The Three-step check

Getting a visa for your workers under the new accreditation policy will go through three checks:

1. The employer check

A New Zealand employer must apply for and successfully obtain accreditation under the new system – even if they are accredited under the current system (pre-June 2021). From mid-2022, only accredited employers can hire a migrant worker on the Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV).

The new accreditation levels are:

  • Standard Accreditation: for employers who want to have up to 5 migrant workers
  • High-volume Accreditation: for employers who want to have 6 or more migrant workers on AEWVs at any one time.
  • Franchises and tripartite agreements: There will be increased compliance checks for franchises and employers wanting to place international workers with third parties (including but not limited to labour hire companies).

Find out more about the different employer accreditation levels:

Accreditation levels

2. The Job Check

The job check involves compliance with employment laws, but also checking that no suitable New Zealanders can be found to fill a role, before it can be offered to a migrant worker. This is also referred to as a labour market test. There are general requirements for offers of employment:

  • the job must pay a minimum salary or at market rate, whichever is highest
  • the job offer and terms of employment must be compliant with employment law, including but not limited to the Employment Relations Act 2000 or the Holiday Act 2003

If required, a labour market test will be required. It demonstrates that an employer has genuinely advertised the role to New Zealanders, and there are none available or suitable to perform the requirements of the job. There are criteria that waive the requirements for a labour market test to be done.

When a labour market test is not required:

Under the new system New Zealand is divided into three regions:

  1. Cities – Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin
  2. Higher supply region – Northland, Manawatu-Wanganui, Bay of Plenty, Gisborne and Hawke’s Bay, Taranaki, Tasman, Nelson, Marlborough and the West Coast, regional Wellington, including the Wairarapa
  3. Lower supply region – Waikato, Canterbury, Otago, and Southland\

When a labour market test is required:

  • For all positions paid below the median wage

In the five main New Zealand cities (Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington, Christchurch, Dunedin):

  • Jobs paying at or above 200% the median wage, or
  • Jobs that are on a skills shortage listand paid at or above the median wage

In the regions (outside of the main cities):

  • Jobs paying at, or above, the median wage

3. The migrant check

Your candidate must:

  • be deemed competent for the role offered, either via a relevant qualification or previous relevant work experience, AND;
  • be of an Acceptable Standard of Health as defined in Immigration instructions, AND;
  • be of good character, with no major prior criminal conviction, as defined in Immigration instructions.


Contact our friendly team today to discuss your accreditation or visa requirements.