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Temporary work visa transition information for employers Tuesday, 22 June 2021

In preparation for the introduction of the Accredited Employer Work Visa, 3 of the existing accreditation and approval in principle policies are being phased out.

On 30 June 2021, these policies will close to new and renewing applications:

Accredited Employer (Talent – Accredited Employer)

Labour Hire Accreditation (Essential Skills)

Approval in Principle (Essential Skills) – note: this does not include approval in principle for other policies including AIP for foreign crew of fishing vessels.

Employers will not be able to apply for a new status, or renew an existing status, under these policies after 30 June 2021.

Migrants will still be able to apply for temporary work visas, including Essential Skills and Talent (Accredited Employer) Work to Residence visas, until 31 October 2021.

New accreditation and single work visa

Preparing for the new system

Employers accredited or granted approval in principle under the current system must apply and meet the policy requirements of the new accreditation system to hire a migrant on an Accredited Employer Work Visa from 1 November 2021.

For this reason, employers who don't plan to use accreditation or approval in principle between now and 31 October 2021, should wait and apply for accreditation under the new system. 

Employers who are not hiring migrants on temporary work visas before 1 November 2021

Employers who don’t plan to hire a migrant using 1 of these accreditation or approval in principle policies between now and 31 October 2021 don’t have to do anything at this time.

Employers who hold 1 of these statuses but don’t plan to use this to hire a temporary worker between now and 31 October 2021 can allow their status to lapse (if this is due to expire between now and 31 October 2021).

Things to note

  • Employers can still hire migrants under the Essential Skills visa category without accreditation or approval in principle, up until 31 October 2021.
  • Employers who already employ a migrant on a temporary work visa don’t need to keep their accreditation active for the duration of the migrant’s visa.

Employers who are hiring migrants on temporary work visas between now and 31 October 2021

Employers who want to hire migrants using 1 of these employer accreditation or approval in principal policies between now and 31 October 2021, need to hold the appropriate status at that time.

If your status is expiring between now and 31 October 2021

If your current status is due to expire between now and 31 October 2021, and you want to use it over this time, you must apply to renew this by 30 June 2021. 

If your status is expiring after 31 October 2021

If your status isn’t due to expire before 31 October, you don’t need to do anything at this time.

If you want to apply for a new status

New applications must be submitted by 30 June 2021. As long as they are submitted by this date, they will continue to be processed.

Check the processing timeframes on our website before you apply so you know how long you will be able to use the status for. You won’t be able to use it after 31 October 2021.

Processing timeframes

Things to note

  • Employers who don’t apply for these statuses by 30 June 2021 will still be able to support work visa applications under the Essential Skills work visa category until 31 October 2021.
  • Labour hire accreditation will not be mandatory for labour hire companies supporting visa applications for overseas workers to work in the construction sector in the Canterbury region from 1 July 2021 to 31 October 2021.
  • Employers who already employ a migrant on a temporary work visa don’t need to keep their accreditation active for the duration of the migrant’s visa.

What migrant workers need to know about the transition

Migrants who have a current temporary work visa will not be affected by these changes as long as they are meeting their visa conditions and their visa remains valid.

Migrants who have a Work to Residence visa can still apply for residence after 31 October 2021. Their residence pathway will not be affected by their current employer not renewing accreditation.

The changes to accredited employer work visas will not affect other work visas holders.

Why are things changing?

Changes to temporary work visas are a long-term Government initiative to help regions and businesses get the right skills and workers, and ensure New Zealanders are first in line for jobs. The intent of these changes is also to reduce the risk of exploitation of migrants, and puts the onus on the employer to lead the application process.

New accreditation and single work visa