International Qualifications Assessment (IQA)

The International Qualifications Assessment (IQA) is a full assessment of qualifications you've gained outside of New Zealand. It assesses which level your international qualification aligns to on the New Zealand Qualifications Framework (NZQF).  You will be given a report that you can use for immigration purposes, for New Zealand employment, study and other reasons.

How does the IQA work?

The IQA is completed by our Qualifications Recognition Services (QRS) here at NZQA.

If your qualification can be recognised by NZQA, it will be compared to a level on the NZQF – and in some cases a qualification type – as a way to "translate" your qualification for New Zealand employers, education providers and/or Immigration NZ.

What is a qualification?

A qualification is a complete programme of learning that is offered by an accredited education provider in the country in which it is awarded, at the time of study or time of award, and is a minimum of (approximately) one full-time semester of study.

Accredited education providers and/or qualifications are those that are recognised by a government or government-mandated authority in the country/countries in which the qualification was studied and awarded, at the time of study or time of award.

Handy tip

The Long Term Skill Shortage List (LTSSL) and Immediate Skill Shortage List (ISSL) are lists issued by Immigration New Zealand for occupations of which there are shortages. These lists are revised yearly.

If immigration is the main purpose of your application, and you are applying under a skill shortage list, please download and save this form (PDF, 37KB), complete it and send it to us at one of the addresses in the form.

What you need to send us

You'll need to send us all the necessary documents – for example the original qualification award, the record of study, and a certified copy of your passport bio-data page, etc. – to submit with the IQA application. Make sure you have these ready before you start the application. Use the link below to find out exactly what documents you will need to send us.

Some people choose to do the IQA with the help of a licenced immigration advisor, to ensure the application is done correctly and completely first time.

Who needs to complete the IQA?

The IQA can be used:

  • when applying to Immigration NZ to move to New Zealand – after you've received their 'Invitation to Apply'
  • when applying for jobs where the New Zealand employer may be unfamiliar with your qualification
  • when applying for professional or industry registration in New Zealand – as a part of the wider registration process
  • when applying to do further study through a New Zealand education provider
  • when applying for school teacher salary assessment in New Zealand

Do I need an International Qualifications Assessment?

  • Question 1
    Is your qualification on the List of Qualifications Exempt from Assessment?
    Please check this list first.
    Yes - Go to answer 1
    Choose this option if your international qualification is named on the Immigration NZ list.
    No - Go to question 2
    If your qualification isn't on the list or you're here for a reason other than immigration, please select 'No'.
  • Question 2
    Are you intending to apply under an occupational group on the Long Term Skill Shortage List (LTSSL) or the Immediate Skill Shortage List (ISSL) issued by Immigration NZ?
    Learn more about the LTSSL/ISSL.
    No - Go to question 3
    Don't worry if your qualification isn't on the list – even those on the list need to have an assessment done.
  • Question 3
    Are you applying so you can be registered with the Education Council of Aotearoa New Zealand as a school teacher in NZ?
    • Teacher registration does not apply to tertiary (e.g. University or Polytechnic) and English language teachers.
    Yes - Go to question 3
    Choose this if you want to work as a school teacher in NZ.
    No - Go to question 4
    You're not looking for an IQA to support a goal of teacher registration in New Zealand at this time.
  • Question 4
    Is your purpose for needing an IQA listed below?
    • Immigrating to NZ
    • Employment
    • Further study
    • Silver Fern Visa
    • (You may have multiple purposes)
    Yes - Go to answer 4
    You'll be asked to state your purpose when you fill out an application.
    No - Go to answer 5
    Your reason for applying for an IQA isn't on this list.
  • Answer 1
    This usually means you won't need an IQA. Go to International Qualifications in NZ to see how else we could help.
    There are some instances where you may still need to have an IQA, so please confirm your individual situation with Immigration NZ, or with the person who requested you complete an IQA.
  • Answer 2
    That's a great start - however you will still need to complete and submit an IQA application.
    • Make sure you state the LTSSL occupational group in your application.
      Please tell NZQA which skill shortage list you are applying under by completing the form (PDF, 37KB) and sending it to one of the addresses on the form.
    • Apply for an IQA
  • Answer 3
    Please complete an IQA application.
    • You'll need to send additional information with your IQA such as information about your teaching qualifications program of study (ensure you complete a Teaching Practicum form), as well as the standard supporting documentation. Learn more.

      Note: A teachers' registration assessment may take longer than a standard application.
    • Don't forget, you'll also need to contact the Education Council of Aotearoa New Zealand to apply for registration with them too.
    • Apply for an IQA
  • Answer 4
    Please complete an IQA application.
    • Make sure you submit the necessary supporting documentation with your IQA application.

      Note: If you are planning to do further study please contact the institution you are planning to study at to find out if you need to complete this assessment.
    • Apply for an IQA
  • Answer 5
    It doesn't sound like the IQA is right for you.
    There may be instances where you still need to have one completed. Please confirm this with Immigration NZ or with the person who requested you complete an IQA.


The IQA will give you a report of how your international qualification fits into the New Zealand system, while the PAR is only an indication of the level of your qualification on the NZQF.

If you're immigrating to New Zealand, the first stage in this process is often an 'Expression of Interest' with Immigration NZ, for which you may need to apply for a PAR. After the Expression of Interest stage, you receive an 'Invitation to Apply' – and this is when you would come to NZQA to complete the IQA and establish where your qualification fits in the New Zealand context. However the IQA can be used to obtain a report for reasons outside of immigration, such as for employment, future study, teacher registration or teacher salary assessment.

How much does it cost?

There is an application fee of NZ $746 for the IQA. If you need to fast track your application, you'll pay an additional NZ $404 on top of that amount. Payment is made as the last step on the application form.

View all assessment fees

How long does it take to get my qualifications assessed?

We aim to complete your application within the timeframes below, but this depends on you sending us all the correct and required documents.

Standard application:
35 working days

Fast track application:
20 working days

Some applications may take longer to process. This happens when information is missing from your initial document package; we need to check your information; or we need to request more information from you.

Please ensure you have all the necessary documents ready when you start your application to avoid delays.


If any information is missing from your initial document package you send to NZQA, we can't start your application. We'll let you know if documents or information is missing, or if we have to contact a third party (e.g. an overseas university) to check your documents or other information.

We will always let you know if there are delays.

Guide to applying for the IQA

  1. Background research
  2. Documents required - before you start, check that you have and are able to send your:
    • original award certificates for all your qualifications
    • original transcripts/records of study for all your qualifications
    • certified copy of your passport bio-data page
    • certified proof of your name change (if this applies to you)
    • official English translations (if your documents are not in English)
    • Teaching Practicum form (if you intend to apply for teacher registration)
    • Skill shortage form (if you intend to apply for an occupation under the LTSSL/ISSL)
    Review the documents you'll need.
  3. Apply
    • Complete the IQA application form, including submitting your documents and making payment.
    • You'll be given login details so that you can return to complete the form if you've saved it partway through, or to check the progress of your application.

Please have all your documents ready and allow up to 60 minutes to complete your online IQA application


Where to next?

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