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Median Wage increase paused for AEWV only but impacts other policies

25 January 2024

Immigration New Zealand (INZ) has announced that it will put a pause on the increased median wage requirement that was due to take place in February 2024. As most of you already know, the median wage is the minimum salary that must be paid by an employer to their migrant employees hired on an Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV). The median wage is also used as an index in various other visa categories.

The new median wage is based on the June rate published by Stats NZ in the previous year.

Pause for AEWV only; applies to other categories 

The current median wage is $29.66 an hour, and the increment will see it go to $31.61 an hour. Now that INZ has hit the pause button on this increase, it means that the median wage requirements for migrant workers on an AEWV will stay put at $29.66 an hour. This will also apply to the median wage requirements set out for partners of workers. Additionally, sector agreements and median wage exemptions will stay unchanged as per the current rate.

Bear in mind that the new median wage ($31.61 an hour) will still be applicable to other visa categories that will be using it from February 2024 onwards. For example, the Skilled Migrant Category and the Parent Category Residence.

We have put together a list of handy FAQs that explain how this change impacts these policies.

Pause, not a stop 

While a pause on the media wage increase is great news for many, employers need to remember that it is exactly what it states — a pause and not a stop. 

The increased median wage requirement will most likely come into effect in the near future.

Wage thresholds impact a large number of visa categories and services within INZ. The median wage threshold must be met at the Job Check and visa application stages of the AEWV process.

Key things to note

If you are in an industry where the median wage increase will impact your business and your employees adversely, then this is what you need to keep in mind:

  • Apply for the Job Check (JC) early: If you apply for a JC after the median wage increases, then the new median wage requirement will need to be met in your JC and the advertising associated with it.
  • Apply for the AEWV prior to the increase: Even if the JC is approved before the median wage increase but your candidate applies for the AEWV after the change, the increase in median wage will apply to the work visa. This is even if the JC has been approved at the lower median wage.

If you or your organisation need assistance in navigating the complex world of immigration, please do not hesitate to get in touch with our team. We can help you tackle the present and prepare for the future. Alternatively, feel free to email us at info@aimsglobal.co.nz or call our Business Development Manager, Nimita Dutt, at +64 22 174 4084. 

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