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Attention - Essential Skills Work Visa - income requirements will change

Friday, October 09, 2020


We're sure you heard the good news that your visa has been extended if its original expiry date is in 2020. However, if you're earning at or around $25.50 per hour now, read on: it might be better to apply early instead of waiting, and here's why:
Essential Skills Work Visas are categorised as "higher-paid" if paid at or above the median wage. This means you get a visa for 3 years. However, if paid below the median, you will get a visa of just SIX MONTHS, and be subject to other restrictions (eg. unable to support a partnership work visa; subject to a 3-year maximum stay in New Zealand).
The median wage is currently it's $25.50 per hour, but that figure will be revised in November.
So if you're earning $25.50 now and you apply now, then you are eligible for a 3-year "higher-paid" work visa, under current rules.

If you're earning $25.50, and the median wage is revised to $26.00, then everything changes: you will only get a 6-month "lower-paid" visa, your partner will lose work rights for their next visa, etc.
For this reason, we at Choose New Zealand suggest everyone think carefully about whether to take advantage of the extension, or act early to avoid nasty surprises - eligibility today does not guarantee eligibility tomorrow, and while we don't wish to panic anyone, there's a high chance the median wage will go up!
Please get in touch with us if you want to find out more - we're here to help.

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