Accredited Employer Work Visa – Employer Accreditation

Work Visa – Employer accreditation

All accreditation types have the same minimum requirements.

For most businesses the accreditation must be held by the direct employer named on the migrant worker’s employment agreement.

For trusts, partnerships and sole traders, the business entity (which has an NZBN) must hold the accreditation, and the employer named on the employment agreement must be one or more of the trustees, partners or the sole trader.

An AEWV holder cannot be self-employed.

AEWV applications online only

AEWV accreditation applications will be available online only. Applications open 23 May 2022.

Standard businesses

For standard business models there are 2 different levels of accreditation depending on how many migrants you want to employ.

  • Standard accreditation — if you want up to 5 migrant workers on AEWVs at any one time.
  • High-volume accreditation — if you want 6 or more migrant workers on AEWVs at any one time.

This only includes migrants on AEWVs. Migrants on other visa types (for example working holiday visas) are not counted toward the total.

There is no difference in the accreditation requirements between standard and high-volume accreditation.

Franchisees and employers who place migrants with a controlling third party

Franchisees, and employers wanting to place migrants on AEWVs with controlling third parties (including labour hire companies), must apply for the accreditation suited to their business model. Due to the increased risk to migrant workers with these business models there are additional standards they have to meet.

Minimum requirements for all business types

All employers wanting to hire migrants on AEWVs must meet minimum accreditation criteria.

  • Viable and genuinely operating business
  • You must be registered as an employer with Inland Revenue (IRD).
  • Your business must meet one of these:
  • be profitable (before depreciation and tax over the last 24 months)
  • have positive cash flow for each of the last 6 months
  • have sufficient capital and external investment or funding (for example from a founder or parent company)
  • have a plan to ensure the business remains viable.

Evidence for businesses operating less than 12 months may include:

  • evidence of start-up capital or funding
  • cash-flow or revenue forecasts
  • contracts for work
  • GST returns
  • PAYE returns.

Most other employers will not need to provide evidence upfront, but evidence may be required to show you meet the requirements once the application is submitted or at any time during your accreditation.

You or your key people 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 INZ.

You or your key people must not be banned from acting as a director or have a pattern of immigration offences in other businesses you or your key people have been involved in.

Completed employer learning modules

You must ensure everyone making recruitment decisions completes Employment New Zealand’s most recent online employer modules on employment rights. This could include hiring managers, human resource managers, sole traders, and partners. This only applies to those involved in hiring AEWV holders.

You must keep records of all of the modules being completed. The modules must be completed once within every accreditation period and finished before that period ends.

You must pay all recruitment costs in New Zealand and outside New Zealand. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • advertising
  • recruitment agency fees
  • employer accreditation fees
  • job check application fees
  • trade testing
  • tools where the ownership is retained by the employer
  • compulsory training and induction.
  • This does not include migrant worker airfares (although this may be a requirement by the authorities in some countries).

You must not charge fees outside New Zealand which would be illegal if charged in New Zealand, including:

  • payment to secure a job
  • bonding agreements illegally binding workers to a business
  • deductions that are unreasonable or not agreed in writing.

You must provide migrant workers with work-related settlement information within one month of the employee beginning their employment including:

  • how to get an IRD number
  • relevant industry training and qualification information and options
  • specific job or industry hazards.
  • accommodation options
  • transport options
  • cost of living
  • how to access healthcare services
  • Citizens Advice Bureau services
  • information about relevant community groups.
  • Your AEWV holder should be directed to appropriate websites with information about living in New Zealand.

It is important that you can provide documentation to show the requirements are being met, such as the actual information given to migrants, a register signed by the AEWV holder and email records between you and the migrant.

You must allow migrant workers time to complete all of Employment New Zealand’s most recent online employee modules on employment rights during paid work hours within one month of the AEWV holder starting employment.

You must keep records of all of the modules being completed.

When you are approved for the first time you will receive employer accreditation for 12 months.

At renewal, franchisees and employers placing migrants on AEWVs with controlling third parties will get accreditation for a further 12 months. All other employers will get accreditation for 24 months when they renew, providing their previous accreditation has not lapsed for 12 months or more.