The Accredited Employer scheme is now open
Applications for the new compulsory Accreditation scheme opened on 23rd May 2022 & the new associated work visa launched on 4th July.
An estimated 30,000 Kiwi businesses will have to apply to get accredited. Employers must wait for approval of their Accreditation and Job Checks before their workers can apply for a work visa.
This new scheme has three key stages – The Employer Check (becoming an Accredited Employer), The Job Check, and The Migrant Check (the Accredited Employer Work Visa application). At NZ Visa Connections, we understand the requirements for all three stages.
We can work with you to achieve a successful outcome. Our customised service guides you through the scheme’s obligations, identifying potential problems and solutions.
We are passionate about supporting employers to build their businesses with quality staff. We understand that having skilled, competent, and motivated people working for you is critical.
Stage 1 – Employer Check
Employer Accreditation means demonstrating to Immigration New Zealand that you are a genuine business and that you are in a sound financial position. You will need to:
- confirm you are financially viable
- confirm you operate within all relevant immigration and employement legislation
- outline the steps you take to reduce migrant exploitation,
- prove that you are compliant with all relevant legislation,
- show that you provide a comprehensive migrant settlement package for all your migrant workers.
There are two levels of accreditation depending on how many migrants you anticipate hiring over the accreditation period (high volume for six migrants or more, standard for five or below). Additional requirements apply for franchise and labour-hire companies.
Businesses will be accredited for an initial 12-month period. They will renew their accreditation every two years subsequently. (Labour hire and franchise companies will renew every 12 months).
We will keep in touch with you to ensure you are meeting all your accreditation standards throughout the course of your accreditation, making for a smoother renewal next year. Compliance teams from Immigration New Zealand will check on businesses throughout their accreditation period, ensuring their adherence to these required standards.
How can we help?
Our accreditation package can include:
- workplace review. For example, assessment of your policies and procedures, your current financial status, and your ability to support migrant settlement,
- identification of possible issues. Collaboration with you on how to rectify these. (This may include referrals to our preferred partners),
- provision of a comprehensive Migrant Settlement Package for you to 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 understand your business thoroughly.
This puts us all in a strong position for the following stages – ‘job check’ and ‘migrant check’.
Stage 2 – Job Check
Once your business has achieved accreditation, you move to the job check stage. You can only get to stage 3 – the work visa – if you have passed the job check.
It is the responsibility of the employer to pay for job checks. They show that several key criteria are met such as the role will pay a fair market rate, your recruitment complies with employment law and a Labour Market Test has been done, if required. A Labour Market Test shows you have already tried unsuccessfully to hire a New Zealand citizen or resident for your job.
Each job check is valid for six months and is valid for multiple migrant work visas if you have more than one vacancy for the same role. The roles must have the same details, such as pay rate, job title, and location. So, you only need one job check if you want to fill multiple identical positions.
Our job check service will help your business provide the correct evidence to pass every necessary check.
Our Job Check service includes:
- reviewing your advertising, job description and employmen contract to ensure all meet Immigration New Zealand criteria.
- advising on shortlisting of applicants.
- lodging the job check application
- 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 unsuccessfully to hire a New Zealand citizen or resident before offering the role to a migrant. You will not need an LMT if:
- The job pays 200% of the median wage OR
- Your role is on the Green List, and any potential work visa applicants will also meet the requirements of the Green List.
All other jobs must have a Labour Market Test and pay at least the median wage (currently $27.76/hr).
Immigration New Zealand has a temporary exemption from this remuneration requirement for some roles. You can check your role here.
If your businesss will need to complete a jb check it is vital that your advertising meets the specific criteria set by Immigration. Your job check could be declined if you miss any small detail.
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 visa – The Accredited Employer Work Visa. It involves a series of checks relating to their personal information.
For each applicant, INZ will verify:
- identity documents and details,
- standard of health,
- character (convictions, issues with previous visa applications, bona fide nature of candidate and application),
- suitability of qualifications/work experience for the role.
On lodgement of the visa application, it will link up with your business’s accreditation and relevant job check. Immigration New Zealand will assess the applicant and decide about their visa.
NZ Visa Connections have successfully helped skilled workers come to New Zealand for many years. We are trained and qualified and have specialist knowledge of all immigration matters.
When you recruit migrant employees, there can be a great deal you need to learn about each other. A commitment to migrant settlement is a new aspect of the Accredited Employer scheme. It’s an aspect that Immigration New Zealand takes very seriously.
We offer a detailed migrant settlement package that can be customised to your company, helping to make your employees feel welcome. This support will increase their ability to make a success of their new job and life in New Zealand.
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, it is sensible to invest time and effort into settling migrants effectively.
New Zealand employers often offer their migrant staff the chance to do further education and training. Please speak to us first to ensure this is within the criteria of their current visa. We can also advise on the qualifications that will benefit the migrant and your business the most.
Want to Learn More?
Contact us below if you would like a copy of our Accredited Employer Handbook for a detailed look at the scheme and our fees to achieve accreditation for your business.
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