Less options for migrants with changes to Employer Accreditation

The new employer accreditation regime is looking to come into effect in late September 2021, with it being compulsory from 1 November 2021. There are also changes coming with the introduction of the new Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV).

The new AEWV will replace the following visas:

  • Talent (Accredited Employer) Work Visa
  • Essential Skills Work Visa
  • Essential Skills Work Visa – Approved in Principle
  • Long Term Skill Shortage List (LTSSL) Work Visa
  • Silver Fern Job Search Visa
  • Silver Fern Practical Experience Visa

This means there will be fewer options for migrant workers trying to work or get residency in New Zealand.

Until 31 October 2021, employers will still be able to support work visa applications under the Essential Skills, or Talent (Accredited Employer), or Long Term Skill Shortage List work visa categories.

The new AEWV will involve three steps:

  1. Employer Check (Accreditation) : All employers will need to be accredited. Applications for accreditation can be lodged from late September 2021. Those employers who hold existing accreditation status with Immigration New Zealand will have to apply under the new system. 

There will be three accreditation levels:

Standard – for employers wanting to hire 5 or fewer migrant workers on AEWVs during the accreditation period;

High-Volume – for employers wanting to hire 6 or more migrant workers on AEWVs during the accreditation period; and

Franchise/Labour Hire – for businesses supplying staff to third-party places of employment.

  1. Job Check: Checks will be completed to confirm the terms and conditions of the offer of employment comply with employment laws and the labour market test (where relevant) has been met.
  1. Migrant Worker Check: Migrants must show they meet health, character and identity requirements and hold the skills and experience stipulated as part of the employer’s job check application.
     

Will your business be affected?

The new regime will place pressure on employers, particularly those who have never been accredited or are not used to dealing with the complexities of Immigration New Zealand.

Compliance obligations on employers will also increase, so it’s critical for businesses to plan ahead and get advice from immigration practitioners.

Employers who are likely to require migrant workers from 1 November 2021 are encouraged to get prepared ahead of time, so that they are ready to submit their accreditation application by September 2021.

If you would like to discuss the upcoming changes in greater detail and how they impact your business and employees, please do not hesitate to contact Elly Fleming, Senior Solicitor on 03 548 8349 or Elly.Fleming@pittandmoore.co.nz