Details on Accredited Employer Work Visa scheme – Accreditation

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Details on Accredited Employer Work Visa scheme – Accreditation

The Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV) will replace most of the commonly used work visa categories. The idea is to simplify the immigration process by making one all-rounder work visa rather than balancing 6 different types of applications.

We have previously talked about this visa and we would recommend reading that article first to get introduced to the AEWV and how it will work. You can read it at Changes to work visas for employees and employers: Introduction to the accredited employer work visa – Queen City Law (qcl-immigration.co.nz)

This article is part one of a series of articles that will go into some of the finer detail to help you understand how the visa works and what you will need to prepare.

The most notable feature of this scheme is that all employers must be accredited. This accreditation is different than the one used in the Talent (Accredited Employer) categories, so even employers who are accredited under that system must apply for accreditation under AEWV.

There are two basic types of accreditation – standard and high-volume. However, there are also special rules for franchisees and controlling third parties. Standard is the basic type of accreditation and we will look at that first to help lay a foundation on the accreditation process.

Firstly, the employer must be a genuinely operating business. This means that they must be registered as an employer with Inland Revenue and have a New Zealand Business Number. The employer must also prove that they are in a stable financial position. You should be able to show that you:

● Are profitable;

● Have positive cash flow;

● Have enough capital and/or external investment or funding; or

● have a plan that ensures you remain viable.

This will be especially tricky for newer businesses as they may not have been running long enough to prove that they are profitable. Please note that sole traders and partnerships must also not be bankrupt or subject to a No Asset Procedure.

Secondly, the employer must be able to prove that they have no recent history of regulatory non-compliance. INZ will perform their own background checks and investigations, and you must declare that the following is true:

  • ● You are not on the Labour Inspectorate stand-down list.
  • ● You have not convicted of immigration-related offences.
  • ● You have not employed a migrant who does not have a visa, or the wrong type of visa, or for work that goes against the conditions of their visa.
  • ● You have not provided false or misleading information to Immigration New Zealand.
  • ● You have not re-established under a new legal entity while remaining essentially the same, to avoid the consequences of not meeting accreditation requirements.
  • ● You are not banned from acting as a director.
  • ● You do not have a pattern of immigration offences with other businesses you have been involved in.

These declarations will apply to all other significant office holders as well.

Finally, you must show that you are minimising the risk of migrant exploitation. This means that you must allow your migrant workers to complete Employment New Zealand’s online modules on their employment rights during paid work hours. Anyone making employment decisions must also complete online modules about employment rights.

In addition, the employer is expected to cover all recruitment costs both in and out of New Zealand. These costs include:

  • ● Advertising
  • ● Recruitment agency fees
  • ● Immigration fees
  • ● Job checks
  • ● Trade testing
  • ● Tools if the employer retains ownership

Accreditation will be revoked if costs are not covered by the employer. However, air fare is not considered a cost of recruitment for accreditation purposes in New Zealand. INZ will also not condone charging fees overseas that would be illegal if done in New Zealand. These include:

  • ● Potential employees paying to secure jobs
  • ● Bonding agreements that illegally bind a worker to a business
  • ● Wage deductions that aren’t agreed to in writing or are unreasonable.

The employer must also assist employees with local community and services information. This will include:

  • ● Accommodation options
  • ● Transportation options
  • ● Cost of living
  • ● How to access healthcare services
  • ● Citizens Advice Bureau services
  • ● Information about community groups like churches or migrant support groups.

We note that you do not have to provide these services, merely let the employee know what their options are.

We would recommend that you make records to show that these requirements are being met. Records can be things like a register signed by the worker or email records.

Accreditation can be a long and arduous process. This is only a basic summary and there are many more steps you will need to take, forms you will need to fill out, and documents you will need to provide beyond what we have mentioned here. However, you do not need to undertake your accreditation process alone. Queen City Law is more than happy to assist you with this or any other immigration requirements you have.

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