There have been a number of changes announced by Immigration New Zealand around the new employer accreditation and the accredited employer work visa (AEWV).
At this point in time, businesses must:
– Be a genuine operating business and hold a New Zealand Business Number (NZBN)
– Be registered as an employer with Inland Revenue (IRD)
– Be financially sound.
– For businesses that have been in operation for more than 12 months; evidence of this isn’t required with the application, although could be requested later.
– Have no recent history of regulatory non-compliance. This includes both immigration and employment-related offenses.
– Cover the cost of all recruitment costs both within and outside New Zealand and ensure that recruitment decision-makers complete Employment New Zealand’s online modules on employment rights.
– Demonstrate commitment to settlement support activities by allowing migrant workers time to complete modules on employment rights during work time. Please note, companies are expected to maintain a register of these activities throughout the duration of their accreditation.
Previous accreditation has no bearing on this process, they will need to apply for the new accreditation in its own right. However, if their existing accreditation has six months of validity remaining after May 23, 2022, then the fee for the first accreditation under AEWV will be waived.
There are still two different levels of accreditation:
Standard: intend to employ up to five migrant workers on AEWVs at any one time.
High-volume: intend to employ six or more migrant workers on AEWVs at any one time.
When it comes to the application, the requirements for both standard and high-volume accreditation are now the same, except there is a higher fee payable for the high-volume application. INZ has indicated that additional requirements for high-volume employers may be considered in the future. This would likely be evidence of training and a commitment to employing New Zealanders.
Employers can upgrade from standard to high-volume accreditation at any stage with an additional fee. There will be further requirements for employers who are franchisees or who place AEWV holders with controlling third parties. However, there is now no limit on the number of AEWV holders these employers can have at one time.