Becoming an Accredited Employer - A smart move for those looking to employ and retain migrants

Published: Tue, Mar 20th, 2018 by Tim McSweeney

For those wishing to employ skilled workers from overseas there are a range of options depending on the circumstances at hand, each holding its own set of complexities.

But, if your business has an ongoing need for skilled workers, obtaining Accredited Employer status from Immigration New Zealand (INZ) could streamline what is often an arduous process in the pursuit of your potential employee being issued a work visa. It may also make your business a more attractive proposition from a migrant’s perspective - as having worked for an accredited employer for 2 years there is potential for them to transition to residence.

Perhaps the most significant benefit for an employer holding accredited status however, is not having to illustrate whether a New Zealander can do the work – this is often an expensive and time-consuming task (and arguably an unnecessary one in a labour market experiencing 4.5% unemployment). That said, there are still safeguards in place to protect the integrity of the system. Many of these are addressed in the initial accreditation application that a business needs to make prior to it becoming a ‘trusted partner’ of INZ, and having accredited status bestowed upon it.

In the assessment of an application for accreditation INZ will want to see a range of evidence that broadly relates to the business having:

  • A sound financial position;
  • Good HR policies and practices;
  • Good work place practices; &
  • A demonstrable commitment to training and employing New Zealanders.

The documentation required to satisfy these elements is relatively extensive, but we can provide you with advice on exactly what is needed, and how to structure an application.

It’s fair to say that recent changes to immigration policy will more than likely see a continued increase in businesses pursuing accreditation – primarily a result of changes to the Skilled Migrant Category, that have meant many skilled workers no longer qualify for residence under this pathway. But it is not suitable for every business, and it is worth bearing in mind that for the employee to obtain and take advantage of a work to residence visa, they will need to be paid at least $55,000 per annum.

If you would like to discuss the possibility of your business becoming an accredited employer, what it involves or whether you qualify, please don’t hesitate to let us know.

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