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Feb 29, 2024

Immigration Update – Median Wage threshold to increase in February

Immigration New Zealand (INZ) has now confirmed that from 28 February 2024, a new median wage rate of $31.61 per hour will be applicable for the majority of work related temporary & residence visas.

Many work and skilled residence visa categories in New Zealand have wage thresholds or criteria that are based on the StatsNZ median wage, this is the lowest you can be paid in a role to qualify for the visa.  

Initially, to allow the government time to review the use of a higher median wage threshold, the new wage will only be applicable to some visas, others will remain using the current threshold of $29.66.

We’ve put together a quick summary to help you understand which visas will be effected by these changes.

Current Work Visas to remain at the current threshold of $29.66 —

  • Accredited Employer Work Visa applications lodged on or after 28 February 2024.
  • AEWV-linked visa (e.g. Partner of Worker Work Visa, subsequent Migrant Exploitation Protection Visa, some variation of conditions) applications lodged on or after 28February 2024.

For roles covered by the sector agreements, the current median wage exemptions also continue to stand. For example, Bus Drivers.

Announced last year, the tourism and hospitality median wage exemption will no longer be removed in April 2024.

Residence Visas to be increased to $31.61 —

The wage thresholds for the following visa categories will increase from 28 February 2024, in line with the new StatsNZ median wage of NZ$31.61;

  • Skilled Migrant Category
  • Green List Straight to Residence
  • Green List Work to Residence (WTR)
  • Transport Sector Work to Residence (excluding bus drivers)
  • Parent Category Residence

How might a Residence Visa wage threshold increase effect you as a visa holder? 

The rate required for accruing work experience over the 2-years of your WTR pathway may differ from the rate required at time of application. For certain occupations, a higher wage threshold indexed to the median wage will be required to qualify for residence. Once you arrive in New Zealand, your Licensed Immigration Adviser will keep you up to date with any changes and how they effect you.

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