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New Zealand begins rise in salary for foreign workers

International Desk  | banglanews24.com
Update: 2024-02-28 11:12:56
New Zealand begins rise in salary for foreign workers

Starting February 28th, Immigration New Zealand (INZ) is raising the wage thresholds for most work visas to reflect the latest median wage increase. 

This is good news for workers hoping to immigrate to New Zealand, as it indicates growing demand for skilled individuals. 

However, the Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV) remains at its current wage threshold, creating a temporary difference in requirements.

What are wage thresholds and why do they change? 

Wage thresholds are the minimum salary needed to qualify for certain visa types. INZ uses them as an indication of job skill level and updates them annually to keep pace with inflation. The latest update ties the threshold to the June 2023 median wage of NZD$31.61 per hour, a significant increase from the previous figure of NZD$29.66. 

Which visas are affected? 

  • This increase applies to most work visas, including:
  • Skilled Migrant Category 
  • Green List Straight to Residence 
  • Work to Residence visas 

Parent Category residence class visa 

For these visas, applicants must now demonstrate earning at least NZD$31.61 per hour to be eligible. The wage threshold for the Transport Sector Work to Residence Visa will also increase in line with the new median wage (excluding bus drivers).

For consistency the pause also applies to AEWV-linked work visas that are either set at or indexed to the median wage rate from February 2023 (NZD$29.66 an hour) including:

  • the Partner of a Worker Work Visa 
  • variation of conditions for AEWVs, legacy Essential Skills work visas, interim visas 
  • granted under the Skilled Migrant Category, and Partner of a Worker work visas 
  • Subsequent Migrant Exploitation Protection Visas.

While this might seem like an advantage for those seeking AEWVs, it comes with a caveat. Migrants relying on an AEWV for the Skilled Residence pathway still need to meet the higher threshold (NZD$31.61) at the time of applying, regardless of their current wage under the AEWV.

Sector agreements and minimum wage thresholds 

Some industries, like tourism and hospitality, operate under sector agreements allowing them to pay below the median wage for AEWVs. However, these sectors still have minimum wage thresholds linked to the median wage. In the case of tourism and hospitality, the minimum wage is increasing incrementally, currently at NZD$28.18 per hour.

Similarly, the transport sector has a separate agreement for bus drivers, who currently need to earn at least NZD$28 per hour. The care workforce sector also has an agreement, with a minimum wage of NZD$26.16 per hour. 

However, the Care Workforce Work to Residence Visa requires a minimum wage of NZD$28.25 per hour.

Source: The Economic Times  

BDST: 1112 HRS, FEB 28, 2024
MN
 

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