New Zealand Wage Threshold Increases Imminent

Immigration New Zealand has confirmed that Wage thresholds for the Skilled Migrant Category, the Green List Straight to Residence, and Work to Residence visas, and the Parent Category residence class visa will increase in line with the median wage (NZD 31.61 an hour) on February 28, 2024.

The wage threshold for the Transport Sector Work to Residence Visa will also increase in line with the new median wage (excluding bus drivers).

Wage Increase Exceptions
  • This increase does not apply to the Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV), which the Government signalled in December will remain at the current rate of NZD 29.66 an hour.
  • For consistency the pause also applies to AEWV-linked work visas that are either set at or indexed to the median wage rate from February 2023 (NZD 29.66 an hour) including:
    • the Partner of a Worker Work Visa,
    • variation of conditions for AEWVs, legacy Essential Skills work visas, interim visas granted under the Skilled Migrant Category, and Partner of a Worker work visas,
    • Subsequent Migrant Exploitation Protection Visas.
  • This pause allows time for decisions to be taken on alternatives to the median wage threshold to ensure it is attracting the workers New Zealand needs and filling genuine skill shortages.

Migrants who already hold an AEWV may continue to accrue work experience for Skilled Residence, despite the increase in wage requirements.

Migrants who do not yet hold an AEWV and are looking to apply for one of the Skilled Residence pathways in the future should note that to meet eligibility they will be required to meet the higher threshold (NZD 31.61 an hour) rather than the lower one they need for an AEWV.

Erickson Insights and Analysis

Erickson Immigration Group will continue to monitor developments and share updates as more news is available. Please contact your employer or EIG attorney if you have questions about anything we’re reporting above or case-specific questions.