Accredited Employer Migrant Hiring


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INZ Introduces Timeline and Basics of Hiring Checks


On 7 May, INZ updated FRENZ on the progress with regards to the mandatory migrant hiring process changes they initially proposed in 2019.  The change requires successful completion and approval through a 3 tier checking process they are now calling the Accredited Employer Work Visa system.

Out of that presentation, there remain significant gaps in process instructions and requirements but the most impactful information is the:

  • roll out and implementation date
  • requirement for employers to have a NZ Business Number in order to apply to be accredited
  • confirmation that Immigration Advisers are able to act on the Employers behalf to undertake the required accreditation work.

For those not acquainted with the checks, these include Employer, Migrant Worker and Job Check broken out as follows:


  • 7 MayIntroduction of the Accredited Employer Work Visa (‘AEWV’) as a replacement for other temporary visas
  • 30 June – Application Closure for existing Employer Accreditation programme
  • Late September – applications accepted through AEWV.  In anticipation of an estimated one month application processing timeline, employers who need to hire migrant workers for 1 November forward should apply at this point
  • 31 October  – Final existing temporary visa application submission
  • 1 NovemberAEWV system launches 

1- The Employer Check

The Employer Check is segmented into three types based on worker size – Standard, High-Volume and Labour Hire/franchisees.   This table shows the most relevant to our industry:

Workers holding working holiday, RSE, post study, partnership visas are not affected and employers don’t have to undertake this process unless or until they are doing a visa after 1 November.  Also workers don’t have to do anything with their current visas.

Accreditation TypeStandard High Volume
Defined asEmployers with up to 5 Employer Assisted WorkersEmployers with up to 6+ Employer Assisted Workers
Duration of Accreditation12 Months with 24 Month Renewal12 Months with 24 Month Renewal
RequirementsBe a genuinely operating business; Have a NZBN;
No recent history of non-compliance with Employment and Immigration law (non on labour inspectorate stand down list
Take steps to minimise exploitation including allowing workers to complete online modules along with hiring authorities
Same as Standard plus
Must demonstrate a commitment to training/developing Kiwis; Demonstrate a commitment to improving pay and conditions over time; At this point, INZ have defined as salary of 10% over minimum wage
CostTBD; Expected in August TBD; Expected in August

2- The Job Check

Also a part of what we currently do for pre-submission work for immigration applications, the requirements include:

  • Compliance with market rate terms and conditions
  • Compliance with employment law
  • A genuine labour market test has been done

Within this check are 3 pathways:

  • Highly Paid -gives a residence pathway for those who are being paid 2x the median wage
  • Sector  Agreement – Variations in the check requirements based on the unique challenges that the different industries face (little work done here as yet despite Dairy NZ trying to push forward with the government)
  • Regionalised Labour Market Test –  Looks at labour supply/skills shortage relative to area which will impact labour market test requirements

3- The Migrant Worker Check

The worker criteria are already standard requirements within the visa application process

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

What’s Next

Questions still remain with regards to process and implications for resident visa holders; costs are slated to be introduced in August.

We are starting to work employers to on meeting requirements in advance of the introduction and, most importantly, undertaking visa work for current and future staff in advance of the new system introduction…and in advance of the median wage rate increase slated for July.  If you’d like to read what INZ have to say, you can go here Employer Accreditation .

We’ll continue to provide updates but if you have any questions, please contact us at 09 303 3505 or through email here.

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