January 26, 2024

AEWVs - wage increase pause, scheme review & extensions

The February 2024 increase to the median wage for AEWV applications has been paused. A report into the AEWV scheme is due next month. Apply for extensions now!
AEWVs - wage increase pause, scheme review & extensions

The new Minister of Immigration has paused the February 2024 increase to the median wage that is used to assess Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV) applications.

This means most AEWV applications will continue to be assessed at the pay rate of $29.66 an hour.

AEWV holders covered by the Care Workforce sector agreement remain at $26.16 an hour for extensions or new work visas. Other sector agreements and roles with exemptions to the median wage benchmark also remain unchanged.

However, the increase to $31.61 an hour to the median wage does roll out in February 2024 across other visa categories including the Skilled Migrant Category (residence visa for skilled workers) and Parent Category (as applied to children wanting to sponsor their parents). The announcement on what date the increase will apply to these visas is expected soon. Visa applications lodged before this increase takes effect are protected from the new median wage rate.

An independent report into AEWV scheme is also expected to be released in February 2024. We can expect changes to the AEWV rules will follow from recommendations in this report. Undoubtedly a tightening of rules given numerous media reports into abuse of the AEWV scheme and exploitation of migrant workers by a small group of employers.  

We encourage anyone holding an AEWV valid for less than 5 years to apply for an extension now. Last month we reported the pathway that opened to a 5-year work visa. There is value in reading this article if you missed it and circulate to your team. More information on a 5 year work visa can be found here.

For any answers to AEWV questions contact our specialist employer team here.

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