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), so you have 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 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, 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 in which the qualification was studied and awarded, at the time of study.

Handy tip

The LTSSL is an Immigration NZ list of occupations in New Zealand of which there's a shortage. Once NZQA has completed your IQA, you may find that your qualification has been assessed as comparable to one of these New Zealand qualifications.

You'll need to have the relevant documents – such as the original qualification award and record of study, amongst others – to submit with the IQA application form, so make sure you've collected these first. 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 listed on the Long Term Skill Shortage List (LTSSL)?
    Learn more about the LTSSL.
    Yes - Go to answer 2
    Even if your qualification is on the LTSSL, you'll need to wait until the results of your IQA to see if your qualification can be compared.
    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 fll 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'll still need to complete and submit an IQA application.
    • Make sure you state the LTSSL occupational group in your application.
    • Apply for an IQA
  • Answer 3
    Please complete an IQA application.
    • You'll need to send additional information with your IQA such as 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.

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?

Standard application: 35 working days

Fast track application 20 working days

This is counted from the day we receive a complete package with all the information, documents and fees needed, so please ensure you have all the necessary documentation ready when you apply. When we receive your initial package of documents we'll check it as soon as possible and let you know if there's any further information or documentation needed.

About the Fast Track option

You may choose the 'Fast Track' option on your IQA application – and pay the extra fee – only if you have a valid reason for needing to do so. We'll assess the reason you've given for requiring a fast track once we receive your application, and if your reason isn't deemed valid, we'll refund your Fast Track fee and process your application as a standard application.


If any information is missing from your initial document package you send to NZQA or there are delays caused by third parties (e.g. an overseas university responding to a request) it will take longer. We'll let you know if we'll be reaching out to a third party for verification of documents or other information.

Guide to applying for the IQA

  1. Background research
  2. Collect the documents you 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.

Do you have all your documents together?


Where to next?

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