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New Median Wage Impacts NZ Immigration System

Effective 28th February 2024, a new median wage of $31.61 per hour will impact several key immigration pathways in New Zealand. This includes the Skilled Migrant Category, Green List Straight to Residence and Work to Residence visas, and the Parent Category residence class visa. While this signifies potential opportunities for some, it also raises questions about its applicability and future.

Key changes:

• Most skilled migrant visas: Wage requirement rises to NZ$31.61 per hour, aligning with the new median wage.
• Transport Sector Work to Residence Visa: Threshold increases, excluding bus drivers.
• Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV) remains paused: Wage threshold remains at NZ$29.66 per hour, along with linked visas like Partner of a Worker and interim Skilled Migrant visas.

Reasons for the AEWV pause:

• Allows time to refine the median wage system for AEWV, ensuring it attracts needed workers and addresses genuine skill shortages.
• Existing AEWV holders earning $29.66 can still gain work experience for Skilled Residence, but future applications require the updated $31.61 rate.

Impact on Migrants:

• Existing AEWV holders: Can continue accruing experience at the lower wage, but future applications require a higher threshold.
• New applicants: Need to meet the higher NZ$31.61 threshold for Skilled Residence eligibility.

Overall, this update signifies a shift in skilled migration policy, focusing on attracting workers based on genuine skill needs and market value. While the AEWV pause creates temporary uncertainty, it also hints at potential changes to the median wage system for this specific visa.


For any questions regarding this update or any further immigration matters, please contact Arno Nothnagel, our NZ Immigration Director at:

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