Immigration update: Accredited Employer Work Visa category

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Immigration New Zealand (INZ) finally released initial details about the Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV) category, and the corresponding Employer Accreditation scheme, on Friday 7 May.

In brief, the AEWV Category replaces six existing work visa categories, including the commonly-used Essential Skills Work Visa and the Talent (Accredited Employer) Work Visa. Importantly, employers will need to have secured the new Accreditation status to support any visa applications submitted through the AEWV.

While the transitional arrangements for employers who hold existing accreditation are yet to be fully explained, the announcement provides a useful road map in respect of what is to come for the remainder of 2021.

The key takeaways from the announcement are:

  • Employers will be able to apply for the new accreditation status from late September 2021 onwards.
  • The new AEWV category will come into force on 1 November 2021.
  • From 30 June 2021, INZ will not accept any new or renewal employer accreditation applications made under the existing scheme.
  • Employers can continue to support Essential Skills Work Visa and Talent (Accredited Employer) Work Visa applications until 31 October 2021.
  • Existing work visa holders who have Residence from Work Visa applications underway (requiring a further Work to Residence Visa to be granted) will be able to continue this process provided they remain with their employer.

The AEWV Category will involve three tiers of checks.

  • The first stage of the process is the ‘Employer Check’, which will comprise of an accreditation application with INZ.
  • The second step is the ‘Job Check’. The employer will need to show that the employment meets the market rate remuneration requirement, that labour market testing requirements have been met (if necessary), and also that the terms of employment on offer are legally compliant.
  • The third step will be the ‘AEWV Migrant Worker Check’. This involves character and health requirements, and the applicant proving that he or she has the requisite qualifications and/or experience to undertake the job.

INZ will be rolling out webinars to address the specific criteria involved for the job and migrant check aspects in June or July 2021.

With the above in mind, now is a good time for businesses to begin organising their immigration and HR policies and processes, so as to be in a good position to apply for the new form of accreditation.

Please feel free to contact our specialist immigration team if you require assistance with any immigration related matter.

Disclaimer: The content of this article is general in nature and not intended as a substitute for specific professional advice on any matter and should not be relied upon for that purpose.


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