• Ishvinder Singh

Approval in Principle from Immigration NZ

Work Visa

AIP (Approval in Principle) refers to a permission by INZ to an employer, to recruit a set number of staff within set parameters from overseas.

AIP is very beneficial to those employers who need to recruit a team overseas, as it expedites the visa process.


6-12 Months, may be extended, applications for extensions must be made at least two months before AIP expires.

Can be done for different roles, different periods of time and different regions of NZ.


Not available for labour hire companies and certain kinds of work in the horticulture and viticulture industry.

Information you will require to provide INZ

Business details

You must provide details of your business (some details are optional)

  1. Certificate of incorporation.

  2. GST number if registered for GST.

  3. Details of any employees currently on a temporary entry class visa.

  4. Details of any redundancies in the last 6 months

  5. Any project details if possible that has made it necessary to hire in a higher than usual number.

Ability to sustain employment

Your business should be able to able to pay salaries and sustain employment for the duration of the visa. To prove this the following may help.

  1. Statements of financial performance and position, including a breakdown of sales, wages, expenses and net profit/loss.

  2. GST returns

  3. IR 348 forms (if possible)

  4. Employment contracts*

  5. Position Descriptions or work requirements*

*Your job offer must meet minimum employment rights and obligation i.e. comply with NZ employment legislation, that details the type of work, duties and responsibilities, the pay, working hours. Additional information may be, qualifications and experience required. Include work conditions like accommodation, transportation or deductions required. You must include an employment agreement for the roles included in the request.

Job terms and conditions

Job offer must meet certain terms and conditions. As evidence, you may need to provide the following.

  1. ANZSCO job title and skill level, if known.

  2. Evidence that your job offer meets the New Zealand market rates for pay and conditions of this role.

  3. Information about any arrangements in place to assist migrants’ settlement in New Zealand.

Visa duration

The ANZSCO skill level and pay rate of your employee’s job will determine the duration of the work visa an applicant can apply for.

Highly skilled jobs at skill level 1 can have work visas issued for up to 5 years. For lower skilled jobs at skill level 4 or 5, work visas can be issued for no more than 1 year at a time. For mid skilled jobs paying over a certain threshold, the visa may be for 3 years.

Jobs must be full-time for at least 30 hours per week.

Direct employer

You must be the direct employer, responsible for supervising your workers and paying their wages. You can’t act as a labour hire company.

Are there Kiwi’s you can hire?

You must show that there are no New Zealanders available or readily able to be trained to do the work. As proof, there are three things you need to demonstrate.

Show that you’ve made genuine attempts to recruit suitable New Zealand citizens or residence class visa holders, first.

Evidence can include:

  1. Details of the advertising used (e.g. national newspaper, internet, etc.) including dates, duration and frequency of advertising

  2. Copies of the advert and receipts for payment of the advertising

  3. Evidence you used a recruitment agency, if relevant

  4. Details of engagement with Work and Income

  5. Full details of the outcome of your recruitment efforts including the number of applicants, shortlisting outcome and details of why any New Zealand applicants were unsuitable, or unable to be trained.

  6. Industry statistics on the numbers of vacancies in this market or other industry-based evidence.

  7. Show the efforts you’ve made as an employer to train New Zealanders to do the work, including:

  8. Details of the type of training that you’ve provided and the outcome of the training.

  9. Details of your future plans for training and upskilling New Zealanders to do the work.

  10. Provide evidence that you’ve contacted your relevant industry organisation or union.

  11. Provide a copy of the comment received from the industry organisation or union detailing the availability of New Zealanders for the job, the need for foreign labour in the market and commentary on the terms and conditions of your job offer.

  12. If you’re recruiting in the Canterbury region, you must engage with the Canterbury Skills and Employment Hub. Include a copy of the correspondence with them, a copy of any listings and details of the outcome.

  13. You should tell Work and Income you are engaging with them as part of an Immigration New Zealand approval in principle request

Genuine attempt to recruit

Your job advertisement and offer can’t discourage New Zealand workers from applying.

INZ can’t approve your application if your job advertisement discourages New Zealand citizens or residence class visa holders, from applying. This includes where New Zealand workers aren’t willing to take up the job because of the terms and conditions of your job offer (such as pay or hours of work).

Last Step - Request approval in principle

You must make your request using the Request for Approval in Principle (INZ 1112) form. If using a Licensed Immigration Adviser or other third party to help complete the form, you must declare this in the relevant section.

Note that, approval in principle requests can take some time to process because INZ consult with various external parties before making a decision. If your application is for lower skilled work, the processing time may be longer.

Support a visa application

Once you’re approved in principle, you can go ahead and recruit workers from overseas. You can hire workers into the jobs stated in your request within the timeframe specified.

You must complete sections A and D of the Employer Supplementary Form (INZ 1113) and provide this with your approval in principle request, with each visa application of your employees.

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