Overseas Study Assessment (OSA)


If you submitted an application before 10 February 2020, please click here for information on your application. 


An OSA is an assessment required by the Inland Revenue Department (IRD) for New Zealand residents who have completed a qualification or plan to complete study outside of New Zealand and wish to apply for their student loan to be interest-free while studying overseas.

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, which the overseas qualification is most comparable to on the New Zealand Qualifications Framework (NZQF). This statement can then be sent to IRD.

IMPORTANT: Please note that the OSA is not the assessment required if you are applying to work or live in New Zealand. If you require an assessment for this purpose, you will need to apply for an International Qualification Assessment (IQA).



20 working days from the date you submit your application with all required information and documents. Please note that this does not include weekends or public holidays.
Note that in some cases it may take longer to complete your assessment depending on the complexity of your application or if the evaluator requires additional information.


One overseas qualification assessed per application 



Requirements for your qualification to be assessed

For NZQA to assess a qualification for an Overseas Study Assessment (OSA), it must meet the following requirements:

tick  Offered by a provider that is nationally recognised or accredited by the 
      responsible government or government-mandated authority in the country of 
      award. We recommend you check this with the relevant authorities before 

tick  A minimum of 400 notional learning hours (equivalent to approximately 
      10 weeks of full-time academic study) – programmes shorter than this cannot 
      be assessed.

tick  Complete programme of study leading to the award of a formal qualification.

Please note: An OSA cannot be supplied for New Zealand university qualifications that are to be completed overseas, nor for language courses completed at overseas institutions.

Qualifications we cannot assess

Please note that IRD do not require an OSA for the following. If you submit one of these, we will not be able to assess it and you will incur an administration charge, so please make sure you check with IRD beforehand on whether you require an OSA.

We do not assess the following:

X mark  Postgraduate study completed overseas, with a New Zealand provider, that is 
     not available in New Zealand.

X mark  Study completed as part of a formal exchange.

X mark  Study completed on a government-funded scholarship.

If you are unsure whether you have a qualification that we can assess, please contact QRS.

Before you apply for an OSA

Before you apply for an OSA, make sure you do the following.

Step 1

Make sure you have read the section above about the qualifications we assess and those we don’t assess or don’t require an assessment. If you are unsure if you require an OSA, please check directly with IRD before you apply.

Please also ensure that you are applying for the correct assessment. The OSA is intended for New Zealand residents only who intend to study outside of New Zealand and require an assessment for the Inland Revenue Department (IRD).
The OSA is NOT for New Zealand immigration, employment or further study in New Zealand - please apply for an IQA instead if one of these is your purpose. 

Step 2

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 

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.

Step 3

Ensure that all the documents in Step 2 meet the following requirements:

  • 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. For example, a letter of acceptance 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.

Step 4

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 website link)
  • Details on your study pathway that allowed you to gain entry to the programme.
  • If you would like someone else to contact us on your behalf (e.g., a relative, a friend, etc.), please make sure you have their contact details.

Step 5

Ensure that you understand that 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 Inland Revenue and the New Zealand Police.

Step 6

Ensure you have a credit card ready for payment during the application process. We do not accept any other methods of payment.

Step 7

Ensure you understand that the timeframe for the completion of your OSA is 20 working days from the date you submit your application with all required information and documents. Please note that this does not include weekends or public holidays.

Note that in some cases it may take longer to complete your assessment depending on the complexity of your application or if the evaluator requires additional information.

We will contact you if any information or documents are missing and you will have 30 days to provide this to us. Your application will be put on on hold during that time and this will delay your assessment. If we do not hear back from you after 30 days we will cancel your application and provide a refund minus an administration cost. 

Ready to apply for an OSA?

Once you have read the information above and prepared the required documents, you are ready to apply. Click the button below to create an account and access our online web portal to apply for an OSA.

Apply for OSA Button 100

N.B. If you submitted an application for an OSA before 10 February 2020, please click here to access our previous dashboard.

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