Accreditation types and business models
All accreditation types have the same minimum requirements, while some business models are required to meet additional requirements.
For most businesses the accreditation must be held by the direct employer named on the migrant worker’s employment agreement.
For trusts, partnerships and sole traders, the business entity (which has an NZBN) must hold the accreditation, and the employer named on the employment agreement must be one or more of the trustees, partners or the sole trader.
For standard business models, there are 2 different levels of accreditation depending on how many migrants are needed to be employed.
Standard accreditation — if you want up to 5 migrant workers on AEWVs at any one time.
High-volume accreditation — if you want 6 or more migrant workers on AEWVs at any one time.
This only includes migrants on AEWVs. Migrants on other visa types (for example working holiday visas) are not counted in the total.
Employers will be able to pay a fee to upgrade from standard to high-volume accreditation.
Franchisees and employers who place migrants with a controlling third party
Franchisees, and employers wanting to place migrants on AEWVs with controlling third parties (including labour hire companies), must apply for the accreditation suited to their business model.
Due to the increased risk to migrant workers with these business models, there are additional standards they have to meet.
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 expired or canceled, or
the migrant is granted a variation of conditions to work for another employer.
If you hold controlling third party, franchisee or high-volume accreditation there are no restrictions on the number of AEWV holders you can have at one time.
Minimum requirements for all business types
All employers wanting to hire migrants on AEWVs must meet minimum accreditation criteria. This is to ensure only employers who meet New Zealand employment, immigration and business standards have access to migrant workers on AEWVs.
Viable and genuinely operating business
You must be a viable and genuinely operating business and be registered as an employer with Inland Revenue (IRD).
If you are a partnership or sole trader, you must not be bankrupt or subject to a No Asset Procedure.
Compliant with immigration, employment and business standards
You and your key people must not be subject to a stand-down period or permanent ban from hiring migrant workers.
NOTE - Key people include directors of a company, partners in a partnership, school principals, and any other person who can influence an organization's compliance with employment and immigration law.
Stand-down periods and permanent bans are imposed if an employer breaches minimum employment standards or is convicted of certain Immigration Act or Crimes Act offenses.
You or your key people must not be banned from acting as a director or have a pattern of immigration offences in other businesses you or your key people have been involved in.
A business with compliance failures cannot be closed and opened again under a new name to dodge those failures. INZ will still take the compliance issues in the previous business into account.
Hold a New Zealand Business Number
You must hold a New Zealand Business Number (NZBN) as your NZBN links your business information with INZ's application system.
Foreign missions and embassies applying for AEWV accreditation do not need to provide an NZBN. You complete the same application form, which asks if you are a foreign mission or embassy employer, and if you are, it does not ask for an NZBN.
Sole traders, partners, trustees
Sole traders, partners in a partnership or trustees in a trust must have New Zealand as the primary place of established residence for the sole trader (person), or at least one partner or trustee.
How long you can be accredited
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.
INZ may do checks during the accreditation period to ensure you still meet the accreditation requirements.
This could include requesting information or doing a site visit.
If any of the details you provided in your application change you must tell INZ within 10 business days.
If you go through a restructure or merger, your accreditation cannot be transferred to a new legal entity. Any new entity will need to apply in their own right.
When accreditation expires or is revoked
Any migrants already working for you can continue working for you, but you cannot hire any more migrants on AEWVs.
If you have submitted an application to renew you accreditation and it has not been processed by the time your existing accreditation expires, you may be granted interim accreditation.
Interim accreditation is valid for 3 months or until the subsequent application has been decided, whichever occurs first.
If interim accreditation is granted and is different to the type of accreditation you hold, you must adhere to the conditions of the interim accreditation.
The job check is the next step for employers wanting to hire migrants on the AEWV.