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Are you a New Zealand employer looking to hire a migrant? Has research into the work visa or employer accreditation process left you feeling lost and overwhelmed? You are not alone. Work visa rules are complex and can be difficult for even the most experienced employers and HR personnel to understand, so if you've never been through the process before, it can be a lot to take on. If you're at all unsure, it's best to get advice first.


Professional Immigration Services can sort everything out for you by acting on your behalf. We have worked with employers from many different industries in New Zealand, such as IT, hospitality, dairy farming, construction, healthcare, retail, and much more. We understand Immigration New Zealand perspectives on different sectors and work accordingly. We also appreciate that each business is different and has different needs when it comes to hiring migrant workers.

Become an Accredited Employer - Accreditation for the AEWV & NZ Job Check

If you're an employer seeking advice on employer accreditation for the Accredited Employer work visa ('AEWV'), you've come to the right place. Hiring migrants on an AEWV involves three steps, the first two of which are employer-led processes explained below. The last step involves the migrant applying for the AEWV, which you can read more about here.

Step 1: Apply for Employer Accreditation

If you cannot find suitable New Zealanders for a role, you can apply to hire migrants on the Accredited Employer work visa, or AEWV for short. You need to get accredited to show that you are a viable business and you meet immigration and employment standards. During 2023, a new requirement will come into effect where your business will need to be accredited to hire migrants on any type of work visa, not just the AEWV. This includes post-study work visas and partnership work visas.


Applying for employer accreditation involves filling in an online form and answering some questions about your business, its directors and other key people, length of incorporation and profitability over the last 24 months of operation, as well as completing some declarations about paying recruitment costs and providing settlement support to your migrant employees. Your business must have an NZBN and be registered as an employer with IRD. It must also have a history of compliance with immigration, employment and business standards.


There are four types of accreditation available:

  1. Standard accreditation, for businesses that only need to hire up to 5 migrants

  2. High-volume accreditation, for businesses that need to hire 6 or more migrants

  3. Franchises (unlimited number of hires)

  4. Labour hire companies and employers using controlling third parties (unlimited number of hires)

Accreditation types 3 & 4 above have additional requirements over and above what is required for standard or high-volume accreditation due to the structure of those organisations. If your business is not a franchise or labour hire company and you don't place employees with third party businesses, accreditation will be for an initial 12 months and then a further 24 months at renewal. Otherwise, your accreditation will need to be renewed every 12 months.

Once your accreditation application is approved, you can move on to the job check.

Step 2: Apply for a NZ Job Check

Accredited employers must apply to Immigration New Zealand for a job check for each job that they wish to hire a migrant worker into. You can only hire a migrant worker on an AEWV for a particular job if it has first passed the job check. This is another online application whereby you provide proof of advertising the role along with the details of the job, a draft employment agreement and draft job description to Immigration New Zealand for their approval.


Most jobs need to pay at least the New Zealand median wage (currently $27.76 per hour and set to increase to $29.66 per hour in February 2023). All jobs must also pay the market rate for the particular job.


Advertising is not required if the job pays 2x the median wage, or is on Immigration New Zealand's Green List and you're asking for the same minimum job requirements specified on the list for that occupation.


Multiple positions may be included in the same job check application for the same role. For example, you can submit a job check application for five chefs if you mentioned that there are five positions available in your advertisement. You can also submit one job check application for multiple different locations of work if you need employees for more than one store, restaurant, etc., as long as these belong to the same business and the role is the same. The same concept applies if your business mainly operates from a single location, but you need to send employees out to different locations for work.


Once the job check is approved, you will receive a "job token" that can be sent to the migrant that you wish to hire, who will then use this job token to apply for an AEWV. Approved job checks remain valid for six months, giving you plenty of time to find and hire the right candidate.

Services: Services


Need guidance? Professional Immigration Services offers obligation-free initial assessments to help clients better understand their situation and prospects. Whether you've received a concern letter from Immigration New Zealand or just need help planning your future, we will facilitate your needs and help get you to where you need to be.


Based in Christchurch city, Professional Immigration Services provides high quality, reliable advice in relation to New Zealand visa applications and other immigration-related matters. Equipped with in-depth industry knowledge and experience, Evelyn Dyer is a Licensed Immigration Adviser who has special expertise in a range of complex immigration issues. She is renowned for her caring attitude towards clients, fast response times and high level of personalised service. If you're looking for an immigration adviser who takes the time to listen to you and understand your whole situation, Evelyn is the adviser for you.


Unlike other areas of law, the immigration industry in New Zealand is fast-moving and dynamic. Sometimes, policy changes are introduced quite literally overnight, so we are constantly updating our knowledge and clarifying grey areas with Immigration New Zealand's management team. If you're interested in keeping up to date with New Zealand immigration law and policy changes, keep an eye on our Blog page for the latest in immigration news, tips and articles.

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