Overseas Study Assessment (OSA)

The Overseas Study Assessment (OSA) is used to help you apply for a Student Loan Interest Exemption if you're leaving New Zealand and going overseas to study, or have completed study overseas.

It gives you a statement to help you prove to Inland Revenue that your overseas qualification is the equivalent of at least level 7 on the New Zealand Qualifications' Framework (NZQF).

Handy tip

To apply to Inland Revenue for a student loan interest exemption (covering the duration of your completed overseas study programme), you'll have to get an OSA that proves your overseas qualification is the equivalent of at least a level 7 (e.g. a Bachelor's Degree) on the NZQF.

If your OSA statement confirms this level of qualification, you can then submit this statement to Inland Revenue as a part of your application to have the interest written off your New Zealand student loan for the duration of your overseas study.

Please note: This assessment is usually completed by New Zealand residents looking to study overseas – it is not anything to do with immigration to New Zealand. See the IQA for information about moving to New Zealand.

Who should complete the OSA?

This flow chart will help you to decide:

Do I need an Overseas Study Assessment?

  • Question 1
    Have you been sent to NZQA by Inland Revenue?
    Yes - Go to question 2
    Because the OSA is linked to student loans, you're likely to have been directed to complete the OSA after speaking with Inland Revenue.
    No - Go to answer 1
    If you weren't directed to complete the OSA but think you need to, please talk to Inland Revenue.
  • Question 2
    Will completing your proposed course of study result in a New Zealand qualification being awarded?
    Yes - Go to answer 1
    This means that by completing your course you'll receive a qualification from a NZ education provider.
    No - Go to question 3
    Your qualification will be awarded by an overseas education provider – making it an international qualification.
  • Question 3
    Is the course of study at level 7 or above on the NZQF? For example, a NZ Bachelors degree is level 7.
    Yes - Go to question 4
    Your study is at least level 7 on the NZQF.
    No - Go to answer 1
    Your study isn't at least level 7 on the NZQF. Please check with the institution where you're going to study if you're unsure.
  • Question 4
    Will your course of study include at least one semester of full-time study?
    Yes - Go to answer 2
    You'll be studying full-time during your course, for at least one semester.
    No - Go to answer 1
    Your course doesn't allow for full-time study or you won't be completing full-time study for at least one semester.
  • Answer 1
    You don't need to submit an OSA.
    Please visit Inland Revenue to find out more about their requirements for an interest-free student loan while studying overseas.
  • Answer 2
    You don't need to submit an OSA.
    As your study will contribute to a NZ qualification rather than an overseas one, you won't need to complete an OSA.

    Please visit Inland Revenue to find out more about their requirements for an interest-free student loan while studying overseas.
  • Answer 3
    You don't need to submit an OSA.
    Your course of study doesn't appear to be eligible for an OSA.

    Please visit Inland Revenue to find out more about their requirements for an interest-free student loan while studying overseas.
  • Answer 4
    Please complete and submit an OSA.
    Apply for an OSA (see below)
  • The OSA can be completed by anyone with a New Zealand student loan who has completed or intends to complete an overseas qualification. It's designed to give you a statement telling you what level on the NZQF your overseas qualification is equivalent to, and to confirm that it's an accredited and recognised programme of study overseas.
  • However, the OSA is intended to give you a statement to help you apply for a student loan interest exemption with Inland Revenue, but Inland Revenue requires your level of study to be at the equivalent of New Zealand bachelor's degree level (level 7) or above. So not everyone who applies for the OSA will receive a report that allows them to apply for the student loan interest exemption. See the levels of the NZQF.

Criteria for your overseas study:

Handy tip

If you're going on an overseas exchange program you won't require as OSA, as this is considered to be a part of a New Zealand qualification and therefore you'd be considered a student in New Zealand. We only assess international qualifications for the OSA.

Your overseas study must be at an accredited education provider, and your qualification must meet NZQA's definition of a qualification.

  • Accreditation is: 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.
  • A qualification is: A complete programme of learning that meets these NZQA criteria:
    • the programme of learning is offered by a recognised provider of higher education in the country in which it's awarded
    • the programme of learning is a minimum of one full-time semester of study (approximately).

How long does it take to have my OSA assessed?

Approximately 20 working days from the time we receive your correct and complete application, as well as confirmation of payment.

How much does it cost?

The OSA costs $178 NZD, which is paid at the last step of your online application.

Guide to applying for a OSA

  1. Apply online
    • You complete the online OSA form here. You aren't required to send any supporting documentation with your application, however we ask that you be as detailed as possible with your qualification information.
  2. Use your OSA for your application with Inland Revenue
    • The OSA is only to support your application with Inland Revenue for your student loan to remain exempt from interest while you're studying overseas – and will need to show your overseas qualification is at the equivalent of level 7 on the NZQF in order to support your application. We'll send you the result of your OSA by email, which you can forward on to Inland Revenue with whatever else Inland Revenue requires from you for your student loan interest exemption application. The final decision on this will come from the Inland Revenue.

START OSA APPLICATION

Where to next?

 
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