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Immigration New Zealand Cracks Down on Employer Non-Compliance

Leading visa and immigration consultancy, VisaAide, is urging New Zealand employers to make sure they’re up to date with their accreditation and compliant with New Zealand employment laws and standards, plus the Immigration Act 2009.

This follows the deployment of new enforcement tools by Immigration New Zealand (INZ), which from April 11 have been used to combat lower-level immigration non-compliance and deter exploitation of migrant workers by employers.

The change targets employers who fail to follow the rules and is designed to provide immediate consequences for non-compliance.

While previously, employers found to be in breach of their employer accreditation would be prosecuted through the criminal courts, they can now be issued with infringement notices.

Infringement penalties can vary in severity based on the level of non-compliance and can include:

- A minimum fine of $1,000,

- Loss of accredited employer status, and

- Prohibition from supporting further visas for migrant workers.

A stand-down from supporting visa applications lasts for a period dependent on the number of infringement notices the employer receives. This might range from a 6-month stand-down for a single infringement to a 12-month maximum stand-down for multiple infringements issued at once.

Employers stood-down under this new enforcement strategy will have their names published on the Immigration New Zealand website. This brings a new level of transparency to the system, ensuring that the public is aware of those employers not complying with the rules.

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Although employers can hire migrants with open work visas while on the stand-down list, they must demonstrate they have rectified the issue and taken the necessary steps to prevent future occurrences before they can be accredited under the Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV) programme again.

These new rules and penalties highlight the dedication of INZ to create a fair and level playing field for all employers in New Zealand. It ensures that businesses are aware of the consequences of non-compliance.

VisaAide is committed to keeping you updated on these important changes and to continue providing expert advice on how to navigate New Zealand’s immigration system. We support the efforts of the INZ in enforcing immigration standards and believe these new tools will help foster integrity, fairness, and transparency in the immigration and employment sectors.

About VisaAide

VisaAide is New Zealand's leading visa and immigration consultancy, dedicated to helping individuals and businesses navigate the complexities of immigration law. VisaAide's team of experienced professionals provides personalised services to meet all immigration needs.

What is an Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV)?

The AEWV is the principal temporary work visa in New Zealand. These are granted to individuals who are not New Zealand citizens or residents but have received a full time (at least 30 hours) job offer to work in New Zealand from an accredited employer.

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