Employer accreditation: check what you need and apply

Employers who want to be accredited and employ migrants under the Accredited Employer Work Visa need to meet criteria to show they are good employers for migrants. These criteria change depending on their business model.

Apply online 

Start your application if you have everything you need to apply.

You will be taken to a RealMe® login. Once you login you will go to the Immigration Online dashboard where you can start your application.

RealMe login button

What is RealMe?

How much it costs

You pay a different fee depending on the type of accreditation you need.

  • Standard accreditation — up to 5 migrants at any one time — is NZD $740.
  • High-volume accreditation — 6 or more migrants at any one time — is NZD $1220.
  • Franchisee accreditation is NZD $1980.
  • Controlling third party accreditation is NZD $3870.
  • To upgrade from standard to high-volume accreditation is NZD $480.
  • Reconsideration of a declined application is NZD $240.

Fee exemptions for some employers accredited under the Talent (Accredited Employer) scheme

Some employers accredited under the Talent (Accredited Employer) scheme are exempt from paying a fee when they apply to become an accredited employer under the new Accredited Employer Work Visa policy.

To be eligible for the fee exemption, you must:

  • have held an accreditation under Talent (Accredited Employer) scheme on 23 May 2022, and
  • have at least 6 months validity remaining on your accreditation period, meaning your accreditation was due to expire on or after 23 November 2022.

The fee exemption can only be applied for your first application for accreditation under the AEWV policy. The application must be made on or before 23 November 2022.

The Talent (Accredited Employer) scheme closed to new applications on 30 June 2021.

Requesting a fee exemption

You must contact us to confirm your eligibility for the fee exemption and have this applied to your AEWV employer accreditation application.

Before you can request the fee exemption

  1. Decide if you want to become accredited to hire migrants on the new visa.
  2. Use RealMe to log into the Immigration Online system and start an application for employer accreditation.
    Login | Immigration Online
  3. When you reach the Review and Declare page, click Submit and Pay. Do not make the payment at this time.
  4. Click the Employ Migrants tab and then select the Manage Accreditations button. This will take you to Manage Employer Accreditations screen. You will find the Reference ID for your draft application. You will be asked for this when you call us to request your fee exemption.

Calling to request the fee exemption

Once you have completed the steps, call the Immigration Contact Centre using the dedicated employer phone number to request that a fee exemption be applied to your draft application.

The dedicated employer line is open between 8am and 6pm, Monday to Friday. Call toll-free from NZ landlines only on 0508 967 569.

Outside of these hours, employers can call the Immigration Contact Centre on 0508 558 855.

The Immigration Contact Centre will ask for the following information to identify for your organisation and your eligibility for the fee exemption.

Information you will need:

  • your organisation name and New Zealand Business Number (NZBN)
  • the ‘Reference ID’ for the in-draft application you have saved in your Immigration Online account.

If possible, provide:

  • the Accreditation ID number for your Talent (Accredited Employer) scheme accreditation. You can find this on previous correspondence sent to you about this accreditation
  • your Immigration New Zealand client ID number.

If it is confirmed you are eligible for the fee exemption, this will be applied to your draft application and you will be able to submit the application without being charged the fee. If you are not eligible for the fee exemption, you will be advised.

You will be contacted when a decision has been made.

Submitting your application

Once your fee exemption has been applied, you will be able to return to your Immigration Online account and submit your draft employer accreditation application without being charged a fee.

Login, navigate to the Manage Employer Accreditations’ screen, select the employer accreditation application and continue through to the pay and submit page. Submit your application.

Login | Immigration Online

Check you can apply

You need to be a viable, genuine business able to meet one of these financial requirements:

  • you have not made a loss over the last 2 years
  • you have had a positive cash flow each month for the last 6 months
  • you have enough capital or external investment for your business to remain viable, or
  • you have a credible 2-year plan to ensure your business remains viable.

Your must also be compliant with New Zealand immigration law, employment and business standards.

You and any key people in your organisation cannot be on the Labour Inspectorate stand-down list or permanently banned from hiring migrants, and we will check if you are.

Non-compliance, stand-down periods and permanent bans

If you are a franchisee

You also must have been trading as a franchisee for at least 12 months or have at least 12 months experience in another business you own which sells the same goods and services.

If you have more than one employee, at least 15% of your staff must be New Zealand citizens or residents guaranteed at least 30 hours work each week.

If your accreditation is approved you must meet this requirement during your accreditation period.

If you are placing migrants with a controlling third party

You must have a history of placing staff in New Zealand for the past 12 months and at least 15% of them must be New Zealand citizens or residents guaranteed at least 30 hours work each week.

