What is a Job Check & How to Apply for a Job Check as Part of the AEWV Accreditation in New Zealand?

What is a Job Check under the Accredited Employer Work Visa, and How Do Employers Apply for it?
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Michael Yoon
Principal Immigration Lawyer
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Introduction

A job check is a crucial step in the process of hiring migrant workers under the Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV) scheme in New Zealand. It involves submitting a job check application to Immigration New Zealand (INZ) to ensure that the New Zealand job being offered meets the necessary requirements and that there are no suitable New Zealanders available to fill the position. This guide will walk you through the job check process as an accredited employer.

What is a Job Check under the Accredited Employer Work Visa?

A job check is a process that accredited employers must complete before they can hire a migrant worker on an Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV). The purpose of a job check is to verify that:

  • The job being offered meets the requirements of the AEWV scheme, such as being full-time (at least 30 hours per week) and paying at least the market rate and the specified minimum wage (currently NZD$29.66 per hour as of February 2023, unless the role is exempt)
  • The employer has made genuine attempts to find suitable New Zealanders to fill the position, which typically involves advertising the role and, in some cases, engaging with Work and Income
  • The migrant worker being considered for the role is suitably qualified and skilled to perform the duties required

Employers must submit a job check application for each role they wish to fill with a migrant worker. If the job check is approved, the employer will receive a job token, which they can then send to the migrant worker to begin the AEWV application process.

It's important to note that a job check is specific to the role and the associated terms and conditions of employment. If an employer wishes to hire multiple migrant workers for the same role, they can include them under a single job check, provided the job details and advertising requirements are the same.

Before Applying for a Job Check

Before you can apply for a job check, there are several important steps you must take to ensure a smooth visa application process. First and foremost, you need to have the right level of employer accreditation for the roles you want to fill. There are three types of accreditation: standard, high-volume, and triangular employment accreditation. Each type has specific requirements and limitations, so it's essential to understand which one applies to your situation.

Next, you'll need to gather all the necessary information and documents about the job you're offering. This includes the job title, location, and the corresponding Australia and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO) code and skill level. You'll also need to prepare an acceptable job offer, job description, and a draft employment agreement that meets the requirements of the AEWV scheme.

Lastly, unless the role is exempt, you will need to advertise the job and engage with Work and Income before submitting your job check application. The specific requirements for advertising and engagement depend on the ANZSCO skill level of the job being offered, which we'll discuss in more detail in the next section.

Exempt Roles and Advertising Requirements

Not all jobs require advertising or engagement with Work and Income before applying for a job check. Roles that are exempt from these requirements include those that are on the Green List and meet the specified criteria, or those that pay at least NZD$59.32 per hour (twice the February 2023 median wage).

For non-exempt roles, the duration and requirements for advertising vary based on the job's ANZSCO skill level:

  • For ANZSCO skill level 1, 2, or 3 roles: You must advertise a job for at least 14 days.
  • For ANZSCO skill level 4 or 5 roles (excluding dairy cattle farm workers): You must advertise the job for at least 21 days and engage with Work and Income.

When advertising, you must include the job description, minimum and maximum pay, location, minimum hours, and required skills and qualifications. The purpose of advertising is to check for suitable and available New Zealanders first.

Engaging with Work and Income is required for ANZSCO skill level 4 and 5 roles. You'll need to provide details about the job and allow Work and Income to list the vacancy for up to 21 days. They will issue an Engagement Check confirming the outcome of the process, which you'll need to upload as part of your job check application.

It's crucial to ensure that the job description in your advertisement and Work and Income engagement aligns with the ANZSCO description for the role, as INZ may reassess the skill level if there are discrepancies.

Preparing an Acceptable Job Offer and Employment Agreement

When applying for a job check, you must provide an acceptable job offer and a draft employment agreement that meet the requirements of the AEWV scheme. The job offer must be for full-time work (at least 30 hours per week) and pay at least the market rate and NZD$29.66 per hour (the February 2023 median wage rate), unless the role is exempt.

