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THE 4th July was Independence Day in the USA … in New Zealand this day is marked as the loss of freedom to employers to get the migrant staff they need without many new challenges!

The New Government Accreditation Policy commenced 4 July 2022 – You need to know the requirements if you are in business.
If you want to hire migrants in your business to supplement your workforce – you will need to become Accredited.

4th July 2022 the new Immigration policy reset came into practice and these are the new laws for employing a migrant worker. As a Labour Government initiative if you wish to hire a migrant you will need to apply for accreditation.

This is an important tool for any New Zealand employer.

If you hire a migrant and you do not apply for Accreditation first, the visa application will not be processed, it will be returned as a “failed lodgment”.

There are minimum standards / requirements to become accredited, for example hold a New Zealand Business Number, be able to prove you are a genuinely operating your business by proving financial soundness over the last 2 years; have no recent history of regulatory non-compliance and so on. If you are a franchisee or labour hire company, there are additional accreditation requirements.

The new system shifts the focus of the visa application to the New Zealand employer as there is a 3 Gate Process:

Employer Gate – “The Accredited Employer”

Immigration New Zealand decides whether employers are suitable to employ migrant workers. There are 3 main accreditation levels:

  • Standard – for employers who want to hire 5 or fewer migrant workers
  • High Volume – for employers who want to hire 6 or more migrant workers
  • Franchise / Labour Hire – for businesses which supply staff to third party places of employment

The criteria for accreditation by Hire Volume employers is more demanding than for the Standard Franchise / Labour Hire criteria.

Job Gate – The Job on Offer

The employer needs to advertise nationally to establish if any New Zealander is available. This is reviewed to ensure the job pays the market rate, the terms and conditions comply with employment laws, and the employer has done a labour market test if they need to.

  • With Accreditation you can hire migrants on visas for up to 3 years providing you pay the New Zealand median wage, unless the role is on an exemption list and show that you cannot find suitable New Zealanders first.

NOTE: This is a major challenge for employers getting all the necessary criteria in place to meet Immigration requirements and ensuring the employment agreement is specifically for a migrant and not including clauses that do not comply.

Migrant Gate – The migrant enters the picture here

The migrant would be applying for the job which has met the Job Gate requirements being offered by the Accredited Employer. The migrant must meet the qualification requirements, along with health and character.

We are advised that Immigration New Zealand will be processing these applications for Accreditation of the employer’s business within 10 working days, providing full documentation is provided.

Once you are accredited there are modules to complete, job checks to hire a migrant, steps to take to renew your accreditation, and of course what level of accreditation do you require? Plus many more questions and requirements.

Woburn International have been helping companies with their accreditation for the past 16 years and we have prepared well for this New Accreditation Policy and its requirements. Many of our clients have already had their new Accreditation applications approved! We will be assisting these same companies with keeping their accreditation – yes, the work continues after you gain accreditation.

We hear daily from New Zealand companies who are looking for that special person with skills and knowledge they need, often the solution is a migrant worker and right now there is a worldwide labour shortage. We have major challenges finding and attracting all types of skilled people and once you find that person you need to be ready and have your Accreditation in place.

We are also well prepared to help with settlement and relocation, Woburn has a Relocation section with Consultants based around New Zealand. As part of an international relocation group we recently attended a Conference in Europe and after such a long time of not being able to travel it was wonderful to be back in touch with our many contacts worldwide.

If you need any advice or assistance with your Accreditation, please reach out to us, we have been in business for over 30 years and have worked with many companies here in New Zealand, major corporations from overseas, entrepreneurs and investors, and we are very proud of our level of service and expertise.

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