Non-compliance, stand-down periods and permanent bans

To be accredited you and any key people in your organisation must be compliant with immigration and employment standards. If not you may be stood-down or permanently banned.

To get accreditation you or your key people must not:

  • have employed a migrant who did not have the right visa or visa conditions to work in that role
  • have provided false or misleading information to Immigration New Zealand
  • have a pattern of immigration breaches in other businesses you or your key people have been involved in
  • be banned from acting as a director
  • be subject to a stand-down period for breaching minimum employment standards or committing immigration offences
  • be subject to a permanent ban from sponsoring work visas for committing serious immigration offences.

Stand-down periods for breaching minimum employment  standards

If you breach minimum employment standards you may be stood-down or permanently banned from supporting migrants on work visas.

The Labour Inspectorate maintains a list of employers who are subject to a stand-down for breaches of employment standards and we check this list when you apply for accreditation to hire migrants.

Employers who have breached minimum employment standards | Employment New Zealand

Stand-down periods for Immigration Act offences

If you are convicted of certain offences under the Immigration Act 2009, and the court imposes a fine (and no other penalty), you will be subject to a stand-down period where you will not be able to sponsor work visas. The offences leading to a stand-down are:

  • Knowingly providing false or misleading information (s342(1)(a))
  • Aiding and abetting someone to remain in New Zealand unlawfully or breach their visa (s343(1)(d))
  • Resisting or obstructing an Immigration Officer (s344(d))
  • Publishing false or misleading information (s347)
  • Allowing someone to work for you when they are not entitled to under the Immigration Act (s350(1)(a))

Your stand-down period is determined by the fines you are given in court.

  • Up to NZD $999.99 — a stand-down of 6 months from the time the penalty is imposed.
  • NZD $1,000 to 9,999.99 — a stand-down of 12 months from the time the penalty is imposed.
  • NZD $10,000 to 24,999.99 — a stand-down of 18 months from the time the penalty is imposed.
  • NZD $25,000 or more — 24 months from the time the penalty is imposed.

Once the stand-down period has ended you must show you have addressed the non-compliance and taken steps to make sure it does not happen again. This only applies to stand-downs for Immigration Act offences, not the Labour Inspectorate stand-down list for breaches of employment standards.

A business with compliance failures cannot be closed and opened again under a new name to dodge those failures. We will still take the compliance issues in the previous business into account.

Immigration law

Offences, Penalties, and Proceedings | Legislation

Permanent bans for serious immigration offences

You will receive a permanent ban from sponsoring work visas if you are convicted of the following Immigration Act offences, and sentenced to a term of imprisonment:

  • Aiding and abetting someone to remain in New Zealand unlawfully or breach their visa (s343(1)(d))
  • Resisting or obstructing an Immigration Officer (s344(d))

You will receive a permanent ban if you are convicted, regardless of the penalty, under the Crimes Act or Immigration Act for offences including:

  • aiding and abetting someone to remain in New Zealand unlawfully or breach their visa, for your material benefit (s343(1)(a) of the Immigration Act)
  • falsifying documents (sections 345 and 348 of the Immigration Act)
  • knowingly providing false and misleading information (s342(1)(b) of the Immigration Act)
  • exploitation of migrants or unlawful employees (s351 of the Immigration Act)
  • slavery (s98 of the Crimes Act)
  • smuggling or trafficking migrants (sections 98C and 98D of the Crimes Act).

Immigration Act | Legislation

Crimes Act | Legislation

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