Apply for an Overseas Study Assessment

Overseas Study Assessments (OSA) are required by IRD when New Zealand students apply for their student loan to be interest-free while studying overseas.

What an OSA is for

An OSA is for New Zealand citizens and residents who have a student loan and are planning to study overseas. Students that want to apply for their student loan to remain interest-free while they are overseas need to submit an OSA to the Inland Revenue Department (IRD).

The Overseas Study Assessment Statement will indicate whether the programme of study is recognised in the country of study. If so, the statement will show the level that the overseas qualification is most comparable to on the New Zealand Qualifications Framework (NZQF).

Inland Revenue Department (IRD)

IMPORTANT: If you have completed an overseas qualification that you want to have recognised in New Zealand, you will need to apply for an International Qualification Assessment (IQA).

Who can apply for an OSA

New Zealand citizens and residents who:

  • plan to complete study outside of New Zealand, and
  • wish to apply to IRD for their student loan to be interest-free while studying overseas.

Eligible qualifications

For NZQA to assess a qualification for an OSA, it must be:

  • offered by an overseas provider that is nationally recognised, or accredited by the responsible government or government-mandated authority in the country of award
  • a minimum of 400 notional learning hours (equivalent to about 10 weeks of full-time academic study)
  • a complete programme of study that will result in a formal qualification.

Qualifications we do not assess

Because IRD do not require an OSA in these circumstances, we do not assess:

  • study completed as part of a formal exchange
  • study completed on a government-funded scholarship
  • postgraduate study not available in New Zealand and completed overseas with a New Zealand provider.

An OSA also cannot be supplied for:

  • New Zealand university qualifications that are to be completed overseas
    language courses completed overseas
  • overseas programmes of study shorter than 400 notional learning hours (equivalent to about 10 weeks of full-time academic study).

If you submit any of these, we will not assess it and you will incur an administration charge. Before you submit anything, check with IRD whether you require an OSA.

If you have checked with IRD but are unsure whether you have a qualification that we can assess, email qrs@nzqa.govt.nz.

Before you apply

1. Check you meet the requirements

Review the information above to ensure your circumstances and qualification meet the criteria for an OSA.

2. Documents you will need

Ensure you have all the documents required for your application. You will need to upload scanned copies of your original documents.

Passport bio-data page (required)

The section of your passport that shows your photograph, name, date of birth, and nationality. If there is a page that mentions your parents’ names, please also provide a copy.

Evidence of name change (required)

If your current legal name (the name that is listed on your passport) is different from the name listed on your award certificate or letter of acceptance, you must provide evidence of your name change. This could be a marriage certificate or deed poll.

Letter of acceptance (if available)

A letter confirming your enrolment into the programme of study issued by the institution that will award your qualification.

File formats

  • All files must be saved as separate files, clearly labelled with what they are, and uploaded individually during the application process. Documents with multiple pages must be saved as one file.
  • All documents must be legible, coloured, scanned digital copies. If your original document is in colour, then you must upload a colour copy. We do not accept black and white copies of colour originals.
  • The scans must be of the complete document with no missing edges, corners or information.
  • Documents must be scanned on the back as well if they contain any information, such as stamps, seals, or instructions.
  • Documents do not need to be certified, as long as we receive identical colour copies of the original.
  • All files should be saved as one of these file types: .pdf, .jpg, .png, .docx

NZQA reserves the right to require additional proof of authenticity for any documents submitted. Additionally, NZQA can request documents be resubmitted if the content is unclear or ambiguous.

Other information you will need

Ensure you have the following information available about yourself and your qualification:

  • Personal details, including your email address, phone number and postal address.
  • Details about the institution and programme, including the website.
  • Details about your completed study that allowed you to gain entry to the programme.

If you would like someone else to contact us on your behalf (for example, a relative or a friend), include their contact details.

3. Fraudulent activity

NZQA takes fraudulent activity very seriously.

If there is any evidence of falsified information with the intent to mislead or misrepresent, NZQA will decline your application. We will not issue a report for any of your applications and will decline to assess any future applications made by you. If a Recognition Statement has been issued, it will be revoked.

We will also provide information to the relevant authorities and agencies, including IRD and the New Zealand Police.

4. Submitting your application

You will need to create a login to submit an application through our online portal.

5. Fees and payment

You will need a credit card to pay the application fee of NZ$165.

Apply now

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What happens next

We will complete your Overseas Study Assessment within 20 working days (4 weeks) from the date you submit your application with all required information.

An assessment may take longer if more information is required to assess your qualification.

We will contact you if we require more information or if there are missing documents. You will have 30 days to provide this to us and your application will be put on hold during this time.

If we do not hear back from you after 30 days, we will cancel your application and provide a refund minus an administration cost.

Recognition statements

Contact us

For more information or to give us feedback, email qrs@nzqa.govt.nz.

 
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