Immigration alert – Median wage threshold to increase

8 Sep 23


The median wage is updated in immigration policy each February. This is based on the rate published by Statistics New Zealand the previous June. Several New Zealand work and residence visas are indexed to this median wage, including the Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV) and Skilled Migrant Residence Visa (SMR).


The median wage was updated by Statistics New Zealand in June 2023 to $31.61 hourly. Immigration New Zealand (INZ) will apply the new median wage to all applicable temporary and residence visa categories, from February 2024. Practically, this means:

  • Employers will need to pay most employees at least $31.61 hourly to qualify for an AEWV.
  • Employers will need to pay at least twice the median wage ($63.22 hourly) to avoid labour market testing for Job Checks.
  • Individuals applying for SMR must be paid $31.61 hourly for ANZSCO levels 1, 2 and 3 roles or $47.42 for ANZSCO levels 4 and 5.

Our advice

Individuals planning to submit residence applications should be aware of these upcoming increases.

Employers with work visa holders earning less than $31.61 hourly should consider applying for or extending AEWVs before February 2024. Importantly, employers must be accredited with INZ and have a Job Check approved before an AEWV can be submitted.


If you have any questions about this article, please contact our Immigration specialist Tash Rae.

PDF attached: here.

For more information contact:

Tash Rae