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The transition to the Accredited Employer Work Visa begins

From 1st of November, migrant workers will no longer be able to apply for a Talent (Accredited Employer) Work Visa and the Long-Term Skill Shortage List Work Visa, as we enter a transition phase towards the Accredited Employer Work Visa. Are you ready to transition by 4 July 2022?

If you are an employer, the new accreditation scheme is designed to encourage you to train and hire New Zealanders as a priority, but you can employ migrant workers if there is a genuine skills or labour shortage.

You can employ migrant workers on an Essential Skills Work Visas, without employer accreditation status, until 3 July 2022. After that the new Accredited Employer Work Visa kicks in.

The new accreditation scheme puts the onus on employers to “pass” specific requirements, including compliance obligations. It’s critical that you plan ahead, particularly if you have never been accredited or are not used to dealing with the complexities of Immigration New Zealand.

The accreditation process does take time. If you already employ migrant workers, or intend to hire them during 2022, talk to us about getting prepared, so you are ready to submit your Employer Accreditation application by May 2022.

We highly recommend you don’t leave applying for accreditation to the last minute.

What happens next for employees/migrant workers, depends largely on the type of visa you have.

If you have an existing Work to Residence visa you are able to continue on your pathway to residence under the applicable category. For example, changes have been made to ensure that the residence pathway for Talent (Accredited Employers) work visa holders is maintained.

If you have made an application for a Talent (Accredited Employers) work visa or Long-Term Skill Shortage List work visa on or before 31 October 2021, your application will be processed and, if approved, will take you on your pathway to residency. If you already have one of these visas, they are not affected, as long as you continue to meet your visa conditions and your visa remains valid. No new applications for these visas can be made after 31 October 2021.

Talent (Accredited Employers) work visas may be granted where an employer’s accreditation has expired between the time the visa application was made and it being decided.

If you need to, it is now easier to change your employer if you already have a Talent (Accredited Employers) work visa. You would be eligible for a Variation of Conditions to work for a non-accredited employer, if your employment with the accredited employer was no longer available due to reasons beyond your control.

Also, from 31 October 2021 the conditions of a Talent (Accredited Employers) work visa may be varied to allow you to work for an employer who held accreditation status after 31 March 2021, even if the accreditation has since expired.

At-a-glance key dates for 2022:

Applications open for AEWV employer accreditation 9 May 2022
Applications open for AEWV job checks9 May 2022
Applications close for the Essential Skills Work Visa 3 July 2022
Applications open for Accredited Employer Work Visa4 July 2022

How Pitt & Moore can help

We offer an initial 15 minute free consultation to all new clients to discuss your particular circumstances and what services we can provide.

What sets us apart is that we are experts in each step of the immigration process as well as in employment law. This means that we can advise on all immigration, employment and visa-related issues.

Talk to us

If you would like advice on this topic or any other immigration or employment related issue please contact our team at Pitt & Moore today.

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

Mahafrin Variava

Position: Senior Solicitor
Email: mahafrin.variava@pittandmoore.co.nz
DDI: +64 3 928 0108