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Employer Accreditation & AEWV - further details released by INZ

23 March 2022
Update as of 7 April 2022: 
  • INZ released further updates on the fee and estimated processing timeframes for the 3 steps to hiring a migrant on an Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV). Find out here!



22 March 2022, Immigration New Zealand released further updates on the Employer Accreditation and Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV). These updates align with the Government's Reconnecting NZ to the World and Immigration Rebalance changes, where some key dates are pushed back (see below) and new median wage threshold is introduced for the AEWV. Also, as part of Step 4 border reopening plan, the new AEWV will open in July to applications from migrants both in New Zealand and in other countries. 

Here are the crucial updates that employers, recruiters and HR professionals should be aware of:

Key dates

  • 23 May 2022 – applications for Accreditation/Employer Check open
  • 20 June 2022 – applications for Job Check open
  • 3rd July 2022 - Essential Skills Work Visa phases out
  • 4 July 2022 – migrants can apply for an AEWV, where the employer is accredited, and a job check has been completed.

Migrant workers can still apply for an Essential Skills Work Visa until 3 July 2022. Employers do not need to apply for accreditation from 23 May 2022, unless they intend to hire migrants on an AEWV soon after 4 July 2022. 

For most employers, accreditation will be a simple and relatively low-touch assessment, and INZ will work to process applications quickly.

Key Changes have been made to streamline the accreditation and job check steps.  

  • High-volume accreditation no longer includes a requirement that jobs must pay at least 10% above minimum wage or be covered by a collective agreement, as the new median wage threshold will apply across the board.
  • This means high-volume accreditation now has the same requirements as standard accreditation. Employers must still apply for high-volume accreditation and pay a higher fee if they want to employ more than 5 workers on AEWVs at one time.
  • Employers can upgrade from standard to high-volume accreditation at any point during their accreditation period, for a fee. This fee reflects the additional risk assurance activities that INZ may have to undertake, as the impact of non-compliance increases with the greater number of migrants employed by a business. Further requirements for high-volume employers may be considered in the future.
  • Additional accreditation requirements remain for employers who are franchisees or who place AEWV holders with controlling third parties – but there is now no limit on the number of AEWV holders these employers can employ at one time.
  • At the job check stage, the labour market test is no longer regionalised. All employers need to advertise their vacancies unless the role is paid at least twice the median wage.
  • There will be more flexibility in how INZ calculates whether a migrant meets the median wage threshold.

Fee

  • Standard accreditation, up to 5 migrants at any one time: NZD $740. 
  • High-volume, 6 or more migrants at any one time: NZD $1220. 
  • Upgrade fee for employers, from standard to high-volume accreditation: NZD $480. 
  • Employers wanting to place migrants with controlling third parties: NZD $3870. 
  • Franchisees: NZD $1980. 
  • Job check fee: NZD $610 
  • Application for AEWV: NZD $540

Median wage increase on 4 July 2022

The median wage will increase from $27.00 to $27.76 an hour on 4 July 2022, in line with when the AEWV opens to applications.

Employers who submit a job check in advance of 4 July 2022 should use the new median wage figure, as all visa applications will be made on or after this date. 

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