consultation with one of our expert immigration advisers today!
What are the different types of Employer Accreditation?
The Accredited Employer Work Visa program offers two primary accreditation tiers: Standard and High-Volume, and additional requirements apply to employers operating in labour-hire, tripartite, or franchise sectors.
Standard Employer Accreditation
This accreditation applies to employers who currently employ or plan to employ between 1 to 5 migrant workers. It focuses on ensuring compliance with minimum employment standards and is suitable for low-risk standard employers, including small businesses. If the process is successfully completed, the initial accreditation is valid for 12 months, with options for 24-month renewals.
High-Volume Employer Accreditation
High-Volume Employer Accreditation is designed for companies that intend to hire six or more employer-assisted migrants in a year. The process is similar to the standard accreditation, with a focus on meeting higher standards for attracting and retaining New Zealand workers, such as providing fair wages, skills development, and training. The initial accreditation is valid for 12 months, with options for 24-month renewals.
Labour Hire/Tripartite/Franchise Accreditation
If you operate in the labour hire, tripartite, or franchise sectors, additional requirements will apply. These may include higher standards to meet, more in-depth checks, and on-site inspections. These checks generally focus on recruitment practices, training New Zealanders, and detailed up-front verification. The initial accreditation and renewals are valid for 12 months.
What is the Employer Accreditation process and how long does it take?
To be eligible for Employer Accreditation, your initial application must contain essential documentation to ensure the safety and employment conditions of migrant workers. This includes a plan to monitor these conditions, such as verifying that the third party is not on a standdown list, obtaining necessary certificates and records, obtaining third-party permission for site visits, and having a documented complaints and resolution process.
The New Zealand Immigration office (INZ) will conduct a comprehensive assessment of your business during the accreditation process to ensure that it meets certain standards.
This includes having a sound financial position, good human resource practices, good workplace practices, and a commitment to train and employ New Zealanders. As of May 23, 2022, the Employer Accreditation process typically takes around 10 working days to complete, but this timeframe may vary depending on demand and other factors.
Want to become an Accredited Employer? Get in touch with one of our accreditation experts today to take the first step! ICL has helped numerous businesses get accredited and can help you do the same by guiding you through the entire process and ensuring you meet all the requirements outlined above.
What are the criteria and requirements for applying for Employer Accreditation?
To apply for Employer Accreditation, businesses must meet certain standards. These standards include possessing a valid New Zealand Business Number (NZBN) and operating as a legitimate business. Employers must also be registered the Inland Revenue Department (IRD).
To demonstrate sound financial stability, businesses must report profits for the last 24 months (excluding depreciation and tax) and demonstrate positive cash flow for each of the last 6 months. Businesses must also secure sufficient capital or external funding and develop a plan to ensure ongoing business viability. For businesses operating for less than 12 months, evidence of financial stability must be provided.
Employers must have no history of regulatory non-compliance, with necessary declarations required from the business and key office holders. Employers must also commit to promoting positive settlement outcomes for migrant workers by providing comprehensive work-related settlement information. This information should cover topics such as obtaining an IRD number, job or industry hazards, accommodation, transportation, cost of living, healthcare services, Citizens Advice Bureau services, and relevant community groups. Employers must also allow workers to complete employment rights modules from Status New Zealand during paid work hours and within the first month. Those involved in recruitment must also complete employment rights modules from Employer New Zealand during the accreditation term.
Businesses must cover all costs, including advertising, recruitment agency fees, immigration fees, job check applications, trade testing, and tools (where ownership is retained by the employer). Employers cannot charge workers any illegal fees, such as payment to secure the job, bonding agreements that illegally bind workers to the job, or unreasonable deductions.
Employers must keep all records throughout the accreditation process to show compliance with all requirements. It is important to note that businesses operating for less than 12 months may need to provide upfront evidence of financial stability, while other employers make necessary declarations.
Please note that businesses operating for less than 12 months may need to provide upfront evidence of financial stability, while other employers make necessary declarations.
If these requirements seem overwhelming, don’t worry, ICL’s skilled accreditation experts are here to help clarify the criteria and guide you seamlessly through every step of the journey!
Book a free consultation today and have all your questions answered.
How long does Employer Accreditation stay valid for?
Employer accreditation is initially granted for a period of 12 months, and subsequent renewals will be for 24 months. However, please note that franchise and labour hire businesses are an exception and must renew their accreditation annually.
How much does Employer Accreditation cost?
If you are interested in obtaining Employer Accreditation, the cost will depend on the type of application you submit. There are different fees for various types of applications, including:
- Standard Accreditation: This option is available for employers who want to hire up to 5 migrants at a time. The fee for this type of application is $740 NZD.
- High-Volume Accreditation: This option is for employers who plan to hire 6 or more migrants at a time. The fee for this type of application is $1220 NZD.
- Upgrade Fee: If you have already received Standard Accreditation and want to upgrade to High-Volume Accreditation, you will need to pay an upgrade fee of $480 NZD.
- Tripartite Agreements: If you are an employer placing migrants with controlling third parties, you will need to pay a fee of $3870 NZD for tripartite agreements.
- Franchisees: Franchisees will need to pay a fee of $1980 NZD.
- Labour Hire: Labour hire businesses will need to pay a fee of $3870 NZD.
- Reconsideration: If your application for accreditation is declined, you may request reconsideration by paying a fee of $240 NZD.
Please note that these fees are subject to change and do not include any additional costs associated with meeting the accreditation requirements. Also, employers who are already accredited by INZ under the previous regime may be exempt from the initial accreditation fee.
Book A Free Consultation
Get in touch
500 Karangahape Road, Auckland, 1010, New Zealand