Legal compliance for AEWV accreditation

To get and keep accreditation for the Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV), you and key people in your business must comply with immigration and employment law. There are penalties for non-compliance.

To get accreditation you and key people in your business must not have:

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

Stand-down periods for breaching minimum employment  standards

If 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.

Labour inspectorate | Employment New Zealand

Employers who have breached minimum employment standards | Employment New Zealand

Stand-down periods for Immigration Act offences

There are some offences under the Immigration Act 2009 where the court imposes a fine, but no other penalty. If you are convicted of one of these offences you will be stood-down for a defined amount of time. This means you will not be able to sponsor work visas during that time. 

The offences leading to a stand-down period are:

  • knowingly providing false or misleading information
  • aiding and abetting someone to remain in New Zealand unlawfully or breach their visa
  • resisting or obstructing an Immigration Officer
  • publishing false or misleading information
  • allowing someone to work for you when they are not entitled to.

Immigration Act — Part 10 Offences, penalties, and proceedings| New Zealand Legislation

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

  • up to NZD $999.99 — you are stood down for 6 months from the time the penalty is imposed
  • between NZD $1,000 to 9,999.99 — you are stood down for 12 months from the time the penalty is imposed
  • between NZD $10,000 to 24,999.99 — you are stood down for 18 months from the time the penalty is imposed
  • NZD $25,000 or more — you are stood down for 24 months from the time the penalty is imposed.

Regaining accreditation

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

Note

AdThis only applies to stand-downs for Immigration Act offences, not the Labour Inspectorate stand-down list for breaches of employment standards.

Permanent bans for serious immigration offences

You will be permanently banned from sponsoring work visas and sentenced to prison if you are convicted of any of the following Immigration Act offences:

  • helping someone to remain in New Zealand unlawfully
  • assisting someone to breach the conditions of their visa, or
  • resisting or obstructing an immigration officer.

You will also be permanently banned from sponsoring work visas if you are convicted, regardless of the penalty, under the Immigration Act for offences including:

  • helping someone to remain in New Zealand unlawfully or to breach their visa conditions for your material benefit
  • falsifying documents, or
  • knowingly providing false and misleading information.

Immigration Act — Part 10 Offences, penalties, and proceedings| New Zealand Legislation

You will also be permanently banned from sponsoring work visas if you are convicted, regardless of the penalty, under the Crimes Act for:

  • exploiting migrants or illegal employees
  • slavery
  • smuggling or trafficking migrants.

Crimes Act — Sections 98 to 98D | New Zealand Legislation

Call us for help

Our employer line is open between 08:00 and 18:00, Monday to Friday.
Freephone from New Zealand landlines: 0508 967 569