International qualifications

Looking to live, work or study in New Zealand? You may need to have your international qualification assessed to see how it aligns with the New Zealand Qualifications Framework (NZQF). Often this means completing the International Qualifications Assessment (IQA) or doing a less involved assessment called the Pre-assessment Result (PAR). We can help you with that process here.

The other assessment you can apply for in this section is the Overseas Study Assessment (OSA). This is for people – usually New Zealand residents – who've completed or will be completing a programme of study overseas, and would like to apply to Inland Revenue (IRD) to have the interest written off their New Zealand student loan for the duration of their overseas study.

What is the Qualifications Recognition Service (QRS)?

We're a unit of the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA). Our job is to assess where your international qualification fits in the context of the NZQF – so you can understand what level of qualification you have in the New Zealand context.

When do you need your qualifications assessed?


For visa purposes when you're planning to move to New Zealand, such as when applying for the Skilled Migrant visa. The assessment you do with us will be part of a wider immigration process through Immigration NZ.

Read more about What assessment do you need to do?


When applying for jobs in New Zealand where the employer may be unfamiliar with your international qualification.

Read more about What assessment do you need to do?, or explore qualifications in professional fields


When you need to know if your international qualification meets the entry requirements for admission into a New Zealand education programme.

What assessment do you need to do?

Please note: If this is the only reason you're applying to have your international qualification assessed by us, please check with your intended New Zealand education provider first to see if they require an IQA from NZQA for admission.

Teacher registration

When you hold a school teacher qualification gained outside of New Zealand and you want to apply to be registered as a school teacher in New Zealand.  We need to know about your initial teacher training to be able to complete your application. So we need you to fill out the Teaching Practicum form.

Please note: This doesn't apply if you intend to be an English language teacher or tertiary teacher (e.g. a lecturer at a university). You can find more information about teaching in New Zealand with the Education Council of Aotearoa New Zealand.

Read more about teaching in New Zealand

Teacher salary review

If you intend to work or you already work as a school teacher in New Zealand, and need your international qualifications recognised in order to help determine your salary. This includes the review of tertiary qualifications you may have outside of your teaching qualifications.

What assessment do you need to do?

Silver Fern Job Search Work visa

This visa is for highly skilled young people who want to live and work in New Zealand long-term. It is open in November each year by Immigration New Zealand. Please contact Immigration New Zealand if you have any queries about this visa type.

Read more about the Silver Fern visa

What's an Expression of Interest?

The Expression of Interest is the first stage of an application towards a Skilled Migrant visa – and is submitted through Immigration NZ. It contributes to your eligibility for a visa. A part of the Expression of Interest involves looking at your international qualifications. When your qualification isn't on the Immigration NZ list, you may need to apply for a PAR, which is where we come in.

Once your Expression of Interest has been accepted – whether you were required to do a PAR or not – you can go on to do the IQA application. However please check with Immigration NZ before you apply for the full IQA, as it's not necessary in every case.

What assessment do you need to do?

First off, have you checked Immigration NZ's list of exempt qualifications? If your qualification is on this list, you may not need to have your qualification assessed by us – be it with a PAR or an IQA.

Before starting the PAR or IQA assessment with NZQA, please check if your qualification in on the list of exempt qualifications and talk to Immigration NZ (this is not relevant for the OSA).

The list of exempt qualifications

Pre-Assessment Result (PAR)

A PAR may be a part of your process when immigrating to New Zealand. When you begin the process with Immigration NZ by doing an Expression of Interest, you may be asked to get a PAR first before you can submit your Expression of Interest. The PAR is a preliminary assessment based on what you tell us about your qualification, and as such is just an indication of where your qualification is likely to fit within the New Zealand context. Some people may skip the PAR and do the more thorough IQA assessment, which will tell you how your qualification matches up to the NZ system.

Read more about the PAR

International Qualifications Assessment (IQA)

An IQA is a more in-depth assessment than a PAR. If you're looking to immigrate to New Zealand, the IQA is for those who are in the next stage of the process – once you've received an Invitation to Apply from Immigration NZ. You may also need the IQA for reasons other than immigration, such as for teacher registration in New Zealand.

When you apply for the IQA you'll need your original qualification documents - unlike the PAR, which doesn't require supporting documents. After an IQA you'll receive a report about where your qualification fits in the New Zealand context, ready to show to whoever needs it - be it Immigration NZ, your professional or industry registration body, or your employer.

Read more about the IQA

Overseas Study Assessment (OSA)

The OSA is for people - usually NZ residents - who have completed or who intend to complete study overseas and want to apply to Inland Revenue NZ to have the interest written off their NZ student loan while they're studying.

Read more about the OSA

Is doing an assessment of my qualification with QRS all I need to do?

Having your international qualification assessed by QRS is just one part of the wider process you may need to undertake. You may also need to complete other forms and assessments with Immigration NZ, register with your professional or industry body in New Zealand, and/or complete further assessment with them - particularly if you're in a professional field such as engineering, medicine, law or teaching.

By having your qualification assessed by QRS, you're provided with a 'translation' of your international qualification - to understand it in the New Zealand context. The report can be taken to Immigration NZ and/or other New Zealand professional or industry bodies for them to use in order to do further assessments, tests or licencing procedures as you need them. For example, the Institution of Professional Engineers New Zealand (IPENZ) or the Education Council of Aotearoa New Zealand.

Read more about professional qualifications

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