Auckland, New Zealand, is home to many South Africans. Image: Adobe Stock

NZ work visa: These changes are in the pipeline for employers

Immigration New Zealand (INZ) is in the process of implementing changes to the procedures that must be followed by employers who offer work permits to foreign employees.


Auckland, New Zealand, is home to many South Africans. Image: Adobe Stock

New Zealand’s immigration department, the INZ, is set to implement changes to the procedures which New Zealand-based employers will be subjected to when offering work permits to employees from outside the country’s borders.

According to New Zealand immigration specialists Immagine Immigration, companies in New Zealand that employ overseas employees, will have to become accredited before they can support work visa applications for foreign employees.


Many South Africans who migrate to New Zealand use the employer-sponsored route to obtain work visas which enable them to move to New Zealand.

The implementation of the new requirements for employers will certainly add to the overly bureaucratic process of securing employer-sponsored work visas in New Zealand, a process that is already known to be a challenging endeavour.    

NZ work visas: Accreditation requirement for employers

According to Immagine Immigration, the new process will involve three steps.

  • Employer check – By 1 November any employer that needs to employ non-residents must have that accreditation. Employers will be required to demonstrate inter alia they are registered as a genuine business with Inland Revenue (the tax department), have a registered Business Number, have a track record of complying with immigration and employment law and the employer must complete some government-run, online, ‘employment modules’ providing any new staff with information on their employment rights etc. 
  • Job check – Depending on where the job is located (Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington, Christchurch, Dunedin being defined as ‘cities’ means the process may be a little different to those applying for jobs everywhere else) and what the salary is will determine what sort of local labour market test, if any, is required. Advertising evidence may or may not be required depending on location and salary.
  • Migrant check – Proving the migrant is ‘suitably qualified’ to take up the role (assuming the same test applies to that which currently applies), that there ‘is no suitable New Zealander available for the role or who could be trained’ and of course health and character checks will be carried out. 


Foreign employees on existing sponsored work visas will not be affected by the proposed requirements. They do not have to apply for new visas and their employer does not need to become accredited before 1 November.

South Africans wishing to migrate to New Zealand via employment-sponsored visas need not be concerned about this new requirement as the responsibility for INZ accreditation falls on the employer, not the employee.