February 10, 2023

How to apply for AEWV employer accreditation

Employer Accreditation can be simple and opens up a world of new migrant workers. Here is our guide on how to become an accredited employer.
How to apply for AEWV employer accreditation

With record lows in unemployment in New Zealand, the labour shortages our NZ employers are facing may stunt their business growth.  Becoming an accredited employer and hiring from overseas is a necessity for many in 2023. 

For those of you taking this step, we have compiled an article on how you can become an accredited employer with less stress. We have also included information about our employer services to help smooth your hiring process so get in touch if you have any other questions.

What is an Accredited Employer NZ?

Organisations that are hoping to employ migrant workers can apply to become Accredited Employers. Their business practices, as well as their stability, are evaluated, and those who are successful are considered low-risk sponsors of migrant workers by Immigration New Zealand. 

Malcolm Pacific Immigration offers assistance for employers, including information on how to employ migrants, the available visa options to bring them to New Zealand, and supporting your new employees with settling when they arrive. This service reduces the time and effort that is needed to find the right employees

Get in touch with us today to make it easier for you to employ a migrant workforce. 

What Does it Mean to be an Accredited Company?

The Government is prioritising job security for New Zealanders and aims to provide them with employment opportunities in their own country instead of seeking higher wages abroad. For employers who need to employ overseas workers, the scheme ensures that they are ethical employers who will treat their migrant workers with care and not take advantage of them.

A NZ median wage must be paid or exceeded to these migrants unless they are on an exemption list. This is to ensure that migrants have adequate financial resources to live in New Zealand.

The employees can then enter the country on an Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV) for up to 3 years. 

The AEWV Process

Before an employer can hire a migrant worker, there are three checks involved in the new accreditation process:

  • Employer Check: The process of becoming an accredited employer
  • Job Check: To ensure that there are no local Kiwis available for the job 
  • Migrant Worker Check: The Visa application.

Employer Accreditation Made Easy. 

At Malcolm Pacific Immigration, we simplify the accreditation process and help employers speed up the hiring process. 

We support your hiring managers to become accredited as well as your migrant employees with their application. We ensure a streamlined service from start to finish.


Our employer services team is ready to assist you. Contact us today to learn more.

When Should Employers Apply for Accreditation?

Before starting the formal hiring process of workers applying for the Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV), you must complete the accredited application and pass the Job Check criteria.

An application from compliant employers is estimated to take ten working days to process for Standard and High-Volume Accreditation.

Accreditation is available on 4 different levels:

  • Standard Accreditation: For standard businesses that hire up to five migrants.
  • High-Volume Accreditation: For standard businesses that hire six or more migrants.
  • Franchisee Accreditation: For businesses that are part of a franchise, with no limit on the number of migrants hired.
  • Controlling Third Party Accreditation: For businesses that place migrants with third parties while being the named direct employer in the employment agreement, with no limit on the number of migrants hired.

A fee will be charged based on the type of accreditation required.

A Guide on Each Step of Accreditation 

Below is a guide on each of the criteria that Immigration NZ assesses when you are hiring migrant workers.

The Employer Check  - Becoming an Accredited Employer 

To employ one or multiple migrant workers, accreditation is the first step. This new accreditation system requires all employers to apply, even if previously accredited under the old system.

To be eligible for accreditation, employers must meet the regulations set by Immigration New Zealand, including:

  • Compliance with immigration law, employment and business standards in New Zealand
  • Stable financial position
  • High-standard human resource policies
  • Commitment to hiring New Zealanders
  • No history of regulatory non-compliance
  • Payment of recruitment-related fees for both local and overseas hires
  • Provision of settlement support and services to migrant employees.

This is a crucial stage within your application to get right. Malcolm Pacific Immigration can help ensure you provide clear evidence of each part of Immigration NZ’s criteria and help your hiring managers become accredited quickly. 

Talk to us today about the employer services we provide and how we can help streamline your overseas hiring process. 

