Your obligations as an Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV) employer – Compliance
If you want to keep your Accredited Employer status in New Zealand, there are a few requirements you need to fulfil. These requirements are in place to make sure you abide by immigration, employment, and commercial standards. If you don’t fulfil these requirements, you risk losing your accreditation, paying penalties, and even being permanently prohibited from sponsoring work visas. In this blog post, we’ll go over the requirements you must fulfil in order to keep your AEWV status as well as the process Immigration New Zealand (INZ) uses to determine whether you are complying with these requirements.
Meeting your commitments
To get and keep your accreditation, you must meet the commitments you made during your application to be an accredited employer. These commitments can include things like providing ongoing training and development for your employees or ensuring that your employment practices comply with New Zealand laws.
Complying with standards
In addition to meeting your commitments, you must also comply with immigration, employment, and business laws. This means that you and key people in your business must not have employed a migrant who did not have the right visa or visa conditions to work in that role, provided false or misleading information to INZ, had a pattern of immigration breaches in other businesses you or your key people have been involved in, been banned from acting as a director, been subject to a stand-down period for breaching minimum employment standards or committing immigration offences, or been permanently banned from sponsoring work visas for committing serious immigration offences.
How to apply for AEWV employer accreditation
You need to meet a few requirements in order to submit an application for AEWV employer accreditation. Providing financial statements to demonstrate financial viability, proof of PAYE payments to migrant employees, proof of how you paid offshore recruitment agents of your migrant employees, hiring dates of migrant employees, proof that you provided settlement information to your migrant employees, logs of the hours worked by migrant workers, and information on key people involved in your business and their roles are a few examples of what may be required.
Extra requirements for controlling third-party accreditation
You will need to fulfil additional criteria if you are an accredited controlling third party. For instance, you need to make sure that the accredited employers you are in charge of fulfilling their obligations and abiding by legal requirements relating to employment, immigration, and business practices.
As an AEWV employer, you may be subject to INZ’s checks to ensure that you are fulfilling your responsibilities. While you are accredited, these checks may take place at any time and may involve a desk check or a site visit. You might not even be aware that one has occurred because INZ strives to conduct these checks in a non-intrusive manner whenever possible. Using selection criteria intended to obtain a representative sample of New Zealand employers, INZ chooses employers from a variety of sizes and types.
Information INZ may request
By using both publicly available data and data that it already has on hand, INZ tries to conduct its investigations. But if it requires more details, it might get in touch with you. It might request information such as but is not limited to, financial statements to demonstrate financial viability, proof of PAYE payments to migrant employees, proof of how you paid offshore recruitment agents of your migrant employees, hiring dates of migrant employees, proof that you provided settlement information to your migrant employees, logs of migrant workers’ hours worked, and details on key people involved in your business and their roles. In some circumstances where it needs more details, it might conduct a site visit.
If you are not meeting your employment obligations
As an Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV) employer, you are required to meet certain obligations to maintain your accreditation. If INZ believes that you are not meeting these obligations, it will send you a letter outlining their concerns and ask for your feedback.
After reviewing your response, INZ will determine whether any additional action is necessary. The significance of its findings will determine the next course of action. It might offer suggestions for improvement if the problem is minor. Major problems, however, may lead to a stand-down, fines, or a lifetime ban from helping migrants with work visas.
Non-compliance, stand-downs and permanent bans for Accredited Employers
INZ takes compliance very seriously, and all Accredited Employers are expected to share this attitude. Serious repercussions could befall an employer if it is discovered that they have violated their obligations.
Non-compliance with AEWV conditions can lead to the revocation of the employer’s accreditation. If this happens, any migrant workers who are employed by the employer under an AEWV will no longer meet the visa conditions and will need to find a new employer.
If an Accredited Employer is found to have breached their obligations, they may also face a stand-down period. During this period, the employer will not be able to support any new work visa applications.
Employers who violate their obligations could be subject to fines in addition to a stand-down period. Accredited Employers risk a lifetime ban from sponsoring workers on work visas for the most egregious violations of their obligations. This implies that they won’t be able to support any new migrant worker work visa applications.
In conclusion, being an AEWV employer comes with a set of obligations that need to be met to retain accreditation. Employers must comply with immigration, employment, and business laws, as well as any commitments made during their application process. INZ may complete checks to confirm that employers are meeting their obligations, and employers may be subject to penalties for non-compliance. By taking these obligations seriously and complying with AEWV conditions, employers can help ensure that migrant workers are treated fairly and that New Zealand’s immigration system operates in a transparent and responsible manner.
INZ may complete checks to confirm that you are meeting your obligations. If it believes that you are not meeting your obligations, it may take further action, including a stand-down period, fines, or a permanent ban from supporting migrants on work visas.
To avoid any issues, it is important to take your responsibilities seriously and comply with all your accreditation conditions.
If you receive a letter from INZ, don’t hesitate to contact Vineet Bhardwaj, your friendly Licensed Immigration Adviser, Director, VisaAdvice New Zealand Limited who has a wealth of experience in successfully responding to INZ’s Potentially Prejudiced Information (PPI) letters and dealing with other complex matters.
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