Employer Accredited Work Visa – Do we need to get accredited?

If you want to hire migrant workers, yes!

As of 4 July 2022, aged-care facilities will need to be accredited with Immigration New Zealand (INZ) and complete relevant Job Checks before they can employ migrant workers on Accredited Employer Work Visas (AEWV).

Facilities must now take a lead role in the immigration process to ensure the accreditation process – including company information, financials are up to date, is smooth and hassle free.

In this article we outline key aspects of the accreditation process specific to the aged-care sector.

There are three-steps to the AEWV process:

Step 1 – Employer Accreditation:

This is where Immigration New Zealand checks the facilities compliance with NZ’s immigration and employment laws, whether the facility is in a sound financial position, and confirm that the organisation is in a position to carry out migrant worker settlement support activities.

However, before applying, it is advisable that employers consider which type of accreditation is most suitable. There are four different levels of accreditation, dependent on your business model and the number of employees you need to hire.

We have listed down two levels that may be directly relevant to the sector, given the current workforce shortage.

For employers who intend to support between one and five migrant workers, the Standard Accreditation level is suitable, which costs $750.

For employers who intend to support six or more migrant workers, the High-Volume Accreditation may be suitable. This cost for this process is $1,220.

You can find more information on all 4 steps here.

Step 2 – Job Check:

The next step in the accreditation process is for facilities to show INZ a genuine requirement for the role within their organisation.

Managers will need to highlight that they have tried to recruit or train New Zealand citizens or Resident visa holders to carry out responsibilities, however they are still faced with a shortfall of staff.

A job advertisement, or Job Check Labour Market Test confirming the market rate must be submitted to INZ.

It is important to note that Job Check Labour Market Test evidence is not required for roles paid twice the median wage ($55.52 per hour) or for roles on the Green List, like registered nurses.

Registered nurses who are part of your care staff, fall in the Tier 2 of INZ’s Green list. This means that while evidence of advertisement doesn’t need to be shown, a job check application still needs to be made to INZ.

On the other hand, if you are looking to hire non-care staff who are not on the Green List, you will need to submit a Job Check Labour Market Test.

For the market test to be eligible, the job must be listed for at least 2 weeks on a national listing website or channel where suitable New Zealanders are likely to apply, and meet other advertising requirements. Advertising must take place within the 90 days before you submit an application.

Step 3 –Migrant Worker Check:

Once the job check is approved, you can invite the migrant to apply for their visa.

In this step, INZ checks the good health, character, and role suitability (through qualifications and/or relevant experience) of the migrant worker.

A copy of the employment agreement and a copy of the signed employment offer must be given to the worker.

At the end of this process, the worker gets an Accredited Employer Work Visa for three years.

It is important to remember while the requirement to be accredited is currently limited to those employing migrants on the AEWV, a new requirement may come into effect in 2023 which requires any employer employing a migrant worker (including those with open work rights such as working holidaymakers or students) to be accredited.

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