How can you claim points for your qualifications?

The number of points you can claim for your qualifications depends on the level of the qualification and the area of study.

If your overseas academic, vocational, or technical qualification(s) is recognized as equivalent to a New Zealand qualification, you can claim up to 70 points.

The New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) utilises this framework for evaluating international qualifications and assigning ranks. However, only qualifications at level 4 or higher are eligible for point allocation under the Skilled Migrant Category.

Level 10Doctorates 
Level 9Master’s Degrees 
Level 8Postgraduate Diplomas & CertificatesBachelor’s Degrees with Honours
Level 7Graduate Diplomas & CertificatesBachelor’s Degrees
Level 6CertificatesDiplomas
Level 5CertificatesDiplomas
Level 4Certificates 
Level 3CertificatesNCEA Level 3
Level 2CertificatesNCEA Level 2
Level 1CertificatesNCEA Level 1

Your qualification may be automatically recognised

Your overseas qualification may have already been pre-assessed and approved by Immigration New Zealand, exempting you from the need to do an International Qualification Assessment. If your qualification is not exempt, you may require a Pre-assessment Result (PAR) if you're only submitting an Expression of Interest (EOI), or a full IQA. The PAR provides an initial indication of level equivalence, but it's not sufficient for a full visa application. A fee of approximately NZ$750 is required for a full IQA, and the process may take up to 7 weeks. Your personal Adviser can provide more details about your specific situation.

To be eligible for assessment, your international qualification must:

  • Be a complete programme of study.
  • Be awarded by a provider that's nationally recognized or accredited by the responsible government or government-mandated authority in the country of award at the time of award.
  • Have a minimum of 400 notional learning hours (equivalent to approximately one full-time semester of study).
  • Include achievement of a set of learning outcomes through a formal programme of instruction or learning.

Note that in some cases, apprenticeships may also qualify for points.

How about considering studying in New Zealand?

If you're considering studying in New Zealand, it can be a promising pathway for migrants. Pursuing education in New Zealand can offer access to top-notch education, global connections, and an opportunity to immerse yourself in the New Zealand culture. Additionally, starting or continuing your education in New Zealand can enable you to claim points, including bonus points, under the Skilled Migrant Category, if you decide to stay in the country for employment.