Wage increaseTomorrow (28th Feb 2024), the updated median wage rate of $31.61 an hour is being included into parts of the immigration system.  $31.61 an hour reflects the Stats NZ June 2023 quarter figures on the NZ median wage.

The areas into which the changes will be incorporated are:

  1. The Green List Straight to Residence and Work to Residence visas
  2. The Skilled Migrant Category
  3. The Parent Category.
  4. The new median wage will also apply for transport workers (bus drivers excluded) who are applying for the Transport Work to Residence Visa. 


Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV) exceptions 

The Government has decided that this median wage increase does not apply to Accredited Employer Work Visas and AEWV-linked visas. The wage thresholds for these will remain at the current rate of $29.66 per hour, until further notice. 

The other visas linked are: 

  • Partner of a Worker work visa 
  • Variation of Conditions for AEWVs and a number of other categories 
  • Subsequent Migrant Exploitation Protection work visas 

The thinking behind this pause is that it allows Government time to consider alternatives to the median wage threshold and it’s influence on the New Zealand labour market. They are reviewing the Accredited employer system as a whole. 

The Government has used its first few months in office to focus on announcements in other areas of priority. Watch this space for some changes to Immigration settings around mid-year or possibly earlier. 

Some impacts on the Skilled Residence pathway: 

Migrants who already hold an AEWV at $29.66 an hour can continue to accrue work experience for Skilled Residence. However, at the time that they apply for Residence, they will still need to have a job or job offer that meets the skilled residence rate in line with the Immigration median wage at the time. 

Migrants who do not yet hold an AEWV and are looking to apply for one of the Skilled Residence pathways in the future should take note. To meet eligibility in the future they will be required to meet the higher threshold ($31.61/hour) rather than the $29.66/hour, which is needed for an AEWV. 

Contact us if you need to know more.

Marie Hunt 

Licenced Immigration Adviser