Immigration alert: Median wage threshold to increase

30 Nov 22


The median wage was updated by Statistics New Zealand in June 2022 to $29.66 hourly. Several New Zealand work and residence visas are indexed to this median wage, including:

  1. Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV)
  2. Green List (Tier 1) Straight to Residence Visa
  3. Skilled Migrant Residence Visa
  4. Highly Paid Residence Visa
  5. Parent Residence Visa


Immigration New Zealand (INZ) will apply the new median wage to all applicable temporary and residence visa categories, from 27 February 2023. Practically this means:

  • Employers will need to pay most employees at least $29.66 hourly to qualify for an AEWV.
  • Employers will need to pay at least twice the median wage ($59.32 hourly) to avoid labour market testing for Job Checks.
  • Individuals applying for Skilled Migrant Residence must be paid $29.66 hourly for ANZSCO 1, 2 and 3 roles or $44.49 for ANZSCO levels 4 and 5.
  • Individuals will need to earn at least $59.32 hourly to qualify for residence under the Highly Paid Residence category.

The median wage will be updated in immigration policy each February. This will be based on the rate published by Statistics New Zealand the previous June.

Our advice

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

Employers with work visa holders earning less than $29.66 hourly should consider applying for or extending AEWVs before 27 February 2023. 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 Tash Rae or a member of our specialist Immigration Team.

PDF version: here.

For more information contact:

Tash Rae