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For Employers

Information for New Zealand employers who want to hire a migrant and sponsor their visa application

If you are managing a New Zealand business, you no doubt know how difficult it can be to find good, qualified staff. At times, the best person for the job will be someone who is not local, but is either in New Zealand on a work visa or is still overseas. What can you, as an employer, legally do to utilize such sources of labor and how much time, effort, and cost will it involve? Find answers here.

While the application process for most visas is led by the candidate, you will want to have met all your obligations so your potential employee can start working for you as soon as possible. Knowing the right visa for the candidate is important as it will ensure that the application will be successful.

The accreditation process

As an employer you must apply for AEWV accreditation, advertise if you need to, and get a job check to show there are no suitable New Zealanders for the job you want to fill.

Apply for employer accreditation

You can apply for 1 of 4 different levels of accreditation.

  • Standard accreditation is for standard businesses hiring up to 5 migrants.
  • High-volume accreditation is for standard businesses hiring 6 or more migrants.
  • Franchisee accreditation is for businesses that are part of a franchise. There is no limit to how many migrants you can hire.
  • Controlling third party accreditation is for businesses who place migrants with third parties while being the direct employer named in the employment agreement. There is no limit to how many migrants you can hire.

You will pay a fee depending on the type of accreditation you need.

How much it costs – INZ fees

You pay a different fee depending on the type of accreditation you need.

  • Standard accreditation — up to 5 migrants at any one time — is NZD $740.
  • High-volume accreditation — 6 or more migrants at any one time — is NZD $1220.
  • Franchisee accreditation is NZD $1980.
  • Controlling third party accreditation is NZD $3870.
  • To upgrade from standard to high-volume accreditation is NZD $480.
  • Reconsideration of a declined application is NZD $240.

INZ estimate it will take 10 working days to process complete standard and high-volume applications from compliant employers.

Your initial accreditation lasts for 12 months before you need to renew it.

Once you renew it will last for:

  • 24 months for standard businesses, as long as it has not lapsed for 12 or more months
  • 12 months for franchisees and employers placing migrants with controlling third parties.

Advertise the role

Before you can apply for a job check you may need to advertise to check there are no New Zealand citizens or residents available for the job.

This is a way of giving suitable New Zealanders the chance to apply for work before it is offered to someone from overseas, and making sure employers offer attractive wages to New Zealanders.

You must list the job for at least 2 weeks on a national listing website or channel where suitable New Zealanders are likely to apply, and meet other advertising requirements. Advertising must take place within the 90 days before you submit an application.

You will not need to give evidence of advertising if the job:

  • pays at least twice the NZ median wage, or
  • is an occupation on the Green List.

Check the Green List

What you need to include in the job ad

  • the job description
  • minimum and maximum pay
  • location
  • minimum hours of work (30+)
  • estimated actual earnings if the job pays by piece, commission or there are other rates or bonuses
  • minimum skills, experience and qualifications for the role
  • a pay range that is at least the market rate for that role, and that you pay at least the NZ median wage of NZD $27.76, unless the role is on an exemption list.

INZ will ask you to upload a copy of the job ad and tell the dates you advertised and the channels you used in the job check application.

Apply for a job check

Once you have accreditation you must apply for a job check.

You need to include:

  • a job description
  • an employment agreement
  • the results of any advertising you had to do.

Job checks are valid for 6 months or until you no longer have accreditation.

INZ estimate it will take 10 working days to process complete job check applications from compliant employers.

Check what you need and apply 

Ask the migrant to apply

Once the job check is approved you can ask the migrant to apply for their visa.

You must give them a copy of the employment agreement and a copy of the signed employment offer.

The required experience and qualifications for the job you offer them must match the approved job check.

You must send the migrant a request to apply from your Immigration Online dashboard. This sends an email to the migrant with a unique link. The migrant must select the link and accept the request before they can begin their application. If their visa is approved the migrant can take up the job under the terms of their visa.

INZ estimate it will take 20 working days to process a complete visa application.

We manage the entire application process and provide employers with:

  • Advice on immigration law
  • Assistance with drafting supporting documents and letters
  • Advice on compliance and potential issues

We take on responsibility for:

  • Preparing detailed applications to Immigration New Zealand
  • Making detailed written legal submissions to the government bodies
  • Raising complaints, if appropriate
  • Ongoing liaison with Immigration New Zealand and other bodies during all stages of processing

Contact us today