Get prepared now for upcoming immigration and employment changes

The New Zealand Government is about to change their policy around who can and cannot retain their staff on visas and who can hire visa holders. We’ve put the below together to help inform you of the pending changes.

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What is compulsory employer Accreditation?

Employer Accreditation is an Immigration New Zealand process. By gaining Accreditation status, you meet the legal criteria to employ people that are on visas and, in the future, hire people from overseas. This criteria is changing in mid 2021 as part of an immigration overhaul.

Currently, the people who hold the visa are responsible for preparing and submitting their visa applications. Once changes take effect, you, the employer will be responsible for ensuring you meet the criteria to carry on employing people on visas and hiring migrant staff. If you are not Accredited with Immigration New Zealand, you will not be able to hire or retain on employer-supported visas.

This important change will affect most employers in New Zealand as we have 350,000 people on visas in New Zealand and they are employed up and down the country.

How do I become Accredited?

Your business must apply to Immigration New Zealand to become an Accredited Employer. This is potentially a long process with very specific requirements.

There are a number of potential steps involved and documents to be submitted such as proof of compliance with employment and immigration law and ongoing commitment to training and upskilling New Zealanders. In our experience, many employers are finding it takes a while to prepare for Accreditation.

We understand this may seem complex and daunting, however it is a pending reality. It is crucial to get organised now to avoid any potential risks around team member retention and hiring.

Wanting to retain staff on a visa or hire someone new that is on a visa?

We know how important it is for you to have the people you need for your business, which is why we advise you to get ahead of these upcoming Immigration New Zealand changes and start preparing.

Get underway now and speak to the right people, to avoid risks or road blocks.

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Already employ visa holders?

You still need to get underway with Accreditation as you will not be able to support their visa renewal if you are not Accredited with Immigration New Zealand. Quite simply, they will no longer be able to work for you if you are not an Accredited Employer.

Looking to hire someone new on a visa?

Once the new policy comes into effect, you will need to have gained Accreditation status before you are able to hire and support migrant staff with a work visa. Immigration New Zealand anticipates that over 20,000 New Zealand businesses will fall within this category in 2021.

Gaining Accreditation in advance of borders opening, will also enable you to hire the people you need for your business as soon as they are granted entry.

Let us help you get underway

We can help you get ahead of these changes and ensure you have the people you need to run your business.

Working In Visas have been helping New Zealand employers manage all aspects of the visa and immigration process, for over a decade. We have one of the largest corporate focussed teams of Licensed Immigration Advisers in the country.

Click on the below and we will be in touch to help simplify the process and talk you through the necessary steps

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Contact us

Find out more about upcoming Accreditation changes


  • Border Exemption
  • Work Visas
  • Essential Skills
  • Work to Residence
  • Specific Purpose specialist visas
  • Resident visas
  • Accreditation
  • Approval in Principal
  • Immigration Responses (PPI)
  • Visa Renewals including tracking
  • Visa Audit
  • Variation of work conditions
  • Reconsiderations
  • Appeals
  • Character or Medical Waivers
  • Working Holiday Visa
  • Student Trainee Visa
  • Adding Study Rights to Work Visas
Contact us

We offer employers:

Visa check

An initial eligibility check of your shortlisted candidates to ensure that they can legally migrate to New Zealand.

Visa application

Once your applicant has accepted their offer with you, our team can manage their whole visa process from start to finish, including notifications of renewal and expiry.

visa audit

We offer a full review of your workforce against current legislation and requirements.

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