Employer Accreditation and Job Check applications

Specialist Immigration Lawyer Michelle has partnered with Chartered Accountancy and Advisory firm Marley Loft to provide you with information about being accredited with Immigration New Zealand (INZ).

If your business, like a number across New Zealand, is struggling with finding suitable Kiwis to fill positions, you may be starting to look abroad if you haven’t already.  New Zealand employers looking at employing overseas workers now need to be accredited with INZ.

There are three steps before having your overseas worker commence employment in your business.

Step One – An Employer will need to apply to be accredited with Immigration New Zealand. 

There are different types of accreditation to apply for depending on the number of employees you wish to recruit from overseas.  The fee and process will vary depending on the accreditation type.  The INZ application fee ranges between $740 and $3870.  The initial approval is valid for 12 months. To obtain accreditation, you will need to demonstrate your business:

  • is in a sound financial position;

  • has high-quality Human Resource practices and policies (including the provision of settlement support information for overseas workers),

  • and its key people have high-quality workplace practices that meet business, immigration and employment standards.

Step Two – Does the job pass the Job Check?

Businesses are encouraged to train, up-skill and hire Kiwis first before hiring an overseas worker.  To pass the Job Check requirement, you will need to provide:

  • a compliant proposed employment agreement;

  • position description, and

  • evidence of completing the Labour Market Test[1].

You can include multiple positions in one job check.  The INZ application fee is $610 and once approved, the Job Check is valid for 6 months.  This means your business can plan ahead for what positions are available in the future.

Step Three – the overseas worker applies for a work visa

Once Steps One and Two are approved, you can offer the candidate the position and they can then start their work visa application.  The applicant will need to:

  • meet the standard identity, character, and health checks;

  • provide an offer of employment from an accredited employer;

  • show there are no Kiwis able to take up the role (also known as the Labour Market Test);

  • show they have the relevant qualifications or skills to take up the job on offer;

  • demonstrate registration if this is required for their roles, and

  • not be subject to any stand-down period.

Depending on the skill and remuneration, the applicant can be granted a visa for up to three years.  If the role is on the Green List, they may also be eligible to apply for residency right away or after 24 months.  This provides a pathway to allow skilled candidates to migrate with their partners and/ or children.

[1] if the role is paid less than $55.52 per hour (two times the median wage of $27.76 per hour) or the position offered is not listed on the Green List. Please note - the median wage will increase from $27.76 per hour to $29.66 per hour on 27 February 2023.


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