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How to renew Employer Accreditation for New Zealand employers

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When it was introduced in 2022, the Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV) scheme changed the way New Zealand businesses hire migrant workers.

On April 7 2024, Immigration New Zealand (INZ) announced changes to the requirements for Accredited Employers.

With the first phase of accreditation status renewal expected in July 2024, and thousands of Accredited Employers who will need to renew from then, now is the time to plan and prepare.

Read this article to gain an understanding of:

  • The critical aspects of accreditation renewals,
  • Important timelines,
  • How to successfully retain migrant workers, and
  • What the consequences are if your accreditation expires.

The significance of accreditation

Accreditation is a lifeline for many New Zealand employers, particularly those who regularly hire migrant workers or wish to offer pathways to residency for their valued employees. Not renewing your accreditation means you'll be unable to hire new employees on AEWV’s or support current AEWV holders with further visa applications.

In other words, if you want to keep attracting, hiring, and retaining skilled migrant employees, you'll need to renew your accreditation.

Accreditation renewal: the process

Immigration New Zealand (INZ) has an online process for re-accreditation for those who prefer to DIY.

There are three key steps that you must follow:

  1. Apply at the right time: Check the processing times and only apply when your accreditation is about to expire. INZ recommends at least six weeks in advance of the expiry.

Is your accreditation due to expire in the next two months?

2. Choose the correct type of accreditation: This is important to get right as there are no refunds for incorrect applications.

3. Provide the necessary evidence: This includes but is by no means limited to financial statements proving financial sustainability, GST/PAYE records showing your Inland Revenue Department (IRD) number, and evidence that you have fulfilled the obligations you committed to at the time you became accredited.

Risk of non-compliance

Failing to comply with INZ's standards can have serious consequences for your business.

Employers found to be in breach of visa conditions, employing people unlawfully, or failing to comply with INZ’s information request could face fines starting from $1,000 per employee and possible suspension of their accreditation status.

Deciding whether to renew: what to consider

The need for renewal hinges on your business plans.

If you're not planning to hire additional migrant workers or if your current migrant workers don’t intend to apply for residency, you may not need to renew.

However, choosing not to renew can limit your workforce options as you won’t be able to apply for another Job Check to hire new workers or support a worker for their AEWV balance. As a consequence, this may discourage potential migrant workers from working for you in the future.

It’s important to remember having migrant workers in your workforce can become a critical element of your business strategy and needs some consideration. It can lead to an increase in productivity, improvement in performance, and establishment of a positive workplace culture.

You can read more about how best to attract and retain migrant workers, making the process less daunting and more rewarding.

VisaAide is your partner in navigating Employer Accreditation matters

Our team of Licensed Immigration Advisers at VisaAide offers professional advice and application management services to employers and individuals. With years of experience helping employers navigate complex immigration processes, we can help put forth a strong case to INZ demonstrating your business's capability to meet the requirements for accreditation.

We’re here to help

The Accreditation Renewal process is more than just an administrative task—it's a strategic decision that can significantly impact your business operations and talent pool. Get prepared, apply at the right time, and ensure you provide all necessary evidence for a seamless renewal experience.

Navigating the path of Accreditation Renewal and retaining migrant workers in New Zealand can seem complicated, but it doesn't have to be. With the right information and support, you can create a suitable plan that will help your business continue to benefit from the value that migrant workers bring.

Depending on the type of business you do or your future goals, you might have some questions. You can reach out to our expert team of licensed immigration advisers for guidance today by emailing or phoning 0800 484 727.

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