If your accreditation is approved you must meet this requirement during your accreditation period.

If you are a trust, partnership or sole trader

For trusts, partnerships and sole traders, the business entity (which has an NZBN) must hold the accreditation, and the employer named on the employment agreement must be one or more of the trustees, partners or the sole trader.

You must not be bankrupt or subject to a No Asset Procedure.

What you need to have before you apply

You need to have:

  • a business IRD number
  • an NZBN unless you are a foreign diplomatic mission
  • the full name, passport number and date of birth of key people in your organisation.

Get your IRD number | Inland Revenue

Get your NZBN | New Zealand Business Number

Most employers will not need to upload any documents during the application.

You may need financial evidence

We will ask for evidence the company hiring the workers is financially viable if:

  • it has been trading for less than 12 months, or
  • it does not have a plan to ensure it stays viable, like a revenue forecast or cash flow projection.

During the application

During the application you must declare the company, the employer, and those running the company are all compliant with New Zealand employment laws and standards, and with the Immigration Act 2009.

You must commit to ensuring everyone making recruitment decisions will complete Employment New Zealand's online employer modules. This could include hiring managers, human resource managers, sole traders, and partners. This only applies to those involved in hiring AEWV holders. 

Employment learning modules | Employment New Zealand

The modules must be completed once within every accreditation period and finished before that period ends. You must keep records of all of the modules being completed. 

Commit to settlement support

You also need to commit to giving your migrant workers specific information about working and living in New Zealand, and community services in their local area.

You must tell them about:

  • how to get an IRD number
  • industry training and qualification options that apply to them
  • relevant job or industry hazards
  • accommodation options and the cost of living
  • driving and driving licence information and public transport options
  • health services
  • Citizens Advice Bureau services
  • relevant community groups.

You need to complete these settlement activities within a month from the day the migrant starts their employment contract.

We will check that you have met your commitments when you renew your accreditation and we may carry out checks during your accreditation.

Commit to paying all recruitment costs

You must pay all recruitment costs in and outside New Zealand and not pass costs on to migrants.

This includes:

  • advertising costs
  • recruitment agency fees
  • employer accreditation fees
  • job check application fees
  • trade testing
  • tools the employer owns, and
  • training and induction.

This does not include the employee's airfares.

You must not charge fees outside New Zealand which would be illegal if charged in New Zealand, including:

  • payment to secure a job
  • bonding agreements illegally binding workers to a business
  • deductions that are unreasonable or not agreed in writing.

Let employees complete learning modules

You also need to commit to giving migrant workers time during paid work hours to complete all of Employment New Zealand's online employee modules. The time must be given to migrants within one month of them starting work. 

Employment Learning Modules | Employment New Zealand

You must keep records of all of the modules being completed — we may ask to see them.

Extra requirements for controlling third party accreditation

If you are placing migrants with a controlling third party there are extra requirements you must meet.

Extra requirements for controlling third party accreditation

When your accreditation is approved

If you applied for standard accreditation you will get a quota of up to 5 jobs you may be able to offer to people from overseas or in New Zealand at any one time. Other types of accreditation have no quota limit.

You will need to advertise for suitable New Zealand applicants first, unless the role pays at least twice the median wage or is on the Green List, then apply for a job check before you can offer the work to a migrant.

Green List occupations

If you reach your quota limit and need to hire more migrants you can upgrade to high-volume accreditation.

If you want to change or downgrade your accreditation type, for example from standard or high-volume accreditation to controlling third party accreditation, you must re-apply. The full fee will apply.

Note

If you want to rollover an existing migrant worker and their visa is about to expire you need to apply for another job check and advertise for suitable New Zealanders first, and you must have space in your quota for them.

We may complete inspections, either desk-based or through site visits, to confirm you are meeting your obligations as an AEWV employer.

Visa length, how much you pay and residency

If the job you want to fill pays at least twice the New Zealand median wage or is on the Green List, you do not need to advertise and the visa for these jobs can be for up to 3 years.

Some occupations on the Green List allow the visa holder to apply for immediate residency. Other occupations on the list, and those paying twice the median wage, allow them to apply after 2 years.

Green List occupations

If the job pays below the median wage the visa length is up to 2 years, and when the visa expires the migrant will need to leave New Zealand for 12 consecutive months before they can apply for another visa for below median wage work.

Note

Most applications will be assessed based on your declarations and automated checks against publicly available information or information held by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE).

INZ will contact you if we are not satisfied you meet the requirements, or if we want more information to assess your application.

Checklists to help you apply

AEWV checklists

Help for employers

The employer line is open between 8am and 6pm, Monday to Friday. Call toll-free from NZ landlines only:
0508 967 569