Get prepared now for upcoming immigration and employment changes

The New Zealand Government has confirmed their policy around who can and cannot retain staff on visas and who is able to hire visa holders.

We’ve put the below together to help inform you of the pending changes and outline the process. Working closely with Immigration New Zealand, we will update this information as soon as government changes are announced.

We have one of the largest teams of Licenced Immigration Advisers in the country, committed to putting New Zealand employers first. Please get in touch if you need assistance on your Accreditation journey.

Contact us to talk about your situation

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.

What if I am already Accredited or my Accreditation has expired?

If you are an Accredited employer under the Talent policy, or your Accreditation expired after the 31st of March 2021, you can still recruit migrant staff on a Work to Residence visa even after 31 October 2021. They will still need to meet the usual Work to Residence requirements, however will be able to retain their Work to Residence visa and pathway to residence.

What is compulsory employer Accreditation?

Immigration New Zealand is introducing a new category of work visa which will replace most of the current categories. The Accredited Employer Work Visa will come into effect on 4 July 2022.

Employer Accreditation for the new Accredited Employer Work Visa 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 takes effect from mid-2022. Employers can start applying for accreditation from 9 May 2022.

If you are already a Talent Accredited employer, you are not exempt from the upcoming changes. The new Accreditation policy will still apply to you, regardless of having gained accreditation in the past. You will be required to resubmit and potentially supply new documents in order to qualify for the new Accreditation status.

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 from mid-2022.

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.

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

Register with us for the latest INZ updates

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 once the policy takes effect. Quite simply, they will no longer be able to work for you if they require a renewal and you are not an Accredited Employer.

Looking to hire someone new on a visa?

Once the new policy comes into effect mid 2022, 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.

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

New Zealand employers – book your free no-obligation consultation

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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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