Immigration experts in Australia and NZ

NZ Immigration changes – employing overseas chefs + median wage threshold


Employing chefs from overseas

Effective from 18 October 2022, the Government will be removing the qualification requirement for chefs to be hired through an Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV), allowing those top-rated chefs who have trained at the coal face, to come to New Zealand.

This announcement is in answer to the concerns raised by the hospitality and tourism sectors that the requirement was limiting their options to recruit chefs who do not hold formal qualifications, including some highly skilled or experienced chefs, at a time when labour market conditions are tight.

Employers hiring chefs will now only be required to meet the median wage and market rate requirement, enabling employers to recruit from a larger pool of migrant chefs.

Government officials will be working closely with the industry to develop a system over the next 12-18 months for identifying and assessing skilled chefs who do not hold formal qualifications.


Change to wage threshold

Many tourism and hospitality businesses will be able to continue hiring migrants on a lower wage threshold with the Government’s temporary median wage exception extended for another year.

To assist the industry rebuild, Cabinet has decided to extend the transition towards the full median wage for an additional year from 2023 to 2024. The new median wage of $29.66 per hour will be adopted into the immigration system on 27 February 2023.

All wage thresholds indexed to the median wage, such as sector agreements, will also be updated. The current wage threshold will be in place until the new median wage is incorporated in February 2023.


For further information and assistance, contact Arno Nothnagel, our NZ Immigration Director here.

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