Legal Insights, Uncategorized

Recruiting Overseas Workers.

Options for Employers recruiting overseas workers:

Becoming an Accredited Employer 

There are a range of options for those wishing to employ skilled workers from overseas.

If your business has an ongoing need for skilled workers, you could either obtain an Accredited Employer status from Immigration New Zealand (INZ) or request for an Approval in Principle to streamline a seemingly complicated and stressful application process to get work visas for your potential employees.

  1. Employer Accreditation

An employer holding Employer Accreditation status is able to employ skilled migrant workers without first having to check if any New Zealanders can do the work.

The accreditation enables you to employ overseas workers for an initial period of up to 30 months. You must take direct responsibility for the workers you employ, for their work and you must pay a minimum base salary of $55,000.

Once you obtain the accreditation and it has been held by an employee for at least 24 months, the employee can be eligible to apply for residence provided other criteria are met.

This pathway to residency will attract many migrants workers to work for you as most of the migrants are not normally eligible to apply for residence under the ‘Skilled Migrant’ category.

Employer Accreditation will be granted initially for 2 years but you can apply to renew your accreditation status for further 2-year periods or in some cases for 5 years.

Application requirements

You must show that you need to recruit migrant workers and you will have direct responsibility for those employees and their work output.

In the assessment of an application for accreditation INZ must be satisfied that you:

  • Are in sound financial position;
  • Have high-quality HR policies and practices;
  • Have work place practices and history of legal compliance; and
  • Are committed to training and employing New Zealanders (including the number of local people already employed; evidence of training local workers; extent and nature of past advertising; engagement with Industry Training Organisations and union).

The documentation required to satisfy these elements is relatively extensive, but we can provide you with advice on exactly what is needed, and how to structure an application.

As part of its assessment, INZ may carry out an interview with an employer or a site visit of the employer’s premises.

It is important that you are prepared to provide extensive documentation to satisfy the above criteria. To avoid delays and possibility of being declined, you have to make sure that such materials are thoroughly gathered and assessed prior to submitting your application.

If you wish to discuss the possibility of your business becoming an accredited employer or assist you with your application in the form required by INZ, please contact me.


O'neal Mendoza
O’neal Mendoza, Solicitor

O’neal Mendoza

Contact Details

DDI: 09 837 5745




  1. Any policy statements mentioned in this article do not replace the policy of Immigration New Zealand.
  2. Assessment requirements are subject to change.

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