Demystifying the NZ Accredited Employer Work Visa

Why are some businesses hesitant to start their accreditation process? Here's what we think.

You would have heard by now about the Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV), introduced by Immigration New Zealand (INZ) in July. If not, here’s what you need to know: any employer that wants to support a migrant worker from 4 July 2022 onwards will only be able to do so if they are accredited under the new system. From 2023, INZ has stated that a business accreditation will be compulsory if the employer wants to hire any migrants, even those on open work rights. So why are some businesses hesitant to start their accreditation process?

We believe there are a few things that are making some business owners hesitant to get accredited under the new AEWV system:

1.  They think the process is the same as the old accreditation system.

It is definitely not the same. From our Licensed Immigration Adviser Jamee Zohs perspective, the old system was complicated and demanded a lot from the businesses in order to have their accreditation approved. On the other hand, the new AEWV system is simple and straight forward. Our Immigration team can easily advise and make it a stress-free process for business owners.

2.  They are not planning on hiring a migrant worker soon, or even renew a migrant work visa for the next few months.

Well, if that is the case, it is recommended to wait a bit, as the accreditation under the new system is only valid for 12 months when applying for the first time. However, we’d strongly recommend starting the process around 3 months before they actually need hiring a migrant or renewing a visa, as there are plenty of steps and processing times on the way.

3.  They are concerned it will take too long to bring a migrant worker from offshore.

First of all, if you feel like your business needs migrant workers because you can’t find kiwis for the job, just start the accreditation process as soon as possible and worry about the timeframes later. The more you wait, the longer it will be. But going back to the concern, yes, it may take some time.

The AEWV has 3-steps: accreditation, which can take up to 10 working days to be processed, job check, which can take around a month to be processed (based on our experience), and migrant check, which can also take around a month to be processed. And we are only talking about INZ’s processing times. So, to go through the whole process, it might take around 3 months – or more – for the migrant worker to start working if they are offshore. However, once you have your accreditation and one or more job checks approved, that will take way less time to bring your candidate to NZ.

4.  They feel overwhelmed by the number of steps and obligations of hiring migrants, specially from offshore.

Which is normal, specially considering this is a new system and we’re all still learning (and immigration systems are constantly evolving). But for this issue we have a simple and effective solution: hire an agency like Trinity. We have Licensed Immigration Advisers that will look after the whole accreditation process, we have recruitment consultants that will find the best candidate for the role, and we offer pastoral care to take care of all migrant settlement obligations.


We are sharing this article based on our own experience with our clients and prospects, and hope that this will demystify the concerns around the new Accredited Employer Work Visa system, helping more and more businesses getting their accreditation.

If you have any concerns or questions about the AEWV, feel free to get in touch with us and we will be happy to help.