The new employer accreditation rules that came into effect in July 2022 have altered the way employers approach overseas job applications. If you are struggling to find the right New Zealand employee and are looking to hire migrants from overseas, there are some unique challenges.
We have some advice on where to start promoting your job vacancies overseas and information about the requirements and salaries you need to consider when hiring a migrant worker.
The new visa process came into effect in July 2022 for employers wanting to hire migrants. This saw the introduction of the Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV).
One aspect of the new system is that employers must be accredited to recruit migrant workers on work visas linked to a company.
Whether you want to promote a job opening or multiple vacancies overseas, accreditation is the first step. This new accreditation system means employers must apply again even if they have been accredited under the past system.
For an employer to qualify for accreditation, they must comply with Immigration NZ’s regulations.
To gain accreditation, your company should meet Immigration New Zealand’s requirements.
You must comply with NZ employment rules, immigration law and business standards. You also must prove your company is in a stable financial position, have high standards of human resource policy and process to ensure the wellbeing of your workers, demonstrate good workplace practices, and have no record of regulatory non-compliance.
You must also pay all recruitment costs for hiring in and outside New Zealand. When you hire migrants, you also need to provide evidence that your company is helping your migrant employees settle by providing settlement support and service. This training should be completed within the first month of starting their new job with you.
A significant reason for the new accredited employer system is to ensure New Zealanders are offered job opportunities before sourcing migrant workers and those migrant workers are not exploited. INZ’s requirements also include providing evidence that you are committed to employing NZ residents and citizens before sourcing from overseas.
Once you have attempted to hire on these shores and can provide evidence of doing so, the job check is the next part of the process. It is vital to be able to promote job openings overseas.
You must ensure the job position meets the following requirements:
INZ will update the list of roles exempt from the median wage threshold from 31 October 2022 onwards.
Hiring from overseas takes patience and can be more complex, expensive and time-consuming than hiring locally.
You should consider the extra costs of hiring overseas when preparing for the process. Additional costs can come in many forms, including advertising, overseas travel and relocation fees.
Before promoting your job openings, you need to plan your recruitment process. Here are a few tips to get you started.
As an accredited employer, ensure you write a clear and specific job description that overseas candidates can understand.
You want to write for your target audience, which will be those with experience in your industry, so be sure to include key details like the nature of the role, leave entitlements, salary range and a clear job title.
Vague job advertisements can waste your time trawling through a higher level of applications where candidates have a different or lower skill set.
For employers starting out on this journey, here is our advice on how to find your ideal candidates.
SkillFinder is a free online tool New Zealand employers use to register vacancies. It connects employers with workers overseas interested in working and living in New Zealand. The growing database has over one million people with in-demand skills.
By advertising directly to potential candidates that desire to make the move, you have a pool of candidates that are potentially more motivated to change countries.
You can filter the database by occupation, qualification, country, and experience, which is a great way to streamline the process. After registering, Immigration NZ will send job alert emails to those in the database that match your requirements.
The process is broken into five straightforward steps:
Promoting job vacancies online is an excellent option for reaching overseas candidates. The channel you use to advertise should depend on the position you’re looking to fill and where you want to recruit from in the industry.
Some options include your company website, job websites like Seek and TradeMe, recruitment expos and business-focused social media like LinkedIn.
Online Job Boards
Examples of some standard New Zealand job boards are Seek and TradeMe. These websites are also visited by migrants interested in living and working in New Zealand. As these are national job search websites, you may get a higher proportion of kiwi applicants.
LinkedIn is a large global job marketplace for professionals, allowing you to promote your vacancies online. It’s a great way to advertise as you can target talent in your field, specifically by country and also reach out to potential candidates via private message. You can also reach people based on criteria such as occupation, skills, and experience.
Some specialist New Zealand recruiters and websites work alongside employers and help them find skilled workers overseas. These companies are a good starting point for employers serious about hiring from abroad, as they specifically target skilled people in specific industries.
Recruiters can help you take care of the entire process. They recommend, recruit, review applicant resumes and interview potential candidates. Recruiters and other hiring specialists will usually search databases to find candidates with the qualifications and experience to fit the job.
Your Company Website
Your company’s website is a great tool for attracting potential candidates from overseas. Many businesses that hire overseas will have a specific careers page with a list of vacancies, including job descriptions.
There are a few ways to customise your website to help find the right overseas worker. Consider creating a page for international applicants, as it can help your vacancies stand out to overseas workers looking for an NZ job.
Ensure your website content doesn’t exclude people who don’t have a work visa. As an accredited employer, you can sponsor the right candidate to get NZ working rights and gain an Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV). This visa can allow migrants to live and work in New Zealand for up to three years.
The migrant must also meet Immigration NZ’s requirements and pass the ‘migrant worker check’, which you can learn more about in our Accredited Employer Work Visa guide here.
Think about your timing. Advertising job positions and interviewing candidates during overseas holiday periods may not bring you the results you want.
Ask yourself the following questions:
Employers who take responsibility for the safe and successful integration of their migrant workers seriously are likely to see their teams flourish.
The transition period between countries can be stressful for both your employees and their families – but when done well, you are gaining a loyal employee who is determined to make the best out of this move for themselves and your business. Everyone wins!
Malcolm Pacific Immigration can help smooth over both the accreditation process, as well as supporting your potential employees through the visa process. Our licensed immigration advisers are experts in NZ immigration!
Get in touch with us today.
Our highly experienced licensed Immigration team will take away the stress and worry of navigating the complicated world of New Zealand Immigration. All you need to do is get in touch. Our team is on standby, ready to help.
