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Accredited employer visa reforms Friday, 7 May 2021

The new Accredited Employer Work Visa and associated accreditation standards will be introduced on 1 November this year. The Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV), announced in 2019, will replace 6 visas with a streamlined single visa process.

Employers must be accredited to hire a migrant on the new Accredited Employer Work Visa.

The new system is designed to support a future economy that is less reliant on lower-paid temporary workers, better addresses productivity, skills and infrastructure challenges, and increases the skill levels of migrants.

The new system will generally make it easier for businesses and regions to fill genuine skills shortages, by simplifying the visa application process and removing or streamlining labour market tests for higher-paid roles. It will give migrants more certainty about the visa process and the job they are coming to New Zealand for.

Employers will be able to apply for accreditation from late September, ahead of the new visa being introduced on 1 November 2021. The new accreditation standards will require employers to show they:

  • are a genuinely operating business, including being registered with Inland Revenue and holding a New Zealand Business Number (NZBN),
  • do not have a recent history of regulatory non-compliance with immigration and employment laws, and
  • will take steps to minimise the risk of exploitation, by completing employment modules, providing migrant workers with advice on their rights, and paying all recruitment costs inside and outside New Zealand.

Franchisees and employers that want to place migrants on AEWVs with third parties (including labour hire companies) will need to meet additional criteria to get accredited.

Introducing new accreditation and single work visa