The employment agreement should include all the necessary clauses required by New Zealand employment law, such as:

  • Your name as the direct employer
  • Paid leave entitlements
  • Deductions, benefits, or allowances
  • Overtime rates and maximum hours
  • Wages, pay rate, and pay period
  • Guaranteed hours (at least 30 per week)

It's important to note that trial periods are not allowed in employment agreements for AEWV roles. If your job check application includes an agreement with a trial period, it may be declined or you may be asked to provide an updated version.

When calculating pay rates, INZ will consider the guaranteed hourly rate, including any reasonable deductions for items like accommodation. Piece rates and allowances are generally not included unless there is a guaranteed top-up to ensure the minimum pay rate threshold is met. If the pay varies based on factors like overtime or different duties, INZ will use the lowest hourly rate or average the pay across the pay period if the hours and rates are guaranteed.

By ensuring that your job offer and employment agreement meet these requirements, you can avoid delays or issues with your job check application.

Applying for a Job Check

Once you have gathered all the necessary information and documents, you can proceed with submitting your job check application. The application process involves completing an online form through Immigration Online and uploading a supplementary paper form (INZ 1384).

To begin your online application, log in to Immigration Online using your RealMe® account. Navigate to the "Employ migrants" tab and find your accreditation in the "My granted accreditations" section. Select "View accreditation" from the Options dropdown list, then click on "Request a Job Check" to start your application.

In addition to the online form, you'll need to complete the Employer Additional Form (INZ 1384), which covers questions not yet available in the online application. Download the form, fill it out, and upload the completed version to the Additional Form page of the online application.

Including Multiple Jobs in One Application

You can include multiple jobs in a single job check application if they share the same details, such as:

  • ANZSCO code
  • Occupation
  • Pay
  • Location
  • Minimum requirements

These jobs must also be covered by the same advertising and employment agreement. If there are variations in the location, job title, or terms of work, you'll need to submit separate job check applications for each unique role.

When you submit your job check application, you'll be required to pay the associated fee. The processing time for job check applications can vary, so it's essential to apply well in advance of when you need the approval.

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After the Job Check is Approved

Once your job check application is approved, INZ will send you an email confirmation. You can then log into Immigration Online to view your approved jobs. It's important to note that the job check approval is valid for 6 months, and the migrant worker must apply for their AEWV within this period.

Before sending a job token to a potential applicant, you must first check that they meet the AEWV skill requirements set by INZ and that they possess the necessary skills and experience specified in the job description. This may involve verifying their qualifications, work experience, or occupational registration, depending on the role requirements.

To invite a qualified applicant to apply for an AEWV, log in to Immigration Online and navigate to your approved jobs. Select "Send request" from the Options dropdown list, enter the migrant's full name and email address, and submit the request. This will send a unique link (job token) to the migrant, which they must accept before beginning their visa application.

If your worker's visa is nearing expiry and they have not yet reached their maximum continuous stay in New Zealand, you may be able to support their AEWV renewal. Depending on the circumstances, this might involve applying for a new job check, including readvertising the role, or reusing a job token if the worker is staying in the same position and meets the necessary criteria.

It's crucial to be aware of the maximum continuous stay limits for AEWV holders, as this will determine whether your employee can continue working for you on this visa type or if they need to explore other options, such as applying for a residence visa.

Sector Agreements and Hiring Migrants on AEWV

In some cases, specific occupations and employment sectors may be subject to sector agreements that allow employers to pay migrant workers less than the median wage of NZD$29.66 per hour (as of February 2023). These agreements are designed to give certain sectors more time to transition away from relying on lower-paid migrant workers.

The sectors currently covered by such agreements include:

  • Care workforce
  • Seafood processing (onshore)
  • Seafood (sea-based)
  • Construction and infrastructure
  • Meat processing
  • Seasonal snow and adventure tourism
  • Transport

These sectors fall into two categories: capped and uncapped. Uncapped sectors, such as care workforce, tourism and hospitality, construction and infrastructure, seasonal snow and adventure tourism, and transport, do not have limits on the number of migrants they can hire under the agreement terms.

On the other hand, capped sectors like meat processing and seafood processing (onshore) have annual limits on the number of migrant workers they can employ at the lower wage rates. Employers in these sectors must consult with industry organisations to access the caps.

Some roles covered by sector agreements may offer pathways to residence for migrant workers after completing a certain period of work experience in New Zealand. However, there are specific wage requirements that must be met for the work experience to qualify, typically including maintaining the median wage rate that was in place when their initial visa application was submitted.