Our highly experienced licensed Immigration team will take away the stress and worry of navigating the complicated world of New Zealand Immigration. All you need to do is get in touch. Our employer team is on standby, ready to help.
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Today the government announced a pathway to residence for migrant workers who are living and working in New Zealand. Applications open on 1 December 2021 for the first wave who are eligible to apply. The second wave can apply from 1 March 2022. The deadline to lodge an application is 31 July 2022 or else they will miss out on this one off opportunity.
Today the government announced a pathway to residence for people living and working in New Zealand. Applications open on 1 December 2021 for the first wave eligible to apply. The second wave can apply from 1 March 2022. The deadline to lodge an application is 31 July 2022 or else you miss the boat.
The government has moved the introduction of the new employer accreditation process across to mid-2022. At the same time, the Minister of Immigration announced new work visa rules for migrant workers who are already in New Zealand and working full time.
The government has increased the median wage to $27 per hour from 19 July. Any Skilled Migrant residence application lodged after this date will need to include a skilled job offer that pays at least $27 per hour. For some lower-skilled occupations, the minimum pay rate increases to $40.50 per hour.
From 19 July 2021
From 30 June 2021
Employers of migrant workers must become accredited from 1 November 2021 before work visa applications can be processed. Most employers are not accredited. Those that are accredited will have to roll into the new system when it goes live in late September.
From mid-2020 (delayed)
Skilled occupation "Dairy Cattle Farmer" spilt into three occupations. New occupations are: "Dairy Farm Manager", "Assistant Dairy Farm Manager" and "Dairy Herd Manager". Each sit at different skill levels, therefore, the award of points will depend on pay rates, job tasks and other requirements.
From 15 February 2021
The government has deferred the fortnightly selection of Expressions of Interest from the Skilled Migrant pool for six months (to be reviewed in April 2021). Invitations to Apply for Residence remain suspended. The last selection from the Skilled Migrant pool took place on 18/03/2020.
From 7 October 2020
The government added four new occupations that are now regarded as skilled employment and may qualify for job offer points under the Skilled Migrant Category. These are:
Aged or disabled carer, Bicycle mechanic, Driller and Nursing Support worker.
From 27 July 2020
Anyone invited by Immigration NZ to apply for residence under the Skilled Migrant Category where their invitation is dated between 1 November 2019 and 15 April 2020 (inclusive) has now been granted an additional six months to lodge their residence application.
From 27 May 2020
The government has deferred the fortnightly selection of Expressions of Interest from the Skilled Migrant pool. This means Invitations to Apply for Residence are also suspended. Malcolm Pacific Immigration does not anticipate selections to resume until after the general election held on 17 October 2020.
Immigration NZ is now prioritising Skilled Migrant Residence applications where the main (principal) applicant meets the criteria:
From 24 February 2020
From 7 October 2019
The government recently added more occupations that are now to be regarded as skilled employment and may qualify for job offer points under the Skilled Migrant Category. In order to qualify for points, the job must be paying at least the current median wage (or higher for certain occupations) at the time the residence application is lodged.
From 1 November 2021
From 1 November 2021 anyone who is not a NZ citizen must be fully vaccinated (unless exempt) before travelling to New Zealand. Fully vaccinated means your last dose of vaccine was given at least 14 days before travelling and it was an approved vaccine.
Applications for employer accreditation closed at the end of June 2021. Applications lodged before the closure date are still being processed. New applications for accreditation open on 9 May 2022. The process will be quite different to what employers have experienced in the past. Businesses will need to meet minimum standards.
Wednesday, 1 December is fast approaching and it is estimated that around 16,000 individuals and families can apply in the first wave for the 2021 Resident Visa opening next month. It is exciting for the thousands of people who have been waiting patiently to become residents that finally the finish line is in sight.
The first wave of applicants can apply from 1 December 2021. Around 16,000 applications are expected in this first wave. The second wave opens on 1 March 2022. In total, the government expects approximately 110,000 applications that will include about 165,000 people.
The second group of workers who can apply online for the 2021 Resident Visa that opens on 1 March 2022 are those who hold an eligible work visa and either meet "Settled", "Skilled" or "Scarce" as set out above. In total Immigration NZ estimate around 110,000 people will qualify to apply for this visa.
The first group of workers who can apply online for the 2021 Resident Visa that opens on 1 December 2021 are those that on 29/09/2021:
Is this the only requirement to qualify for residence? No. In addition to the eligible work visa criteria workers also need to be regarded as one of the following:
People who were lawfully in NZ (or in Australia when the travel bubble closed between April and July 2021) on 29/09/2021 need to meet the visa eligibility criteria:
The government has introduced a limited pathway to residence for people who are already living and working in New Zealand. Applications open on 1 December 2021 for the first wave of people eligible to apply. The second wave opens on 1 March 2022. The deadline to apply for the 2021 Resident Visa is 31 July 2022.
A small number of critical health workers (taking up jobs for six months or longer) or specialist workers (taking up jobs that are for longer than six months) who were granted border exemptions may also have eligibility for the 2021 Resident Visa. They will need to have arrived in NZ and lodge a 2021 Resident Visa application.
*Excludes high-risk countries.
*Excludes high-risk countries.
The work visa categories set to close are:
From September 2022 people holding job offers in a small number of occupations may apply for residence. Some occupations are a direct pathway to residence and others require a period of two years or longer before applying.
There are qualification and/or occupational registration requirements to meet. Establishing if an overseas qualification matches the NZ equivalent qualification before applying is paramount for success.