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INZ Job Check: Green List, above or below median wage

10 July 2023

We are now in the midst of the new employer-led framework being implemented by Immigration New Zealand (INZ). Employer accreditation applications opened on 23 May 2022, Job Checks opened on 20 June 2022 and Accredited Employer Work Visa opened on 4 July 2022.  

In this new employer-led system Job Check is just one of the steps that employers will have to complete, and get approved for by INZ, before being able to support migrant workers on an Accredited Employer Work Visa. Depending on the role and remuneration, a Job Check can be one of the more complex processes in the entire system.  

Applications for Job Check opened on 20 June 2022 and it is only available to employers accredited by Immigration NZ in the new framework.  

The Job Check is where INZ would check about the role, whether it pays at the market rate, the terms and conditions of the employment, and if there are any suitable New Zealanders that the employer could hire and train before they offer the role to someone from overseas ie Labour Market Test. 

Only once the Job Check has been completed and approved, can the migrant be invited to apply for an Accredited Employer Work Visa

A Job Check is mandatory for all jobs, however, the scope of it varies depending on how much the pay is for the role and whether a role is on the Green List.  

The information below will help navigate the various scenarios in a Job Check and understand where a Labour Market Test may not be required. A Labour Market Test is when an employer makes genuine attempts to attract and recruit suitable New Zealand workers by advertising for a role. 

1. Jobs paid at or above 200% median wage or in the Green List

Highly paid jobs with a salary of 200% of the new NZ median wage ($29.66 per hour) do not require labour market testing to be undertaken. The Job Check must however, still be completed and approved before a migrant can be invited to apply for a work visa.  

Hard to fill roles on the Green List (Tier 1 & Tier 2) are also exempt from labour market testing requirements. For this, the role must meet the exact requirements as specified on the Green List. 

Jobs in this list include but are not limited to roles in construction, engineering, science, health and ICT fields. 

An example could be a Construction Project Manager role that is on the Green List and has minimum requirements specified that must be met.

In both situations above, the employer will still have to tick off other Job Check requirements, which include an acceptable job offer, employment agreement, and that the job is genuine. 

2. Jobs paid between median wage and 200% of the median wage 

The second scenario is a job as an Operations Manager and the pay is $100,000 per year. 

The pay offered is above the median wage of $29.66 per hour but is not reaching the double median wage mark.  

In this case, advertising is compulsory for the Job Check process and the employer must show that there were attempts to recruit New Zealanders, but no suitable local candidates were found.  

Job advertising requirements by Immigration New Zealand state that the job must be advertised for at least two weeks on the national job listing website or another channel which is likely to attract suitable New Zealanders.  

Job ads must also specify: 

  • Salary/ hourly rate 
  • Estimated actual earnings, including commissions or bonuses that are not guaranteed  
  • Hours of work 
  • Clear terms and conditions 
  • Qualifications, experience, and skills 
  • Location  

3. Job paid below median wage 

Migrants who are paid less than the median wage of $29.66 per hour are not eligible to apply for the Accredited Work Visa (AEWV) unless exempt. 

Exemptions have been introduced for some sectors and roles – for some as a temporary measure and for others to allow for a longer-term transition.  

Just over 25 occupations in tourism and hospitality sectors have been given an exemption to be able to apply for Accredited Employer Work Visa with a lower threshold of $28.18 per hour until April 2024. This includes hotel managers, bar attendants, baristas, fast food cooks, trekking guides, waiters etc. The median wage applies to roles outside of these occupations in hospitality and tourism. 

Sector agreements have been confirmed for care, transport, construction and infrastructure, meat processing, seafood, seasonal snow & adventure tourism. Exemptions to median wage will apply to specific roles within these sectors as well. These changes came into effect from October 2022.

A full labour market test is compulsory for this category as well. 

Employer Accreditation, Job Check and Accredited Employer Work Visa became mandatory from 4 July 2022. Furthermore, the government recently announced that during 2024, a new requirement will be introduced needing employers to be accredited if they wish to hire any migrants including holidaymakers and open work visa holders.  

If you need help with this new employer-led immigration framework that includes Employer Accreditation, Job Check and the Accredited Employer Work Visa, our team of professionals is here to help, so you can focus on your business and your people.

Complete the form below and we will be in touch with you or your employer.Need help with Employer Accreditation process?

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