New Zealand Immigration Update: July 2018


The minimum income requirements for some visa categories have recently been increased.

Why the change?

INZ adjusts minimum income requirements annually.

The purpose of these changes is to ensure that migrants will have enough money to support themselves and their dependents while in New Zealand.

These increases were spurred by recent changes to Work and Income payment levels and the Government's new Families Package.

What are the changes?

  1. 1 June 2018: Samoan Quota Scheme and Pacific Access Category residence visa applicants will need to earn at least $38,199.20 if they have partners or dependent children.
  2. 1 July 2018: Essential Skills and Religious Worker work visa holders will need to earn at least $42,944.20 to support dependent children for a visitor or student visa.


  • Where both parents hold Essential Skills visas, their income can be combined to meet this level.
  • For children of Religious Worker visa holders, the income of both parents can be combined to meet this level.
  • This threshold is different to the skill-band remuneration rates for Essential Skills.
  1. 1 July 2018: Parents applying under the Tier 1 Parent Category, who are relying on the lifetime minimum income criteria will need to show at least $28,166 for a single applicant or $41,494 as a couple.

Who will be impacted?

  • Individuals on Essential Skills or Religious Worker visas who would like to support their children for dependent visitor or student visas;
  • Parents relying on having a lifetime minimum income to qualify under the Tier 1 Parent category of residence; and
  • Applicants under the Samoan Quota Scheme and Pacific Access Categories of residence who have a partner or dependent children.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.