International Qualifications Assessment (IQA)

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The International Qualifications Assessment (IQA) is an in-depth assessment of qualifications completed outside of New Zealand. The process includes checking the recognition status of your overseas qualification in the country of award and analysing details of the qualification. The IQA provides an assessment of which level your overseas qualification compares to on the New Zealand Qualifications Framework (NZQF), and, where possible, to a New Zealand qualification type. 

  • The process will take up to 25 working days.
  • Cost is NZD746.
  • A maximum of five qualifications can be evaluated per application. After this a new application must be lodged
  • We aim to complete your application in the timeframes above but this is not always possible. This depends on you supplying the correct and required documents in the proper format.
  • You may verify the results of your IQA by uploading the statement on our verification page. Visit the verification page.

QRS may also require further information on your qualification. We will notify you if we need additional documents or details, or if there are delays.

Application Purposes

Please read the instructions for the IQA carefully. It is important that you select the correct application purpose/s so that your Recognition Statement includes the necessary information.

You can select more than one application purpose for your application. Your application purpose will be recorded on your results statement.


Select this purpose if you plan to migrate to New Zealand and require an IQA for your visa application to Immigration New Zealand. This includes Skilled Migrant Resident, Long Term Skill Shortage, Essential Skills and Silver Fern visas.

Check your qualification against Immigration New Zealand's List of Qualifications Exempt from Assessment (LQEA). If your qualification is listed on LQEA and your only purpose is immigration, you may not  need an IQA.

Read more about the List of Qualifications Exempt from Assessment

If you are applying under a skill shortage list (such as the Long Term Skill Shortage List) you will need to provide the occupation group and code for your occupation on a form that is available from our ‘Documents Required’ page. If you do not include this form in your application we will not assess your qualification against a skill shortage list.

You can view the Skill Shortage List Checker on Immigration New Zealand’s website to find these lists and occupation groups and codes.

See the Skill Shortage List Checker

If you are unsure about which visa you are applying for, or whether you need an IQA for your immigration application, contact Immigration New Zealand. NZQA is authorised to recognise overseas qualifications within the New Zealand context and cannot provide immigration advice. Please contact Immigration New Zealand if you have any queries about immigration matters. Contact Immigration New Zealand


Select this purpose if your future New Zealand employer needs to know how your overseas qualification compares to the NZQF. Consult your employer to know whether you will need an IQA.

For some industries and professions an IQA is not required for employment or registration purposes. Check with the relevant New Zealand registration body, professional authority, or Industry Training Organisation (ITO) before submitting an application for an IQA. 

Contact details for professional registration bodies are available through Immigration New Zealand's list of Occupational Registration bodies. A list of all ITOs is available on the Directory of ITOs.

Learn about Immigration New Zealand’s list of Occupational Registration Bodies

See the list of New Zealand ITOs

Further Study

Select this purpose if recognition of your overseas qualification is required for entry into a New Zealand study programme. Contact the New Zealand education provider before submitting an application for an IQA to ensure that it is necessary.

Teacher Registration/Teacher Salary

Teacher registration and teacher salary purposes for an IQA are only necessary if you completed your Initial Teacher Education (ITE) overseas and you wish to work as a school or early childhood teacher in New Zealand. If you plan to teach at the tertiary level you do not need to seek registration with the Teaching Council of Aotearoa New Zealand.

If you have a current New Zealand teacher registration but have an additional overseas qualification that needs to be assessed, select teacher salary as your application purpose. This is because the New Zealand Ministry of Education uses the IQA to set salary rates for teachers with overseas qualifications.

Some overseas teaching qualifications may be exempt from assessment for the purposes of teacher registration. Do note that if your initial teacher education (ITE) qualification is on the pre-approved list but not the List of Qualifications Exempt from Assessment (LQEA), you may require an IQA for immigration purposes (residency pathway). Read more about pre-approved overseas teaching qualifications.

NZQA cannot provide teacher registration or teaching salary advice.

You can learn more about becoming a teacher in New Zealand on the Teach in New Zealand website.

If you have questions about the registration process, contact the Teaching Council of Aotearoa New Zealand.

Contact the Teaching Council of Aotearoa New Zealand

Read more about teacher salaries

About the IQA

The IQA results are provided in a statement which records the outcome of the evaluation of your overseas qualification against the NZQF. The primary information provided is a comparison to an NZQF Level, and if possible, a qualification type. This information can be used by Immigration New Zealand, employers, educational institutions, and professional registration bodies to better understand your qualification. The Recognition Statement is only issued digitally. 

Up to five qualifications can be evaluated in the IQA. Only one person’s qualifications are evaluated per application.

An IQA does not guarantee admission to education programmes, employment, registration or immigration. Those education providers, employers, registration bodies and other government agencies will make decisions regarding your suitability for those purposes when you apply for them.

The IQA does not result in a statement of authenticity for your qualification. However, we may request verification from authorities in the countries of award to complete the assessment. 

Sections of the Results Statement

The results statement records the purpose/s for which you are seeking qualification recognition. The purpose/s you choose for your application may affect what you can use the IQA for and what additional information is included, such as comments about a skill shortage list.

The statement has three major areas:  details about your qualification (qualification title, awarding body, year of award, standard programme duration), the assessment outcome, and comments. Below is a description of the Assessment Outcome and Comments section.

Assessment Outcome: This section states the NZQF level, and if possible, the qualification type that your overseas qualification is most comparable to.  

The statement will say if your qualification has been compared to a ‘generic’ New Zealand qualification type, such as a certificate, diploma, or bachelor’s degree. If New Zealand does not have a qualification type that is similar to your overseas qualification type, the assessment outcome will be a ‘qualification’ with a corresponding level on the NZQF. NZQA does not provide comparison to specific qualifications on the NZQF.

For example, an assessment outcome could be either a master’s degree at NZQF Level 9 or a qualification at Level 9, but will not say ‘Master of Business Administration’ at Level 9.

Comments: In this section there may be additional information about your qualification, such as the application of transferred credits or whether you your qualification could be compared to the credit and knowledge requirements of a qualification on a skill shortage list.

Documents Required for an IQA

Scanned documents are required for the IQA application. NZQA does not accept original (paper/hard copy) documents. Documents must be uploaded to the online application. 

Learn more about documents required for the IQA

Next Steps

Before you begin your application:

  • Know which purpose/s you will choose for your IQA application, and
  • Check the ‘Documents Required’ section to ensure that you have all necessary forms for your IQA purpose/s, and
  • Have all of your materials scanned as PDFs (files not to exceed 5MB per document) to upload, and
  • Allow up to one hour to complete the application, and
  • Remember to keep your NZQA user login details handy. This is how you can access information about your application and its outcome.


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