Updating the remuneration thresholds

Remuneration thresholds for Essential Skills Work Visa or Skilled Migrant Category Resident Visa applications are updated in November each year.

We update the mid- and higher-skilled remuneration thresholds in November each year. (The November 2017 changes were postponed to January 2018.)  The minimum wage acts as the minimum amount that must be paid to be considered lower-skilled under the Essential Skills Work Visa category.

The remuneration thresholds are based on the ‘Earnings from wages and salaries’ information included in the annual New Zealand Labour Market Statistics (Income) information released for the June quarter. This information is normally released in September or October of each year and will take effect in immigration instructions from November. We send out an Amendment Circular prior to the updated immigration instructions taking effect.

The remuneration bands are calculated in the following way:

Skill band Calculation


150% of the median hourly earnings from wages and salaries


85% of the median hourly earnings from wages and salaries


Minimum wage


Related links

Amendment Circulars

Labour Market Statistics (Income)

Minimum wage