Mandatory Employer Accreditation policy dates announced by INZ
In February this year, we wrote about major upcoming changes to the immigration system which will have a significant impact on businesses who hire migrants. A new mandatory employer accreditation system means businesses who want to support their employee’s visa applications will need to pass a number of checks. This system is called the ‘Accredited Employer Work Visa’. This scheme will increase compliance obligations on employers.
Immigration New Zealand have now announced the timeframes for implementation of the new policy:
- 30 June 2021: the existing Accredited Employer system will close
- Late September 2021: the new ‘Accredited Employer Work Visa’ system will be launched and businesses can apply from this date
- 31 October 2021: 6 existing temporary work visa categories will close (including Essential Skills work visas)
- 01 November 2021: The Accredited Employer Work Visa system will apply from this date forward
There will be a three-step process:
- The employer check – employers need to obtain accreditation before they can hire a migrant work visa. They will need to provide evidence of a history of compliance with employment and immigration laws in NZ and the active steps the employer has taken to ensure ongoing compliance.
- The job check – employers will need to provide evidence that the job meets new criteria relating to compliance with employment laws and labour market test, if required
- The migrant worker check – INZ will need evidence that the migrant worker meets the criteria.
There are additional criteria franchisees will need to meet to achieve accreditation, and if accreditation is achieved it will be for shorter duration than the standard business model (12 months as opposed to 24 months).
Start planning now for businesses
Employers will need to be accredited before they can hire a migrant on an Accredited Employer Work Visa from 1 November 2021.
If you hire any migrants on Essential Skills or other Employer-Assisted work visas, or think that you may need to in the next 12 months, our advice is to start preparing now to get your application in by September 2021, as soon as applications open. Thousands of applications will be made from that date and the industry is anticipating a significant backlog.
Our Workplace Solutions team combines immigration and employment expertise to best prepare you for prompt approval of accreditation, so that you can continue accessing the migrant talent your business needs.
Please contact our workplace solutions team for an initial assessment:
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