Immigration New Zealand (INZ) announced regulatory changes to the current Accredited Employer Work Visa program. These changes are in preparation for the upcoming new Accredited Employer Work Visa Program, due to kick off Nov. 1, 2021. As per the new regulations, employers who were granted approval in principle under current regulatory requirements must apply (and match credentials) for the new accreditation system by Nov. 1, 2021. Employers must complete this application process before hiring foreign national employees under the new system.
Under the new system, employers will take a more active role in the visa application process. If employers intend to apply for a different accreditation status than they currently hold before the new system begins, they must do so by June 30, 2021. As above, employers with staff on temporary work visas do not need to maintain active accreditation status for the duration of those visas. Further, the report mentions that any employers with staff on current temporary work visas do not need to maintain active accreditation status for the duration of those visas.
The key change
The three existing policies to be phased out include: Accredited Employer (Talent – Accredited Employer), Labour Hire Accreditation (Essential Skills), and Approval in Principle (Essential Skills).
As the visa regulations get revised and a new system gets implemented, three existing policies shall cease to exist from 30th June 2021.
These phase-outs are part of an expansive Government effort to prioritize workforce balance of local and foreign workforce. The country looks to reduce the exploitation of foreign nationals and promote work opportunities for New Zealanders with the overall changes to the Accredited Employer Work Visa.