May 30, 2020

New wage thresholds for skilled migrants & work visa

Income changes effective from 24 Feb 2020

By: Gurbir Singh

Immigration New Zealand (INZ) has updated the wage or salary thresholds for the Skilled Migrant Category (SMC) Resident Visa and the Essential Skills Work Visa.

The changes to the income come into effect on 24 February 2020, and the new thresholds will not affect the duration or conditions of visas that have already been granted, according to the INZ announcement this morning.

The new thresholds are based on the New Zealand median salary and wage rate of $25.50 per hour (up 2% from last year) which is equivalent to $53,040 per year for a 40-hour per week job.

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Under the new threshold, the SMC applicants for ANZSCO skill level 1-3 employment must be paid $25.50 or more per hour ($53,040 per year) to be awarded points for skilled employment.

Similarly, for level 4 & 5 employment, SMC applicants must be paid $38.25 or more per hour ($79,560 per year).

There are new hourly rates for Essential Skills Work Visa applicants also.

From 24 Feb next year, Essential Skills applicants for levels 1 to 3 jobs, must be paid $21.68 or more per hour ($45,094 per year), as against the current rate of $44,200.

The hourly rate for Higher skill (levels 4 & 5) employment must be paid $38.25 or more per hour ($79,560 per year).

Lower skilled at any ANZSCO level paid $21.67 or less per hour ($45,074 per year) will be lower-skilled.

According to INZ, if you apply for, or have applied for, an Essential Skills work visa and your application is received before 24 February 2020, the old thresholds will be used to assess and determine your visa application.