Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q: Is Accreditation mandatory?
The simple answer is no. if you are employing migrants with open work rights like post-study work visas, partnership-based work visas, working holiday work visas, then no need to be accredited. However, it is better to start thinking about it now. Because according to INZ, during 2023, a new requirement will come into effect, with all employers needed to be accredited to employ any migrant, including those with open work rights (such as working holidaymakers or students).
Q: What are the minimum requirements to be accredited?
The minimum requirements are that your business must be
• viable and genuine (i.e., it is profitable, or have positive cash flow for the last 6 months, etc.),
• compliant with employment and immigration regulations (i.e., you and your key people must not be subject to a stand-down period or permanent ban from hiring migrant workers),
KEY PEOPLE: Key people include directors of a company, partners in a partnership, school principals, and any other person who can influence an organisation's compliance with employment and immigration law. AND
• new obligations to complete the activities to support the settlement of migrant employees.
Q: What are these activities?
These activities include the following
• You must ensure everyone making recruitment decisions completes Employment New Zealand's most recent online employer modules on employment rights. This could include hiring managers, human resource managers, sole traders, and partners. This only applies to those involved in hiring AEWV holders.
• Providing migrant workers with work-related settlement information within one month of the employee beginning their employment like how to get an IRD number, their accommodation options, etc.
• Allowing migrant workers time to complete all of Employment New Zealand's most recent online employee modules on employment rights during paid work hours within one month of the AEWV holder starting employment.
Q: Is it a one-time affair or will we have to do them again and again?
The requirements mandate that, the work-related settlement information must be provided within one month of the employee beginning their employment The employer-learning modules must be completed once within every accreditation period and finished before that period ends. The employee modules on employment rights must be completed within one month of the AEWV holder starting employment.
Q: How can these requirements be met from the beginning?
In the beginning, INZ will probably rely on the declarations you have made on the application form. However, in the subsequent applications, i.e., after your accreditation goes for renewal, then INZ will ensure that you have met your obligations during your past accreditation period. Most employers will not need to provide evidence upfront, but evidence may be required to show you meet the requirements once the application is submitted or at any time during your accreditation. Most applications will be assessed based on your declarations and automated checks against publicly available information or information held by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE). INZ will contact you if we are not satisfied you meet the requirements, or if it wants more information to assess your application. In some cases, you may need to upload documents when you are making the employer accreditation application rather than waiting for INZ to make a request for information.
Q: How would I know under which criterion I fall?
If you want up to 5 migrant workers on AEWVs at any one time, then you apply under the Standard accreditation. And, if you want 6 or more migrant workers on AEWVs at any one time, then High-volume accreditation. If your requirement increases, you can upgrade from Standard to High-Volume anytime by paying a fee.
Q: What are the conditions of the Job Quota?
Job quota is for standard accreditation where INZ is concerned with the number of AEWV holders you have employed at a given time. If you hold standard accreditation a job quota of up to 5 will apply. Each quota space is used when a job check is approved. The job quota space only becomes available again if:
• the migrant in the job has their visa expire or cancelled, or
• the migrant is granted a variation of conditions to work for another employer.
Q: What if I have just started a business (less than 12 months) and I want to hire a migrant on AEWV?
To meet the requirements, you have to provide evidence that your business is viable and genuine upfront. Since your financial statements may not be ready, you can provide another evidence upfront like GST returns among other evidence.
Q: For how long my accreditation be valid?
When you are approved for the first time you will receive employer accreditation for 12 months. At renewal, franchisees and employers placing migrants on AEWVs with controlling third parties will get accreditation for a further 12 months. All other employers will get accreditation for 24 months when they renew, providing their previous accreditation has not lapsed for 12 months or more.
Q: How will I manage maintaining my accreditation?
This is the most important aspect of accreditation— maintenance of accreditation, because it is relatively easy to be accredited in the beginning because INZ may not ask for a lot of evidence. However, to maintain it, you WILL require professional assistance. Please be assured that according to the policy, INZ will not be able to renew your accreditation unless your have complied with or met all the obligations during the first year of your accreditation. To summarize, you need a professional right from the start, so why not take a right decision, right now and save yourself from all the stress later? Always remember, A stitch in time saves nine. When you go back to INZ after one year for the renewal of your accreditation, it is then that you WILL have to demonstrate you have met all your obligations in the past year. A strong foundation now will ensure your business a smooth navigation through the complex annual process. Think of it as your tax obligations. Whereas anyone can do their own taxes but there is always an element of risk involved in it if not done by a professional tax accountant. That professional advice can be the difference between your piece of mind and your continual stress. Most importantly, you would want to focus on your business instead of getting stuck in a loop where you and INZ go back and forth endlessly. In VisaAdvice New Zealand Ltd, you will have a trusted adviser who will take care of all the complexities for a reasonable cost. An adviser who will not only submit your application but will be there for you after that. An adviser whom you can call anytime for clearing your doubts.