Median wage increase: Don’t get caught out!

As of February 27, 2023, the median wage will increase from NZD $27.76 to NZD $29.66 per hour. 

What this means for Employers:

Employers must understand that offering the old wage after the change- will result in a declined visa application. 

For example, suppose an employer was granted a job check on November 1, 2022, based on the current median wage of $27.76.

In that case, if the migrant worker they offer employment to applies for an Accredited Employer work visa before February 27, 2023, the worker must be paid at least the median of $27.76. 

However, if the migrant worker applies for an Accredited Employer work visa on or after February 27, 2023, the worker must be paid at least the new median of $29.66.

Employers don’t need to complete a new Job Check- you just need to increase the pay offer.

Residence visa categories and pathways with median wage-related criteria will also be updated, including the Green List pathways, the Skilled Migrant Category, and the sponsorship requirement in Parent Category.


  • The new median wage of NZD $29.66 an hour will be adopted into the immigration system on 27 February 2023.
  • Employers need to offer at least $29.66/hour to get the work visa approved, unless exempt. 
  • All wage thresholds indexed to the median wage will also be updated. This includes the Accredited Employer Visa (AEWV) and all occupations not covered by sector agreements, and residence visa categories.  
  • For the AEWV, migrants must meet the wage threshold in force at the time they apply for their visa. This means that if the wage threshold increases between the job check being approved and the migrant applying for the visa, the migrant may need to meet a higher wage threshold than was approved in the job check pay range.
  • Extension of median wage exemption for the hospitality and tourism industry
  • In April 2023, workers that submit AEWV applications with employment in select hospitality and tourism roles, will be able to benefit from a median wage exemption that is 95% of the median wage or $28.18ph. This median wage exemption will last until the end of March 2024 and increase to 100% of the median wage in April 2024.

Need help in the Job check or accreditation process?

The process looks straightforward, but not getting the documentation right will cost you time and money. At NZIL we make the employer accreditation process easy. 

Failure to provide key information such as a Skills Match Report, or evidence of genuine attempts to recruit New Zealanders will result in the application being declined!

You can use us to manage the entire process, or just review your documentation at any stage to ensure you are compliant.

Get expert advice and support from our team. Contact us today.

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