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Leaving the Accredited Employer Work Visa process to the candidate is a risky approach. Here’s why.

09 October 2023

The wheels of Accreditation and the Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV) scheme seem to be turning steadily since they were first launched in July last year. As of 26 July 2023, 27,480 New Zealand businesses were granted accreditation, 42,221 Job Checks (equal to 207,670 positions) were approved, and 75,765 AEWVs were issued. 80% of the issued visas were from overseas applications. This scheme has become an important pathway for NZ businesses to recruit and retain overseas talent.

Obtaining the Employer Accreditation and conducting the Job Check are essential steps for NZ employers looking to hire migrants on Accredited Employer Work Visas. However, there are several other key aspects that make up this entire process. Some employers choose to let these crucial steps be completed by their migrant candidates. We believe this may not be a prudent move, and here's why:

You don't know if your candidate's (and their family members’) background is "immigration friendly"

Now that you have found a suitable candidate—through your recruitment team or the hiring manager—you also need to ensure they have the right immigration background to be able to secure a work visa. The candidate may have a spotless background, but their family member who was going to travel with them to NZ may have an issue. For example, they have a child with a medical condition or a partner who has a character issue. Such circumstances could potentially affect their visa or, in severe cases, prevent a visa from being granted altogether. In such instances, the candidate may decline your job offer. If this happens much later in the process, say after the offer has been accepted, the job check has been approved, and the candidate’s work visa process has begun, it can lead to a wastage of several resources and make it unnecessarily challenging with the hiring process having to recommence.

This is why it is critical that, as a business, you have an effective way of checking a candidate’s and their family’s immigration background before a final offer is made. This will make certain that the visa process will deliver a positive outcome. 

You may not know the laws of the country you are recruiting from

Different countries have different laws when it comes to their workers moving overseas. Having a sound understanding of the laws of the country you intend to hire from before you start the process is vital. For example, we regularly encounter businesses hiring from the Philippines, but they are unaware of additional requirements the business needs to fulfil before their worker can fly from the Philippines to NZ.

Candidates can get overwhelmed with the visa process

We’re sure you agree that the journey is as important as the destination. So, when a candidate is applying for their work visa and doing this daunting task on their own, the experience can get overwhelming and confusing for them. Here are some common scenarios we come across regularly that are important for businesses to be aware of:

1. Candidates applying for their work visas don't know what details were in the Job Check and/or job advertisement, apart from those that they see auto-filled in their AEWV application.

We often come across cases where the candidate does not meet the requirements listed in the Job Check, or if they do, they do not have the right documents to prove it. Documentation to prove work experience and qualification requirements can vary from country to country.

2. Candidates with families prefer travelling to NZ as a unit.

A candidate’s decision to come to NZ can be largely dependent on when and whether their partner and children can travel along with them or join them at a later date. As an employer, you should think about aspects like who will assist with the family’s visa applications and provide advice on if the family can travel together as a unit, when the children can start school, how long the visa process can take, whether the partner can work in NZ or not, where things can go wrong, or what to look out for.

3. Escalation to Immigration incase of issues.

As an employer, you could run into potential problems when a candidate has applied for their own visa. For instance, you have a project starting soon in NZ for which you need the candidate’s services, but there are delays in visa application processing by Immigration New Zealand (INZ). In such a situation, an escalation to INZ may be needed, and this is not something a candidate can be expected to tackle on their own. 

The bottom line is that entrusting the AEWV process to your prospective migrant employees is not a prudent decision. It increases the likelihood of encountering issues, which, in turn, can lead to undesirable outcomes. 

How you can do things the right way

Because the immigration industry in NZ is regulated, it is important to note that only licensed immigration advisers, lawyers, or exempt individuals who are appropriately qualified and authorised can provide advice and verify if someone's background is suitable for immigration purposes. Hence, it is important to get your advice from reputable sources.

At Aims Global, we ensure that the chances of your business encountering such roadblocks are minimised. We take the time to thoroughly understand the intricacies of your business. By doing so, we only request specific information that INZ requires as part of your application—nothing more, nothing less. Think of us as a one-stop shop for immigration needs. Not only do we handle the entire AEWV process for your migrant candidates, but also the visa processes for their families.

We work across time zones and establish a continuous line of communication (through email, phone, and WhatsApp) to ensure that you and your candidates have a seamless experience. After INZ grants your candidate's visa, we keep a record of their details. We can then notify you when their visa is nearing expiry; our emphasis is on keeping you informed.

If you are an employer looking to hire overseas talent and would like professional assistance, reach out to us.


We run regular webinars for employers, HR professionals, and recruiters throughout the year where we simplify immigration policies and key updates and provide handy tips to help better navigate the world of immigration. Register here for the upcoming webinar or the whole series, and stay up-to-date with immigration policies important for your people and your business. 

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