Overseas Study Assessment (OSA)

An OSA is needed if you are applying to the Inland Revenue (IR) to have the interest written off of your New Zealand student loan for the duration of your overseas study.

The process will take up to 20 working days from receipt of a complete application and costs NZD178. 

Application Purposes

The OSA is for New Zealand residents who have completed study overseas. It provides New Zealand student loan borrowers a statement that indicates what level on the New Zealand Qualifications Framework (NZQF) their overseas qualification is comparable to. The OSA also confirms that the programme of study is recognised in the country in which it is offered.

You will need an OSA when applying for a Student Loan Interest Exemption with IR. To be eligible for the interest exemption you will need to show that your overseas qualification is the equivalent of at least Level 7 (e.g., a bachelor's degree) on the New Zealand Qualifications Framework (NZQF). 

Read more about Student Loan Interest Exemption at IRD

About the OSA

You do not need to request an OSA if you are going on an overseas exchange programme through your New Zealand university. NZQA cannot assess language courses completed at overseas universities.

Your overseas study must meet NZQA's definition of a qualification, this means the study is:

  • offered by a recognised provider of higher education in the country in which it is awarded, and
  • a minimum of 400 notional learning hours (approximately one semester of study), and 
  • a complete programme of learning.

You will receive the OSA by email with the outcome of the evaluation of your overseas qualification against the NZQF. You can then forward this email to IR.

Read more information on Levels on the NZQF.  

Next Steps

The OSA form can be completed online and you do not need to submit any documentation. Include detailed information, such as information on prior study. Only one qualification can be assessed as part of the application. You may be contacted for further information. 

Before you apply: 

  • Be sure that the OSA is the correct assessment that you need. If you are unsure about whether you need an OSA, please contact IR directly, and
  • Have all the relevant information about your overseas programme of study, including the name of the programme in English and the original language (if applicable).


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