On this page, we will take a look at the new accredited employer work visa for New Zealand, which is due to be launched in November 2021.
With a population of just under five million people, New Zealand is highly reliant on foreign skills and labour for its economic growth, perhaps more so than many other countries. Thankfully, there is no lack of skilled migrant workers who are keen to experience the stunning beauty, laid back nature, and great work opportunities in New Zealand. Every year, thousands of hopeful candidates apply for a visa to Immigration New Zealand in the hope they will be granted permission to live and work in the country. On this page, we will take a look at the new Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV) for New Zealand, which is due to be launched in November 2021.
Several work visa schemes will be phased out by the end of October 2021 and will be replaced by the new Accredited Employer Work visa (AEWV) from 1st November 2021. The NZ work visa schemes to be phased out include the:
The new AEWV marks a significant change for how Immigration New Zealand will process work visa applications. Rather than being driven by the overseas employee, the new AEWV visa application process is initiated by the employer, i.e. it is employer-led. In this sense, it is rather like some work visa processes in other countries, such as those in Europe, which rely on the employer gaining authorisation to hire a foreign worker from the country’s immigration authorities before a visa application can be made.
Before hiring a worker from outside New Zealand, employers will need to:
In addition to following the above steps, evidence will also be required by NZIS to show that the overseas candidate has the skills, experience, and qualifications to perform their role in NZ.
In order for a visa to be issued under the new AEWV scheme, NZIS will check the employer (this is the accreditation process), the job being offered, and the overseas candidate being considered.
Employer accreditation will be offered at two levels:
Businesses in NZ applying for accreditation will need to prove that they:
NZ employers considering using the AEWV scheme can apply from late September 2021 in order to have accreditation for the opening of the new visa route on 1st November 2021. It is important to note that businesses currently employing overseas workers on the talent or essential skills visas will not need to complete the AEWV accreditation process unless and until they know they will use the new scheme.
Jobs being offered to overseas nationals will be subject to a series of checks by NZIS, including that:
The final step in the process is to verify that the candidate to whom a job has been offered in New Zealand meets the AEWV migrant worker requirements. This includes requirements relating to character, identity, health, skills, and experience. This part of the process can be paid for by either the NZ employer or the overseas candidate.
Overseas workers in NZ on an existing work visa will not be negatively affected by the new AEWV scheme; this is just for new candidates. NZIS states, “If you have a current temporary work visa, you will not be affected as long as you are meeting your visa conditions and your visa remains valid. If you have a Residence from Work visa application underway (requiring a further Work to Residence visa to be granted residence), you will be able to continue this process if you remain with your employer”.
Reiss Edwards have the resources and expertise to assist with all aspects of New Zealand immigration. If you need assistance with your Work Visa application for New Zealand or any other immigration matter, feel free to contact our Immigration Solicitor for help.
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