Employers hiring under sector agreements must still meet their obligations and ensure they are making efforts to attract and retain domestic workers while reducing their long-term reliance on migrant labour.

Conclusion

Navigating the job check process is a critical step for accredited employers looking to hire migrant workers under the Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV) scheme in New Zealand. By understanding the requirements and following the necessary steps, employers can ensure a smooth application process and secure the international talent they need to support their New Zealand business.

Some key points to remember when applying for a job check include:

  1. Ensure you have the appropriate level of accreditation for the roles you want to fill
  2. Gather all relevant information and documents, including an acceptable job offer and employment agreement
  3. Advertise the role and engage with Work and Income, unless the job is exempt
  4. Submit your application through Immigration Online and pay the associated fee
  5. Verify that potential applicants meet the AEWV skill requirements and the specific criteria for the job
  6. Send job tokens to qualified candidates and support their AEWV application process
  7. Be aware of sector agreements and any associated wage requirements or pathways to residence

By familiarising yourself with the job check process and its various components, you can position your organisation to successfully recruit and retain skilled migrant workers while remaining compliant with immigration and employment regulations. Remember to stay informed about any updates or changes to the AEWV scheme and seek expert advice if needed to ensure ongoing compliance and success in your migrant hiring endeavours.

Recent visa sponsorship jobs

Here is a curated list of jobs in New Zealand that may be able to support an AEWV application. View the full list for visa sponsorship jobs in New Zealand here.

Frequently asked questions

To apply for AEWV accreditation, you need to submit an online application through Immigration Online. First, log in using your RealMe account, then navigate to the Immigration Online dashboard. From there, you can start your application by providing the required information and documents, and paying the application fee.
If you fail to meet the commitments you made during the application process or provide false information, your accreditation may be revoked. Immigration New Zealand will check if you have met your commitments when you renew your accreditation and may also conduct checks during your accreditation period.
To verify if a potential AEWV applicant is suitably qualified, you can request evidence of their qualifications, work experience, or skills. This may include qualification certificates, references from previous employers, or practical tests to demonstrate their abilities. Keep records of the steps you take to check each applicant's suitability.
AEWV accreditation is valid for 12 months from the date of approval. To continue hiring migrant workers beyond this period, you must renew your accreditation before it expires. The renewal process involves submitting a new application and providing updated information and documents.
If you have standard accreditation and reach your quota limit of 5 migrant workers, you can upgrade to high-volume accreditation to hire more workers. To do this, you need to pay the additional fee, which is the difference between the standard and high-volume accreditation fees.
If an AEWV holder stops working for you, you must notify Immigration New Zealand within 10 working days. However, if the worker leaves within 1 month of their visa expiry, you do not need to inform Immigration New Zealand. Keep records of your workers' employment status and visa expiry dates to ensure compliance.
If there are any changes to the key people in your business, such as directors, senior managers, or individuals with significant control over the company, you must notify Immigration New Zealand within 10 working days. You can do this by contacting Immigration New Zealand and providing the updated information.
If Immigration New Zealand requests further information during the application process, follow the instructions provided in the request. Be aware that there are limits on the number of documents you can upload (up to 5 at once) and the file size (maximum 10 MB per file). If you have more than 5 documents or larger files, you may need to reduce the file size or split the documents into smaller parts.
Yes, the enhanced Immigration Online system allows you to create networks of people to collaborate on your application. This means you can work with licensed immigration advisers (LIAs) or other users to complete and submit your application. However, be cautious about who you share your application with and remove access if necessary.
After your AEWV accreditation is approved, the next step is to advertise your roles and apply for a Job Check. The Job Check process involves providing details about the specific role, demonstrating that you have made efforts to recruit New Zealanders, and paying the associated fee. Once the Job Check is approved, you can start the process of hiring migrant workers on AEWVs.
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Last modified on 5 July 2024 by
Michael Yoon
Principal Immigration Lawyer
Michael has been working as a lawyer in New Zealand since 2006. Over the years, he has successfully helped thousands of clients to get their desired outcome. Clients find Michael knowledgeable, approachable and professional — a trusted expert.

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