Accredited Employer Migrant Hiring

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Accredited Employer Migrant Hiring System

The Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV) system comes into effect from 4 July 2022, replacing the Essential Skills Work Visa along with 5 other visas.  It has three checks that need to be submitted to, and approved by, INZ in order to be able to hire a migrant:

  1. Employer Check – ‘Is your business able to employ migrant workers?’
  2. Job Check – ‘Can this job be offered to a migrant?’
  3. Migrant Check – “Does the proposed migrant worker meet INZ and job check standards?”

Applications for Employer Check have opened – initially requiring only an online form to be completed out as long as you have an NZBN and meet financial requirements.  You also declare that you will comply with INZ’s new migrant protection work to keep or renew your accreditation.

The Job Check opened on 20 June.  This process was traditionally included in the visa process but now is separate and has more thorough and scrutinised requirements.

The bit of good news is that that INZ have confirmed that Immigration Advisers are able to act on the Employers behalf to undertake the required accreditation work.

The 3 checks are broken out as follows:

  • 23 MayIntroduction – applications accepted through AEWV.  In anticipation of an estimated one month application processing timeline
  • 20 JuneJob Check applications open
  • 3 July 2022 – FINAL existing temporary visa application submission
  • 4 July 2022AEWV system launches 
  • 1 August Overseas workers with approved AEWVisas can come into NZ

1- The Employer Check

The Employer Check is segmented into three types based on worker size – Standard, High-Volume and Controlling third parties, including Labour Hire/franchisees.   This table shows the most relevant to our industry:Employers of workers holding working holiday, RSE, post study, partnership visas are exempt from accreditation until next year.  Also workers on current visas don’t have to do anything until/unless they need visa changes (expiries, variations, etc).

Employers who have Talent accreditation which doesn’t expire before 23 November 2022 have initial AEWV accreditation waived.

Accreditation TypeStandard or High VolumeControlling Third Party
Defined asStandard = Employers with up to 5 Employer Assisted Workers; High Volume = 6+Legal entity with a contract with an Accredited Employer to allow the AE work visa holder to work for the 3rd party
Duration of Accreditation12 Months with 24 Month Renewal12 Months with 24 Month Renewal
Requirements defined by INZBe a Genuinely Operating Business = Have a NZBN;
Be Financially Viable = attest to historical positive wage pay or future sufficient cash flow
Be Compliant = No recent history of non-compliance with Employment and Immigration law (not on Labour Inspectorate stand down list (same for business's 'Key People'
Minimise Exploitation = providing specific settlement information, having migrants complete online modules along with hiring authorities, meet employment and immigration law
Business operation<12 months;
All related companies have NZBN;
Strong financials
Cost and Process TimeStandard is $740; High Volume is $1,220
with processing expected at 1-10 days

2- The Job Check

These last for 6 months (or end of employer accreditation) and are specific to position. So, if you have two identical farm assistant roles, that would be one check but a farm assistant and senior farm assistant would be two job checks.

The stand alone check is new but the steps required are similar to what FRENZ do for pre- submission work for immigration but more strict that perhaps many employers or agencies are currently doing:

  • Compliance with market rate terms and conditions, including median wage payment of $27.76 (averaged over pay period)
  • Compliance with employment law; assessment of job offer and employment agreement
  • A “genuine” labour market test has been done.
    • Two weeks’ minimum on national advertising
    • Clear and full disclosure on pay, accommodation, minimum/maximum hours, requirements and duties
    • Lower threshfold for what makes a Kiwi applicant ‘unsuitable’

Within this check the resident pathways are for highly paid

  •  those who are being paid 2x the median wage (advertising at this pay is not needed)
  • those who have 3+year visas (Skilled Migrant Category review pending)

Cost: $610

3- The Migrant Worker Check

This is essentially the work visa requirement work currently required for Essential Skills now reframed for the AEWV.

  • Health (eMedicals)
  • Character (e.g. Police Certificates)
  • Identity (Passport; Digital photo)
  • Skills/Qualifications – Work evidence/certificates/diplomas

This cost will sit with the worker unless otherwise agreed.

Cost: $540 plus a $55 levy. (a 20% increase.  It is not clear from INZ have this helps ensure that migrants aren’t exploited…)

What’s Next

If you’re a trust or partnership without an NZBN and you have or plan to hire migrant staff, you should talk to your accountant about structure changes.

If you’d like to read what INZ have to say, you can go here Employer Accreditation .

We will be working with employers to undertake the requirements on their behalf through an accreditation service.  You can complete the form here to get a quote on what you may need.  Of with other questions, you can contact us at 09 303 3505 or through email here.

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