• 7th May 2021

New Work visa for New Zealand to replace existing categories of work visa

Alongside the Accredited Employer Work Visa, a new employer-led system will be introduced that will generally simplify the application process and make it easier for businesses and regions to fill genuine skills shortages when it is clear that there is no New Zealander available to do the job, or who can be trained up for the role.

Employers will need to be accredited before they can hire a migrant on an Accredited Employer Work Visa.

Better worker protection

The new 3-check system will help combat migrant exploitation by strengthening requirements on employers. The changes are also important for encouraging employers to focus on ways to train and upskill New Zealanders.

The system will:

  • reduce New Zealand’s reliance on lower-paid temporary workers
  • better address our productivity, skills and infrastructure challenges
  • increase the skill levels of migrants.
When to apply for accreditation

Employers only need to be accredited under the new system when they want to start hiring migrants on the new Accredited Employer Work Visa.

  • Employers will be able to apply for accreditation from late September, ahead of the 1 November 2021 introduction date.
  • Employers that are accredited under the current system will need to apply and meet the policy requirements of the new accreditation system.
  • Employers don’t need to be accredited in the new system by 1 November 2021 if they do not plan to start hiring migrants on Accredited Employer Work Visas at this time. 

Businesses employing migrants who hold a current Talent or Essential Skill visa don’t need to become accredited until they want to hire someone on the new visa. 


Transition timings

The following employer policies are closing to new and renewing applications on 30 June 2021:

  • Accredited Employer (Talent – Accredited Employer)
  • Labour Hire Accreditation (Essential Skills)
  • Approval in Principle (Essential Skills) – note: this does not include approval in principle for other policies including AIP for foreign crew of fishing vessels.

If employers want to be able to use these statuses up to 1 November 2021, they should apply by 30 June 2021 and consider the processing timeframes available on the INZ website. Employers that only want to hire migrants using the new Accredited Employer Work Visa should wait and apply under the new accreditation system. 


Source: Immigration New Zealand 


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