As of December 22 2023, Immigration New Zealand (INZ) has approved 31,391 AEWV applications, and there are 21,568 accredited employers.

The AEWV is the primary temporary work visa in New Zealand. It is a new employer-led work visa process to be followed to hire migrant workers.

As we enter 2024, employers and migrants must familiarise themselves with the significant changes brought about by the Worker Protection (Migrant and Other Employees) Act 2023. Coming into effect on January 6, 2024, this Act aims to bolster migrant rights and tighten regulations surrounding employment practices. Let’s dive into the key changes and understand what this means for employers.

Critical Changes to the Immigration Act

Timely Documentation Delivery: Employers are now mandated to provide employment-related documentation within 10 working days upon request by an immigration officer. This move ensures greater transparency and accountability in employment practices involving migrants.

Introduction of New Infringement Offences:

  • Employing someone not entitled under the Immigration Act.
  • Using a person in a manner that contradicts their visa’s work-related conditions.
  • Please supply the requested documents within the stipulated 10-day period.

Public Disclosure of Non-compliant Employers: The Chief Executive of Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment(MIE)  has the new authority to publish employers’ names violating the Immigration Act. This public accountability mechanism aims to deter potential exploitation.

Implementation and Impact

While the MBIE will not issue infringement notices immediately, this is a forthcoming measure pending the new government’s decisions and subsequent immigration regulation amendments. What’s crucial to note is that once these regulations are amended, MBIE can retrospectively issue notices for offences committed up to 90 days before the regulation changes or from January 6, 2024, whichever is later.

Interestingly, these new infringement offences do not alter employers’ existing obligations. They already must adhere to the employment of individuals in compliance with their visa conditions and provide necessary documentation under the Accredited Employer scheme. These amendments, however, introduce standardized and strengthened sanctions for non-compliance.

The Road Ahead: Publication and Stand-Down List

Come January 6, 2024, expect a timely roll-out of the non-compliant employers’ names. This publication aligns with the plan to introduce an immigration stand-down list. This list will detail non-compliant employers and a specified “stand-down” period during which they cannot support further visa applications.

The criteria for stand-down and the calculation formula are still under government review. MBIE will initiate the publication of this list once these parameters are set. Expect more detailed information after these government decisions.


The Worker Protection (Migrant and Other Employees) Act 2023 marks a significant shift towards more vigorously enforcing fair employment practices for migrants. While many of these changes build on existing obligations, introducing standardised penalties and public accountability mechanisms is critical to combating migrant exploitation.

About ICL Immigration: Based in Auckland, ICL Immigration is a licensed immigration consultancy with 20 years of experience. Specialising in immigration services, we have assisted numerous employers with Employer Accreditation and the Recruitment process. 

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