Gibson Sheat: The new Accredited Employer Work Visa

13 March 2023

The pressure of labour market shortages is a growing concern for many sports organisations. To address this issue, organisations may look at overseas talent.  One option is using the Accredited Employer Work (AEW) Visa which was introduced by Immigration New Zealand in late 2021. This new visa replaces six previous visa categories, including the Essential Skills, Talent and Long-Term Skill Shortage List Visas, with a streamlined single visa process. 

This article details the steps for applying for a AEW Visa and covers how an organisation can become accredited by Immigration NZ.

To apply for the AEW Visa, organisations must first apply for accreditation from Immigration NZ. This process involves submitting detailed information about the organisation, including financial records, employment policies, and proof of compliance with immigration laws.

Once accredited, organisations can then advertise job vacancies and recruit skilled workers from overseas who meet the necessary qualifications and experience requirements.  The organisation will need to provide evidence that they have made genuine attempts to recruit NZ citizens or residents before looking for overseas workers.

How to submit your AEW Visa application

To employ migrant workers, the following steps will need to be followed (in order):

  1. Accreditation with Immigration NZ
  2. Advertising the job
  3. A job check being undertaken by Immigration NZ
  4. Immigration NZ checking the migrant worker’s AEW Visa application

Step 1: Accreditation with Immigration NZ

You can apply for one of four different levels of accreditation.

  1. Standard accreditation is for standard businesses hiring up to 5 migrants.
  2. High-volume accreditation is for standard businesses hiring 6 or more migrants.
  3. Franchisee accreditation is for businesses that are part of a franchise. There is no limit to how many migrants you can hire.
  4. Controlling third party accreditation is for businesses who place migrants with third parties while being the direct employer named in the employment agreement. There is no limit to how many migrants you can hire.

You will pay a fee depending on the type of accreditation you need. The initial accreditation application takes 10 working days for approval (provided that you have supplied all required documents).

The second article in this two-part series will cover Steps 2 – 4 of the process.

Can organisations follow this process without needing a lawyer’s help?

Yes, an organisation can follow the AEW Visa process without needing a lawyer's help. However, the AEW Visa process can be complex and requires a thorough understanding of immigration laws and regulations.  The Gibson Sheat Immigration team has experience in helping clients successfully obtain various types of visas, including the Accredited Employer Work Visa.

Please contact Gibson Sheat Lawyers to obtain further information about the above or if you need assistance applying.

View Part 2 here.