Updating pay rates for Essential Skills visas

The pay rate and thresholds for Essential Skills Work Visas were updated each year. The Essential Skills Work Visa closed to new applications on 4 July 2022. If you have an existing visa, your individual conditions will remain until the visa expires.

How we calculated pay rates and thresholds

Pay rates and thresholds were based on the annual New Zealand Labour Market Statistics (Income) information released in September or October each year.

Labour Market Statistics (Income) | Stats New Zealand

When you are applied for an Essential Skills visa, we determined the conditions of your visa based on if you will be paid below, or at or above the NZ median wage, which was currently NZD $27 an hour up to 4 July 2022. 

How pay rates affect Essential Skills work visas

We used a separate minimum income threshold, currently NZD $43,322.76 a year, to decide if you can support visitor or student visas for dependent children.

Current and previous pay rate thresholds

If you applied on or after 27 July 2020, we used your pay rate to determine how long you can stay on your visa. If you applied before 27 July 2020, we used a combination of your pay rate and your ANZSCO skill level to determine the length of your visa.

How long you can stay on an Essential Skills work visa