Employer Accreditation for Work Visa

As per the new guidelines, Immigration New Zealand requires an employer to apply for accreditation before they employ migrant workers under the new Accredited Employer Work Visa. 

As per the new rules, all employers need to obtain an employer accreditation before hiring a migrant worker to work in New Zealand. Getting the accreditation is the first part of a three-stage application process whereby Immigration New Zealand assesses the employer, the labour markets and the migrant worker. If the employer is not accredited then they cannot hire any migrant workers on AEWs (Accredited Employer Work Visa).


From 4th July 2022, to hire workers under the Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV), employers will need to be first accredited by Immigration New Zealand. The employer accreditation for a work visa is valid for up to 3 years. They are required to pay the worker at least the NZ median wage unless the role is listed on the exemption list. To get the accreditation the employer needs to show that they are not able to find suitable New Zealanders for the role. 

Employers employing migrant workers holding an open work visa (post-study visa partnership visa, etc.) are not required to be accredited to continue their employment. (However, this is expected to change in 2023)

Employer Accreditation is required only for supporting new AEWV applications made from 4 July 2022 onwards. Though migrant workers with existing visas can continue working, workers wishing to renew their work visas in the future will need accreditation. From 2023 any employer who wishes to employ anyone on a work visa including partners visa, student visa and working holiday visa will require Employer accreditation.

An employer has to apply for AEWV accreditation, advertise if required and also get a job check to show there are no suitable New Zealanders who can be hired for the said job. 

  • Apply for employer accreditation

       An employer can apply for accreditation under any of the 4 levels of accreditation:

  1. A standard Business can apply for a Standard accreditation if it is required to employ up to 5 migrants.
  2. A Standard Business can apply for a high-volume accreditation if it needs to hire 6 or more migrants.
  3. Businesses that are part of a Franchise, need to apply for franchisee accreditation.  There is no limit to how many migrants they can employ under this accreditation. 
  4. Businesses that place their migrant workers to work under third parties while still being the direct employer as mentioned in the employment agreement, can apply for the controlling third party accreditation. There is no limit to the number of migrants they can hire.

        There is a different fee amount for each type of employer accreditation which needs to be paid by the employer. 

Advertise the role

Before applying for a job check the employer needs to advertise the job role to check if there are any New Zealand citizens or residents with the required skills and experience available for the job profile.

This ensures that New Zealanders are given the opportunity to apply for the job before it is offered to a migrant. This also ensures that employers offer attractive wages to New Zealanders.

The job needs to be listed on a national listing website for at least 2 weeks where suitable New Zealanders can apply. Advertising of the job profile should be done 90 days before the application for accreditation is made.

Applying for a job check

Once the accreditation is received accreditation the employer must apply for a job check.

For a job check one needs to include:

  • Complete job description
  • Employment agreement
  • Results of job advertising done.

The Job checks have a validity of 6 months or until the employer no longer has accreditation. It takes around 10 working days approximately to process complete job check applications from compliant employers.

Application by the Migrant

On receiving approval for the job check, the employer can ask the migrant to apply for a visa. The employer needs to provide them with a copy of the employment agreement along with a copy of the signed employment offer. The required experience and qualifications for the job offered to the migrant worker must match the approved job check. It takes around 20 working days to process a complete work visa application.


How long will the employer accreditation be valid?

The employer accreditation approvals are valid for 12 months. Employers need to have their renewal applications processed after 24 months. For franchisees and businesses that want to place migrants on Accredited Employer Work Visas with third parties – including labour hire companies, the extension period will be for 12 months.

What is the new median wage for New Zealand?

As on 4 July 2022, the median wage for New Zealand will change from $27 per hour to $27.76 per hour.

What are the costs for Employer accreditation?

The accreditation fees are based on the level of accreditation and the number of migrants hired.

– The fee for a Standard Accreditation which allows up to five migrants is NZD $740.
– The fee for High-volume accreditation for 6 or more migrants at any one time is NZD $1220.
-Upgradation fee for employers wanting to upgrade from standard to high-volume accreditation is NZD $480.
-Fee for controlling third parties’ accreditation is NZD $3870.
-Franchisees: NZD $1980.
-Fees for reconsideration of declined employer accreditation application is NZD $240.

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