NEW – Employer Accreditation opens from 23rd May 2022
Applications for the new compulsory Employer Accreditation scheme open from 23rd May 2022, with the new associated work visa launching on 4th July.
It is estimated that approximately 30,000 Kiwi businesses will have to apply to get accredited, with employers waiting for approval of their accreditation before their workers can apply for a work visa.
This new scheme has 3 key stages – The Employer Check (becoming an Accredited Employer), The Job Check and The Migrant Check (the Accredited Employer work visa application). NZ Visa Connections understands the requirements for all 3 stages and can work with you to achieve a successful outcome. Our individual service guides you through the obligations of the scheme, identifying potential problems and solutions.
We are passionate about supporting employers to build their business with the staff they need. We understand that it is critical to have staff who are skilled, competent, and motivated to work for you.
Stage 1 – Employer Check
Employer Accreditation will involve demonstrating to Immigration New Zealand (INZ) that you are a genuinely operating business with a sound financial position. You will need to show the steps you take to reduce migrant exploitation, that you are compliant with all relevant legislation and that you provide adequate settlement support to migrant staff.
There are 2 levels of accreditation depending on how many migrants you anticipate hiring over the accreditation period (high volume for 6+ migrants, standard for 5 or below). In addition, there are extra requirements for franchise and labour hire companies. Businesses will be accredited for an initial 12-month period, then will renew their accreditation every two years (Labour Hire and Franchise will renew every 12 months).
How we can help
Our accreditation pathway can include
- Review of your workplace including, for example, policies and procedures, current financial status and the ability to support migrant settlement.
- Identifying possible gaps and planning with you on how to rectify these, including potential onward referrals to our preferred partners.
- A detailed overview of your business to go alongside your application, allowing INZ to see with ease your ability to meet their criteria.
- Provision of a comprehensive Migrant Settlement Package that you can customise to your business (for more detail on this new requirement, see below)
- Management of the application process, collating required documentation and lodging your application online.
- Ongoing advocacy for your business with INZ until the process is complete.
Working with us to achieve accreditation allows us to have a complete understanding of your business, putting us all on an excellent footing for the next stages of the process – the Job Check and Migrant Check.
Stage 2 – Job Check
Once your business has achieved accreditation you move onto the Job Check stage. You can only get to stage 3 – the work visa – if you have passed the Job Check.
Job Checks are paid for by the employer and show a number of key criteria have been met (role pays market rate, complies with employment law and a labour market test has been done, if required). The primary purpose is to evidence you have tried and failed to hire an NZ citizen or resident into your role/s first.
Each Job Check is valid for 6 months and can be used for multiple migrant work visas (for example if you have more than 1 vacancy for the same role). The roles must have the same details – e.g. same pay rate, same job title, same location etc. So, if you want to fill multiple identical positions it’s just one Job Check.
If multiple positions are filled by migrants they all count towards the number of workers allowed under your level of accreditation quota (standard or high volume).
Our Job Check service will help your business provide the correct evidence to sail through each check you require.
It includes reviewing your advertising & job description to ensure it meets Immigration New Zealand criteria, advising on shortlisting of applicants, lodging the job check application and ongoing advocacy for your business with INZ until the process is complete.
Do I need a Labour Market Test as part of a Job Check?
The Labour Market Test (LMT) shows that you have tried and failed to hire a New Zealand citizen or resident before offering the role to a migrant. You will not need a LMT if:
- the job pays 200% of the median wage which is currently NZD $27 an hour
All other jobs must have a Labour Market Test and must pay at least the median wage. This will be $27.76/hr.
Immigration New Zealand are considering whether they may waive the median wage requirements for some roles, but this is not yet decided.
If you do need to conduct a LMT, there are very specific criteria you must meet for your advertising and the role you are offering. If you do not meet these; your Job Check could be declined and your ability to offer the work visa delayed.
Stage 3 – Migrant Check
Accredited Employer Work Visa
Once your business has successfully completed Stages 1 & 2 your migrant candidate of choice can apply for their new work visa – The Accredited Employer Work Visa. This final step is generally paid for by the migrant and involves a series of checks around their personal information.
INZ will want to verify
- Their Identity documents & details
- Do they meet the acceptable standard of health for their visa type/
- Do they have any character issues? Previous convictions, issues with previous visa applications etc
- Do they have the right qualifications or previous work experience for the role?
- Are they Bona fide?
Once the visa application is lodged it will link up with the accreditation and relevant job check for your business. The applicant will be assessed and a decision made on their visa.
NZ Visa Connections have successfully helped skilled workers come to New Zealand for many years. This new government requirement is just one more hurdle to overcome together. We are trained and qualified and have specialist knowledge of all immigration matters. Adhering to a strict code of conduct, we are licensed by an independent government authority, the Immigration Advisers Authority.
Compliance Teams from Immigration New Zealand will be checking on businesses throughout their accreditation period, ensuring their adherence to accreditation standards.
When you recruit migrant employees there can be lot you need to learn about each other. A commitment to migrant settlement is a new aspect of the Accredited Employer scheme, and one Immigration New Zealand is taking very seriously.
We offer a detailed Migrant Settlement package which can be customised to your company, helping to make your employees feel welcome. This can only enhance their ability to make a success of their new job and life in NZ.
Research shows that well-supported migrants:
- settle and feel included faster
- stay longer in New Zealand
- help create a strong and vibrant community
- help boost regional growth and wellbeing
- find it easier to participate in and contribute to economic, civic and social life.
Given the time and money involved in recruiting from overseas, settling migrants effectively is the sensible option for your business.
New Zealand employers often offer their migrant staff the chance to do further education and training, speak to us first to ensure this is within the criteria of the visa they hold and for our view on what specific qualifications are likely to be of most benefit to the migrant and your business.