New median wage used as threshold for Select visa categories

.remuneration thresholdsThe remuneration thresholds used by Immigration New Zealand are being revised

Thresholds increase on 19 July 2021

The Essential Skills work visa and Skilled Migrant Category resident visa are the visa categories that are being impacted. These thresholds are based on the NZ median salary and wage, and are therefore updated every year. The new thresholds were set in 2020 but their implementation by INZ has been delayed to allow employers more flexibility to retain their key migrant staff.

Thresholds used to assess visa applications from 19 July 2021

Visa category and typeCurrent remuneration threshold (hourly or equivalent annual salary)Remuneration threshold from 19/07/2021 (hourly or equivalent annual salary)

Essential Skills (3-year visa)


Essential Skills (12-months visa) 

NZ$20 (minimum wage) to $25.49NZ$20 (minimum wage) to NZD$26.99
Skilled Migrant Category

(Skilled employment points for ANZSCO occupation Skill Level 1, 2, 3)

Skilled Migrant Category

(Skilled employment points for ANZSCO occupation Skill Level 4, 5)

 NZ$38.25 NZ$40.50
Skilled Migrant Category

(bonus points for high remuneration AND criterium for prioritisation)

Request for border exemptions as "Other critical worker"

(High income threshold)


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What this means for you

If you currently hold an Essential Skills Work Visa

The changes will have no effect on the status or duration of your current visa or an Essential Skills visa application lodged before 19 July.

If you secure a job offer before 19/07 but your application is lodged after that date

The new salary thresholds will apply even if you have signed a job offer or employment agreement before that date.

If you have lodged a work visa application before 19/07 but a decision has not been made on that date.

The old thresholds will apply.

If you want to change employers

If you submit a new Essential Skills work visa application or a Variation of Conditions on your current ESWV, the job offer must be at or above NZD$27 per hour.

If you have lodged a Skilled Migrant Category residence application but a decision has not yet been made

The thresholds in place on the date your residence application was lodged will apply.

If you have submitted an Expression Of Interest but it has not yet been selected from the pool

We do not yet know if Immigration New Zealand will consider the salary threshold used at the time of EOI submission or if they will use the threshold in place when your residence application is lodged.

If you currently hold another type of work visa

These update of the median wage does not affect other work visa categories.
Question? Contact us!