Can I Fail to Become an Accredited Employer?

Immigration NZ evaluates each application through various criteria; if an employer does not meet the standards set out, they may find their application unsuccessful. 

Before an application is declined, Immigration NZ allows an employer a further 14 days to provide further commentary on the factors that may be adversely affecting their application. 

In some cases, INZ may provide a waiver based on this evidence. If unsuccessful, the employer can reapply once they have met the employer accreditation requirements.

Employers who are found to breach the Accredited Employer standards after gaining their accreditation could face fines or a suspension. Learn more about the specific criteria by reading on. 

The Importance of the Job Check for the Accreditation Process

The importance the Government places on prioritising employment and training for New Zealanders first is evident in the second stage of the AEWV process - the Job Check. 

Before applying for a Job Check, it may be necessary to advertise a job opportunity to assess if any suitable New Zealand citizens or residents are available for the position. 

The job must be listed on a national website or channel where suitable Kiwis are likely to apply for a minimum of 2 weeks and meet other advertising requirements. The advertising process must be completed within 90 days before submitting the application.

Exceptions to providing this type of evidence are made for job positions that pay at least twice the median wage or belong to an occupation on New Zealand Green List.

New Zealand employers can only hire migrant workers if they pass the job check.

What Do I Need to Provide in a Job Check Application

  1. The job description
  2. Evidence & the results of the job advertisement
  3. An employment agreement

How Long Does it Take to Complete a Job Check?

It can take up to 10 days to process and is valid for six months. It is valid for more than one potential employee applying for the same job role.

How Can I Fail to Meet the Job Check Criteria?

According to a report by Immigration New Zealand, these are the frequent reasons why New Zealand employers fail to meet the labour market job test:

• No evidence of advertising or training New Zealanders

• Job advertisement of more than three months ago or insufficient duration

• Job advertisement that discourages New Zealanders from applying

By not providing critical information such as proof of genuine efforts to recruit New Zealanders will result in a declined application.

The Final Step: The Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV) New Zealand

The final stage of the process is the migrant worker check. This is when the prospective overseas employee applies for a visa.

To be granted the visa, the migrant worker must meet the character, identity, and health requirements set by Immigration New Zealand. 

Additionally, they must possess the necessary skills and qualifications for the position, as verified by the employer during the job check process. If applicable, the migrant worker's family members may also apply for visas simultaneously.

We support both employers and potential employees through this process and help streamline their applications. 

How Long Does it Take to Have an AEWV Approved?

The visa application can take up to 20 days to process. Ensuring that all the documentation is correctly supplied at the time of application helps to reduce processing time.

Streamlining the Accredited Employer Process for Everyone

Employers using our service know the benefits of using our immigration services to monitor your hiring process. To start, our employer accreditation team will upload your business and its hiring managers, and help them with their accreditation process. We have an online application that guides you through the necessary documentation and helps provide you with evidence to support your application. 

As new migrant workers are hired, they can be assigned the required training to help support their application. The training provides your new employees with a clear understanding of living and working in NZ and is part of your accredited employer's responsibilities. 

The migrant workers then have a one-month timeframe from their start date to complete the assigned training. Their progress can be monitored through the employer portal.

Finally, once the migrant workers have completed their training, they will receive a report in PDF format, which satisfies INZ's documentation requirements.

Looking To Hire Migrant Workers with AEWV?

Want to know more about requirements? Let Malcolm Pacific Immigration help simplify the process for you.

Our employer services and online application tool have been created to streamline the process of becoming an accredited employer.

Contact us today for a free consultation, and our licensed immigration advisers will guide you through the process, taking the stress out of the process and allowing you to focus on your business.

Get started with a free assessment today

We are New Zealand’s largest and most experienced team of licensed immigration advisers. Our experts take away the stress and worry of navigating the complicated world of immigration. All you need to do is get in touch. Our team is on standby, ready to help.