Return to all

Accreditation – Now or Later?

04 March 2021

The immigration industry and its stakeholders are buzzing about the impending work visa changes coming mid/late 2021. But with this overhaul, the window to submit applications under current policy is fast closing. The following schemes are short-lived:

  •       Essentials Skills Work Visa
  •       Talent (Accredited Employer) – Work Visa and Residence pathway

The new employer check will replace the existing accreditation scheme. 

A few pertinent questions many of the existing accredited employers are asking – should I let my current accreditation lapse and apply under the new rules? What’s the point of renewing my accreditation if I am going to have to apply again later under the new policy? What does “transition” mean and what does it look like?

And if a business is not currently accredited, the natural queries are – should I apply for accreditation now or later? What’s the difference between now and later?

To determine whether a business will benefit from the new or current accreditation rules, we need to understand the business motivations, recruitment plans and the composition of their workforce. We look at how many staff are visa holders, their salary range, visa expiry dates and existing pathways to residence. Another key area to explore is whether substantive NZ citizen/resident talent is available for the roles a business wants to recruit talent for. It is a culmination of a range of factors, nuanced by the business’s resource constraints.

Each decision has its pros and cons, and these need to be carefully balanced for the most appropriate decision to be made. Below is a table that gives the key considerations for the current Accreditation scheme in comparison to the Standard and High Volume Categories that will be introduced in the future. Please note: Labour Hire Category has not been included in this comparison.



Current Accreditation rules

Standard Category (new)

High-volume Category (new)

Information available

Policy is known – an application can be submitted 

Full details not yet announced – applications are closed 

Full details not yet announced – applications are closed 


Costs $2130 for an initial application

Likely to be much lower than current

Likely to be similar or slightly lower than current


Granted for 24 months in most cases (can be up to 5 years)

Initial accreditation granted for 12 months only

Initial accreditation granted for 12 months only


In-depth and stringent assessment

Lighter touch than current

Likely to be similar to current


4 key requirements

– Financial Position

– Human Resource

– Workplace Practices

– Training & Employing New Zealanders

Exact requirements not released: Main focus on compliance with minimum regulatory standards and genuine business that can be sustained.

Exact requirements not released:

Estimated key requirements:

– Same as standard plus

– Training & Upskilling New Zealanders

– Increasing wages and improving working conditions

Another consideration is that the currently available Talent visa scheme will close soon, but any applications submitted before the closure will retain the work visa + residence pathway. Is there an advantage if your employees are on Talent visas right now before this option closes for good?

Under the new scheme, an employer needs to be accredited before a work visa can be supported. But, keep in mind that all visas approved prior to these changes being implemented will remain valid until their expiry dates. Some HR managers have reported challenges in attracting and retaining talent if the business is not accredited and as a result are motivated to obtain accreditation under current rules. Immigration New Zealand has confirmed that currently accredited employers will have a streamlined transition into the new rules, however specific details are awaited. Further, employers accredited under current rules will also get a streamlined transition into the new scheme, however, details are awaited. 

There are many permutations and combinations that need to be carefully assessed and weighed against each other; this exercise is confounded by the lack of specific policy details. We suggest that employers begin assessing their situation today and plan for the future. At Aims Global, we have an “employer first” approach. We will co-create a plan with you that will allow the business to grow with minimal chances of getting blindsided by any changes.

Immigration simplified

Providing professional immigration advice and support for over 15 years. Aims Global is an agile team of licensed immigration advisers and experts who are skilled advocates for our clients and are always at the forefront of policy changes.

Our mission is to help our clients achieve their goals through simplifying the complex immigration process. We are experts in understanding your needs so we can fulfil your purpose, whether you’re an employer, employee, student, or family.

Relevant News