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Many employers have had difficulty recruiting staff during the pandemic and are delighted at the prospect of the borders opening and staffing issues being resolved. Most businesses are seeking to be in a position to be able to hire migrants as soon as they can. At the same time processes at Immigration NZ have been changing. Immigration NZ are introducing a new visa known as the Accredited Employer Working Visa (AEWV), and all employers will need to be accredited to either renew somebody’s visa or hire somebody on a work visa. It essentially replaces the Essential Skills visa and Talent Accredited employer visa.

What do you need to do to be ready?

23 May 2022 is the first date an employer can apply to become accredited and by 4 July 2022, you will need to have received your accreditation to have anyone in your employment on a work visa.

So, time is tight!

To be ready to apply by 23 May 2022, it is a good idea to determine what type of accreditation you will require and what information you will need to supply.

Types of Accreditations.

  • Standard volume – you will employ 5 or less on the new AEWV work visa per year
  • High volume – you will employ 6 or more on the new AEWV work visa per year per year

Note: This does not include employees on other visas eg: Student visas

There are two other categories; franchises or employers wanting to place migrants with controlling third parties. If you fall into either of these brackets, it will pay to search the requirements directly on the Immigration NZ website.

Employers who currently are accredited under the talent visa program will need to re-apply using the new process.

Accreditation Requirements

To gain either level of accreditation you must show that you:

  • Are a genuine business by providing financial information and company details
  • Have no recent history or regulatory non-compliance, complete a declaration to this effect and have background checks undertaken
  • Minimise the risk of exploitation by having your recruiting Managers complete an online employment rights module, providing evidence of a sound and fair recruitment process and providing work related settlement information to migrants.
  • Are paying at least the median wage for the job (which is $27.76 as of 4 July 2022)

The cost for  application is currently: standard $740 or high volume $1220.  You can upgrade to high volume at any point for $480. If you receive accreditation a job quota will apply which will register all your migrant workers and keep track of the number in your employment.

Job Check

Every time you want to hire a migrant, you will need to apply for a job check, and there will be a cost involved with this. The job check opens from 20 June 2022. You may use a job check for multiple positions if all the job details and conditions of employment are the same.

A job check will confirm:

  • The job pays at least the median wage
  • The terms and conditions of employment meet all the legislative requirements
  • The job has been advertised to New Zealander’s, including advertising the rate of pay and skills and experience required
  • The job is for at least 30 hours per week

For more information on the requirements for each level the Immigration NZ website provides further detail. 

It’s been a long time coming, and we know many businesses are struggling to recruit staff.

Being prepared and receiving your accreditation early will put you in a good position to make the most of borders opening and improve your chances of attracting amazing new employees.

Positive People can guide you through the employment related requirements and offer support to ensure you are ready for when the borders open.


Contact us now – we can help.

09-445 1077






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Sourcing Talent with Strict Border Restrictions in Place

Sourcing Talent with Strict Border Restrictions in Place

Are you concerned about being able to secure the right talent and retain those on visas?

There are many businesses in this situation. There is some good news – both in terms of net migration to NZ and extensions to essential skills visas

The good news around net migration is that:

  • There was an estimated net gain of 64,300 non-New Zealand citizens in the year ended March 2020 (Stats NZ)
  • Stats NZ says taking departures into account, net migration of New Zealand citizens for the year ended March 2020 is provisionally estimated at 7,200.
  • Stats NZ are quoted as saying:
    • “This is the highest annual figure on record”
    • “It’s a reversal of the long-standing historical pattern where more New Zealand citizens depart than arrive’”
  • Since March 2020, more New Zealander residents and citizens are choosing to return with NZ seen as a safe haven Click here
  • Alongside NZ residents and citizens, Immigration NZ is working with businesses and has introduced a critical worker application process Click here
    • This is only for skills where projects would be significantly delayed without this person’s skill set

The other good news is that essential skills visas will be extended.

The Essential Skills visa will be extended for 6 months and the stand-down period delayed if the employee:

  • Was in New Zealand on 10 July 2020
  • Holds an essential skills visa that will expire before 31 December 2020.

Immigration NZ expect this will come as a relief to many businesses and will help provide certainty about business’s ability to retain existing staff in the short term.

From 27 July 2020, Essential Skills visas will no longer be assessed using ANSCO skill levels and salary. If applicants can earn at or above the median wage they can be granted a visa for 3 years. The median wage is currently set at $25.50/hour ($53,040 per annum).

Visit NZ Immigration For more information

So while strict border restrictions are in place, net migration is positive. This means we have talent with recent overseas experience returning to the country. The extension to the Essentials Skills visa provides business continuity and Immigration NZ is looking at ways to help bring in people with critical skill sets.

If you need help sourcing talent or applying for a critical worker, get in touch with us. Positive People have over 25 years’ experience partnering with medium-sized businesses. Call us 09 445 1077 or email info@positivepeople.co.nz