Update

Immigration New Zealand (INZ) have released additional information on the Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV), new mandatory accreditation category and changes to other relevant policy.

We set out below a summary of key information and dates, and our thoughts.

Accreditation announcements
  • New median wage threshold will replace a previously indicated requirement for high volume accredited employers to pay at least 10% above minimum wage or use a collective agreement.
  • First high-volume accreditation applications currently will have the same or very similar requirements when compared to standard accreditation applications.
  • Option to allow employers to upgrade from standard accreditation to high-volume accreditation at any point during the course of their accreditation duration. An additional fee will be charged for this.
  • Government filing fees for employer accreditation and accredited employer work visas, fees to change accreditation status, reconsiderations and other government filing fees announced. We have set this out below.
  • Franchisee employers, or employers who place AEWV holders with third parties will still need to meet additional accreditation requirements however, there is no limit on the number of AEWV holders these employers may have at any one time.
  • Accreditation quota numbers confirmed to only count AEWV holders.
  • The labour market test for the job check stage of the AEWV application process is no longer regionalised. Employers will need to advertise the vacant role unless it is paid more than twice the median wage. It has not been clarified whether sector agreements will be considered at the job check stage.
Median income change

The government’s recently announced the median wage threshold will increase from $27 to $27.76 per hour on 4 July 2022.

It has also been mentioned that there will be more flexibility in how INZ calculates whether the median wage threshold is met. We are unsure of exact details, but expect these to be confirmed in the coming months together with details on any exemptions to the median wage role (for example, this could be for specific roles which are in short supply) and whether additional restrictions could apply for select roles.

Fees

In this latest update INZ have also confirmed the following fees. Employers who hold accreditation under the Talent (Accredited Employer) scheme will have the fee for their first AEWV accreditation waived, as long as their accreditation expires no earlier than 23 November 2022.

ProcessFee
Standard accreditation$740
High-volume accreditation$1,220
Upgrade from standard to high-volume accreditation$480
Accreditation for Employers wanting to place migrants with controlling third parties$3,870
Accreditation for Franchisees$1,980
Reconsideration of declined accreditation application$240
Job check fee$610
Reconsideration of declined job check$240
AEWV Application fee$540
AEWV Immigration levy$55
Reconsideration of a declined AEWV application$220
Variation of AEWV conditions$190


Infographic

We have updated our infographic timeline to incorporate the recent changes:

Key Immigration Dates

Our thoughts

While the update is positive, it does appear that INZ is still working through the finer details of the policy.

In our opinion, the information released is good news for employers wanting to gain high-volume accreditation and will make it easier for employers to shift to high-volume accreditation after standard approval has been granted. It also provides some welcome clarity on fees and will allow employers to plan for the introduction of this new AEWV accreditation scheme.

The structuring of accreditation applications will need to be carefully reviewed with the wide definition of ‘controlling third party’. We anticipate that many employers could be caught by the definition of ‘controlling third party’ and be required to apply for labour hire accreditation.

We are finding that many employers do not have policies that accommodate for the new accreditation requirements. For example, we envisage that employers will need to amend their employment agreements and relevant HR policies to accommodate for requirements such as providing migrant workers paid work hours to complete Employment New Zealand’s online modules.

We encourage you to contact us if your company may need to secure accreditation. Our webinars and resources for employers have received excellent feedback. The material we have run through is being constantly updated to reflect INZ policy and provide timely advice for our clients.

Our experts

To discuss the specific requirements for your business, contact our immigration experts.

See all people