New Zealand Updates Accredited Employer Work Visa

In a recent development, New Zealand has introduced modifications to its Accredited Employer Work Visa, reflecting changes in the country's immigration policies. Prospective applicants and employers are encouraged to stay informed about these modifications for a comprehensive understanding of the revised visa requirements.

New Zealand Updates Accredited Employer Work Visa

Elimination of 90-Day Trial Periods for AEWV Employment

The Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV) is a visa that allows New Zealand employers to hire migrant workers for up to three years. AEWV employers are required to pay their migrant workers at least the median wage, unless the role is on an exemption list.

  • Change

Effective October 29, 2023, accredited employers are no longer permitted to utilise 90-day trial periods in employment agreements for individuals hired through the AEWV. This means that AEWV employers must hire migrant workers with a firm commitment to offer them long-term employment, rather than using trial periods as a way to test out their skills or suitability for the role.

  • Rationale

The elimination of 90-day trial periods is intended to promote fairness in recruitment by encouraging employers to hire migrants based on genuine labour needs or skills gaps. It is also hoped that this change will help to protect migrant workers from exploitation.

  • Enforcement

Immigration New Zealand (INZ) will be responsible for enforcing the new rule. INZ will carry out checks to ensure that AEWV employers are not using trial periods. If an employer is found to be in breach of the rule, their accreditation may be revoked.

The elimination of 90-day trial periods for AEWV employment will have a number of implications for both employers and migrant workers.

  • Employers will need to be more careful when making hiring decisions. They will need to be sure that they have a genuine need for a migrant worker and that the worker has the skills and experience required for the role.
  • Migrant workers will no longer be subject to the uncertainty of a trial period. This will give them greater peace of mind and allow them to focus on their work.

AEWV Job Check Application Adjustments

Effective October 29, 2023, any AEWV Job Check applications currently under assessment will be rejected if they include an employment agreement containing a trial period.

This means that employers are no longer allowed to use trial periods in employment agreements for workers hired through the AEWV.

This change is intended to ensure that migrants are treated fairly in the recruitment process.

There are a few exceptions to this rule:

  • Job Checks that were approved before October 29, 2023, will not be affected by the new prohibition on trial periods.
  • Migrants who initiated the AEWV application process before October 29, 2023, and are relying on a Job Check that was approved before that date will also not be affected by the new prohibition.

Employers who breach the new prohibition on trial periods may have their AEWV accreditation revoked.

Updates to AEWV Employer Accreditation Procedures

Technical updates have been implemented in immigration instructions to clarify the process of suspending or revoking an employer's accreditation under the AEWV.

This means that there are now clear guidelines in place for when and how an employer's AEWV accreditation can be suspended or revoked. This will help to ensure that employers are held accountable for their actions and that migrants are not exploited.

Starting October 29, 2023,accreditation can be suspended if immigration or other regulators actively verify compliance with immigration, employment, and business standards.

This means that employers will be subject to regular audits to ensure that they are complying with all applicable laws and regulations. This is important to protect the rights of migrants and to ensure that businesses are operating fairly.

Employers are also prohibited from passing certain costs to visa applicants. This means that employers cannot charge migrants for things like visa application fees, travel expenses, or recruitment costs. This is important to ensure that migrants are not financially burdened when they come to New Zealand to work.

These updates are designed to strengthen the integrity of the AEWV system and to protect the rights of migrants.

Employers who are found to be in breach of the rules may have their accreditation suspended or revoked. This could have serious consequences for their business, as they will no longer be able to hire migrants through the AEWV.

Applicants and employers should be aware of these changes to ensure compliance and successful processing of AEWV applications.

Change in AEWV Labour Hire Employment Threshold

The recent alteration in the Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV) regulations, effective from November 27, 2023, introduces a significant shift in the labour hire (triangular) employment sector, particularly for those placing migrants in specific construction occupations.

This change has several key implications:

  • Accredited employers in this category must now ensure that a minimum of 35% of their labour hire workforce consists of New Zealand citizens and residents engaged in full-time employment.
  • This represents a substantial increase from the previous threshold of 15%.
  • The change in the labour hire employment threshold holds implications for both accreditation assessments and the outcomes of AEWV Job Checks.
  • Accredited employers engaging in triangular employment, if they fall under the specified construction occupations, must align with this heightened requirement to maintain compliance with the AEWV regulations.
  • Existing employers who have adhered to the previous 15% threshold will retain their accreditation. However, they must adapt to the new threshold of 35% when undergoing subsequent AEWV Job Checks.
  • This transitional approach allows existing employers time to adjust their labour hire workforce composition to meet the updated standard.
  • These modifications aim to enhance the involvement of New Zealand citizens and residents in full-time employment within the labour hire sector, fostering a more balanced and inclusive workforce.
  • The new threshold reflects the evolving priorities of New Zealand's immigration policies, emphasising the importance of domestic participation in specific industries while maintaining opportunities for skilled migrant workers.
  • Employers subject to these changes should carefully consider their workforce composition to ensure continued compliance with the revised AEWV regulations.


What are the key modifications to New Zealand's Accredited Employer Work Visa?

The modifications to the Accredited Employer Work Visa in New Zealand include changes to the visa program, reflecting adjustments in immigration policies. These changes may involve alterations to eligibility criteria, application processes, or other relevant aspects aimed at addressing evolving economic and labour market needs.

How will these modifications impact prospective visa applicants?

Prospective visa applicants should carefully review the updated requirements to ensure compliance with the modified Accredited Employer Work Visa. Changes may influence eligibility criteria, documentation, or other factors crucial for successful visa applications. Staying informed about these modifications is essential for those considering work opportunities in New Zealand.

Why has New Zealand introduced modifications to the Accredited Employer Work Visa?

The modifications are likely introduced to align the Accredited Employer Work Visa program with current economic and labour market dynamics. New Zealand's immigration policies may evolve to better meet the country's needs, and these adjustments aim to enhance the visa's efficiency and relevance in the context of changing circumstances.

How can applicants stay updated on the modified visa requirements?

Applicants can stay updated on the modified Accredited Employer Work Visa requirements by regularly checking official announcements from New Zealand's immigration authorities. The official website and communication channels of the relevant immigration department provide accurate and current information regarding visa updates, ensuring applicants have the latest guidelines.

Are there specific industries or sectors affected by these modifications?

The modifications may impact various industries or sectors, depending on the changes made to the Accredited Employer Work Visa. It's advisable for applicants to review sector-specific guidelines and stay informed about any targeted adjustments that may affect their intended field of work in New Zealand.

Will the application process undergo significant changes?

While the degree of change may vary, the modifications could influence the application process for the Accredited Employer Work Visa. This may involve adjustments to documentation requirements, processing timelines, or other procedural aspects. Applicants should familiarise themselves with the updated application procedures to ensure a smooth process.

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