Knowledge base articles

Penalties for employing a person without the appropriate visa

Under the Immigration Act 2009 (and the Immigration Act 1987), an employer must not employ a foreign national who is not entitled to work in New Zealand or for that employer.  This applies whether or not the employer knew that the foreign national was not entitled to work. 

The maximum penalty for allowing a foreign national who is not entitled to work in the employer’s service to do that work is a fine of $10,000.

The maximum penalty for allowing or continuing to allow a foreign national to work while knowing that person is not entitled to work is a fine of $50,000.

The maximum penalty for exploitation of a foreign national whom the employer has allowed to work while knowing that person was not entitled to work is:

  • imprisonment for seven years, or
  • a fine of $100,000, or
  • both.

It is, therefore, very important to only employ a person who is entitled to work for a particular employer. 

Employer obligations

You can check a potential candidates ability to work in New Zealand by using our VisaView system to check.

VisaView