Employer Accreditation Policy Changes: An alternative pathway to residence

From 28 August 2017 applications for employer accreditation are being granted for an initial period of two years. Once an accredited employer has held their (existing) accreditation for two years or more, they may be eligible for a five year extension upon renewal. The longer renewal terms have been substituted for audit ability to deal with non-compliance.

The application fees remain the same, with $1,775 for the first two years of accreditation and $500 for subsequent renewals. The migrant employee remuneration level of $55,000 per annum will remain unchanged, for now.

This is welcome news for many employers. Particularly in light of the changes to the Skilled Migrant Category (SMC), some employers may now want to use accreditation to assist in creating a residency pathway for their current and/or prospective employees, who may no longer qualify for SMC. If successful, employers could actively seek skilled international staff, knowing that they could give them certainty regarding their future in New Zealand. This would give accredited employers a clear advantage over their competitors in the same sector.

With the recent employer accreditation policy changes INZ have also clearly signaled that this shift in employer behavior has been anticipated by the policy makers. As a result, INZ have raised requirements for employers to be considered ‘trusted partners’ under the revised policy.

Revised policy in a nutshell

The revised Employer Accreditation policy is more complex, with an expanded list of factors that INZ are now taking into consideration for each of the key requirements.

  • The policy focuses more than ever on diversity in organisational culture of employers compliance with employment and immigration laws, as well as on the premise of ‘New Zealanders first’.
  • Group accreditation is no longer permitted.
  • Where subsidiaries have their own New Zealand Business Numbers, they need to apply for separate accreditation.
  • Non-compliance with employment and immigration regulations will be dealt with by INZ through employer audits and revocations of accreditation.
  • Revocations are now easier to execute.

Implications for employers

Employers who have not yet submitted an application for accreditation or are considering to renew their accreditation, must pay close attention to these new policy objectives because they will be applied rigorously by INZ during each application process.

Consequently, we recommend employers seek professional advice and guidance to structure their applications and any associated documents that will be required to gain or renew accreditation well before the application is anticipated.

Talk to us

Contact our Immigration Team today to discuss how we can assist you.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this publication is of a general nature and is not intended as legal advice. It is important that you seek legal advice that is specific to your circumstances.

Topics: All Select

Nick Mason

Position: Partner
Email: nick.mason@pittandmoore.co.nz
DDI: +64 3 545 7897