Immigration New Zealand (INZ) has come out with various work visas to allow an international person to work for your business. Not only that, there are multiple programs to help New Zealand employers who need to employ migrant workers on a repeat basis or have high volume hiring needs.
Professional Visa solutions is an Auckland-based team of immigration experts who have been helping New Zealand employers hire migrant workers for a long time. Book a 100% free consultation to discuss your hiring needs and check your options.
Let us look at some key things to keep in mind when employing migrant workers and see how we can help you prepare for your hiring needs, via-a-vis migrant workers.
What are the key things to keep in mind when employing migrant workers?
First and foremost, it is critical that you understand the burden of immigration verification on you when you employ an international worker.
INZ will penalize you for employing someone who has not been authorized to work for your business. You must verify eligibility and maintain records to prove that you completed the needed check. Immigration Act 2009 provides for a maximum penalty of NZ$ 10,000 for employing a foreigner who is not authorized to work in the country.
You cannot plead ignorance – the burden of verification is on the employer. In fact, you can be fined NZ$ 50,000 if you “knowingly” let an illegal immigrant work for you. Things can get even worse – the maximum penalty for the exploitation of a foreign national who you hire knowing that he/she is not authorized to work in New Zealand can land you in jail for 7 years or a fine of NZ$ 100,000 or even both in some cases.
You do not want this. It is more important for you to run your business than get into legal problems with the INZ. We can help you stay out of trouble by taking over the verification and documentation process to ease the process of hiring migrant workers for you. Book a completely free consultation slot to check our range of employer services.
Can you extend an employment offer to an international worker before they obtain a valid work visa?
You may come across a bright candidate who may need a visa before they can start working for you in New Zealand. However, they will need some help and some additional time from you to obtain a fitting work visa. The first thing to do in such cases will be to extend them an employment offer. Make sure to use the right verbiage like “Subject to immigration criteria being met” on the offer letter to avoid any trouble with the INZ.
Your foreign candidate will then be able to use this employment offer to support their work visa application.
There are many work visa categories such as Essential Skills Work Visa, various Work to Residence Visas, Working Holiday Visa and Skilled Migrant Category. Most times, the visa application process will be led by the candidate. Still, you would want to ensure that you meet the needed immigration obligations to make it easy for your potential hire to start working without much delay.
We can help both your international hires and you to pick the right visa and prepare the application for them. Not only that, we can also help you get ready for the hiring process, so you fall in line with INZ requirements and the process of getting the foreign worker on board becomes smooth. Book an absolutely free consultation time to discuss your migrant hiring needs.
What can you do to prepare yourself for high volume or repeat hiring?
If you are a New Zealand employer who has a frequent need to employ migrant workers or have a lot of positions to fill, INZ provides many options to streamline the visa process to ease your hiring process. Book your slot for a completely free consultation to find the best path for your situation.
Consider getting an INZ Accredited Employer status if you need to hire overseas skilled workers regularly. Your accreditation will allow you to engage skilled migrants in your business without the need to first check if any local New Zealanders can fill the position. You will be directly responsible for the employed workers, their work activities and you must pay them at least NZ$ 79,560 per year.
Art and Music Festival Approval
If you are a New Zealand based arts and music festival organizer, your direct support staff and performers associated with an INZ approved arts or music event can come to the country as visitors.
Entertainment Industry Accreditation
An Entertainment Industry Accreditation will help you recruit international entertainment industry workers. As an accredited employer, you will not have to depend on any New Zealand entertainment unions, guilds or professional associations for an agreement every time you need to employ a migrant.
Essential Skills – Approval in Principle (AIP)
Having an AIP status allows you to hire multiple foreign nationals without having to repeat the INZ’s labour market test. The visa beneficiaries will get visas that are valid for up to 5 years, which will make it easier for you to retain them for longer.
Labour Hire Employer Accreditation
A Labour Hire Employer Accreditation will allow you to employ international workers to complement your local workforce. Once you get accredited, you will be able to support Essential Skills Work Visa applications for foreign workers by extending them an employment offer. The potential employees may obtain a work visa valid for up to 3 years, based on the employment duration as per the job offer.
Pacific Quotas Programme
INZ grants residence to almost 1,750 people from the Pacific in accordance with the Samoan Quota Scheme and Pacific Access Category (PAC). Becoming a Pacific Quota Employer (PQE) will help you employ migrant workers through this programme.
Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) Scheme
If you are a New Zealand employer engaged in horticulture or viticulture, and are not able to find local New Zealand workers for plantation, maintenance, harvesting and packing of crops, once you are granted an RSE status, you will be able to make an Agreement to Recruit application which will allow you to hire foreign nationals for these jobs.
Supplementary Seasonal Employment (SSE) – Approval in Principle (AIP)
An SSE AIP approval will work perfectly for you if you have to manage a seasonal labour demand by supplementing your local workforce with additional migrant workers. Once approved by the INZ, you will be able to hire as many foreign nationals as mentioned in your AIP. The migrants will need to be in New Zealand already and have a valid SSE work visa to work for you.
Work Exchange Scheme
A Work Exchange Scheme approval will allow you to offer short-term employment opportunities to foreign nationals in New Zealand and abroad under a reciprocal arrangement. Foreign nationals accepted into an INZ approved work exchange programme will be able to work for a maximum of 12 months in New Zealand. Based on the provisions of your scheme, these migrant workers may also apply for bringing their partners and dependent children along with them.
Foreign Crew on Fishing Vessels – Approval in Principle (AIP)
If you need to hire 7 or more international crew members to work on your fishing vessel, you can apply for this AIP. Note that INZ will approve your AIP application only if no local New Zealanders are available for the work.
The options do not end here – you have access to a different procedure if you need to hire workers for positions in Canterbury and Queenstown. You can also employ foreign nationals already on a valid visa that allows them to work. For instance, people on valid student visas, working holiday visa, select work visas, resident visas, partnership based visas and some interim visas.
We have been assisting New Zealand employers ease their hiring process by helping them get appropriate INZ authorisations. Our licensed immigration consultants understand the challenges faced by New Zealand employers when it comes to hiring migrant workers. Book a 100% free consultation to find the right way (tailored for your needs) for you to hire migrants.