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Employer Accreditation: what you should know

Employer accreditation, that is set for a major overhaul in the coming months, is currently a rigorous process, where Immigration New Zealand will consider the employer’s immigration and employment history and will also welcome their spotless record of hiring New Zealanders, not to mention the evidence of the sound financial position.

If you plan on hiring from overseas, you MUST be accredited as of 4 July, 2022

To get accredited, an employer should provide evidence that

  • their business is genuine and currently operating;
  • they are law-abiding, complying with all the relevant labour and immigration laws; among other things seeing to it that their migrant employees are employed in strict conformity with their visa conditions;
  • actively help migrant workers to settle successfully, by carrying out settlement support activities.

2 employer accreditation streams available

1. Standard - if you plan on hiring 1-5 workers. It is relatively straightforward, provided you follow the steps below.

  • meet minimum accreditation criteria
  • pass the job check (pay the required wage, advertise for 2 weeks, if applicable)
  • pay the fee

2. High-volume - for employment of 6 and more.

The procedure is the same as Standard, with a higher fee more thorough checks reflecting higher risk

If your business is a franchisee, or you are placing employees with controlling third parties

  • there is no limit on how many employees you can employ on AEWVs
  • you will need to meet more stringent requirements; for example, to have New Zealanders comprise at least 15% of your workforce, to have been operating as a franchisee for at least 12 months, and more.

What are the benefits of becoming an Accredited Employer?

  • Hassle-free hire of overseas workers in the core area of employer’s business activity;
  • No need to apply every time, as long as your accreditation period is valid;
  • INZ prioritises Talent (Accredited Employer) work to residence applications, which means it will take less time for the visa to get approval and for the employee to start work;
  • A fair degree of surety about the employee’s loyalty, as to be granted residence a holder of a Talent (Accredited Employer) visa must keep a suitable employment for at least 24 months (although in some circumstances nothing will prevent an employee from changing the employer, even to a non-accredited one, and still keeping their work to residence visa).

Is there a downside if I apply for employer accreditation?

  • A lengthy process may be a deterring factor as it may be onerous to embark on it on your own.
  • The cost may be another consideration, as well as the fact that if the application is declined, the application fee will not be refunded.
Needless to say, that all the pros and cons warrant thorough consideration before applying for an Accredited Employer status, but if, on balance, turn your mind to it, our experienced immigration adviser will assist you at every step of what otherwise may be an arduous endeavour. Here you can book your 100% free 30-minute consultation with our immigration consultant already today.

Can I just hire overseas workforce on an as-needed basis?

You can, but you can seriously consider applying for an accredited employer’s status if

  • there is a need to hire on a regular basis;
  • you have made genuine, but futile, attempts to recruit New Zealanders over a period of time;
  • your history of recruiting and training New Zealanders is excellent;
  • you are willing to pay these overseas employees at least $79560 annually (or more, depending on the relevant market rate for the occupation);
  • you bear full responsibility for your staff, supervising the work they do and paying their wages;
  • your company is in a sound financial position;
  • human resources policies and processes of a high standard are in place in your company;
  • your workplace practices are impeccable and so is your history of compliance with New Zealand immigration and employment law.

How long is the employer accreditation valid for?

Initial employer accreditation is granted for 12 months. A renewal is for 2 years, which means you can offer employment to overseas workers at any time during this period. There are restrictions for franchisees or employers intending to place employees with controlling third parties.

Is there a registry of the accredited employers with up-to-date information?

Yes, the list is available on the Immigration New Zealand website below. This information will change accordingly as more employers are added or deleted from the list following their compliance or non-compliance with employer accreditation requirements.

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Our adviser and director has been in the same boat with most of our valued clients who come to seek his counsel. He came to New Zealand as a migrant in 2002 and has been calling it home since then. It is our pleasure to serve your needs and provide professional immigration advisor services to help your dreams come true.
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