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Salary thresholds for Essential Skills Work Visa and Skilled Migrant Category updated

Updates to remuneration thresholds (Essential Skills and Skilled Migrant visas)

remuneration thresholdsImmigration New Zealand partly relies on remuneration thresholds to determine the skill level of an occupation and the duration of a visa that may be granted.

Thresholds increase on 26 November 2018


The Essential Skills work visa and Skilled Migrant Category resident visa have just seen their remuneration thresholds updated by Immigration New Zealand. These thresholds are based on the NZ median salary and wage, and are therefore updated every year. The new thresholds are up 2.9% compared to last year.

Read more on INZ website

Thresholds used to assess visa applications

Visa category and typeCurrent remuneration threshold (hourly or the equivalent annual salary)Remuneration threshold from 26/11/2018 (hourly or the equivalent annual salary)

Essential Skills (mid-skilled, ANZSCO Skill Level 1, 2, 3)


Essential Skills (high-skilled) 

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$34.66 NZ$37.50
Skilled Migrant Category

(bonus points for high remuneration)



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.

If you have a job offer before 26/11 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 an application before 26/11 but it is still in process on that date.

The old thresholds will apply.

If you have been Invited to Apply for residence under the Skilled Migrant Category

The thresholds in place on the date your Expression of Interest was selected from the Pool will be used.