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For Essential Skills Work Visas

From 19 July 2021, Work Visas under Essential Skills will be using $27 per hour as the median wage. This new median wage will dictate the maximum duration that a work visa can be issued for and also impacts whether or not the applicant will be subject to a stand-down period.

A work visa is granted for the duration of the employment offer, or up to a maximum of: 

  • 3 years for those earning at or over the median wage, or
  • 12 months* for those earning under the median wage (note this has been increased from 6 months).

*A stand-down period applies to the applicants that are earning under the median wage. They will only be granted a 12-month visa up to a maximum period of 3 years (except for health care workers who get a maximum period of 4 years). i.e. when they have had three 12-month work visas and a maximum of 3 years in total they will be subject to a stand-down period outside of New Zealand for 12 months.

For Residence Visas under the Skilled Migrant Category

The policy for Residence under the Skilled Migrant Category has also been affected by the increased median wage. The following changes will take effect from 19 July 2021:

Skilled employment remuneration changes

  • For skill level 1,2 or 3 occupations the employment needs to be paying at least $27 per hour.
  • For skill level 4 and 5 occupations the employment needs to be paying at least $40.50 per hour.

Bonus points for high remuneration

An applicant can claim bonus points for high remuneration if they are earning $54 per hour or above (or the equivalent annual salary).

Contact our Immigration team today

If you need help please reach out to our team for an informal discussion -  please email us here