Are my qualifications recognised in New Zealand?

If you find your qualification on either of these lists they’re recognised in New Zealand and do not require external authorisation which helps to make your immigration process a bit smoother and quicker.

If you’re looking to move to New Zealand under the Skilled Migrant Category, you may need to have your qualifications assessed to ensure they’re in line with New Zealand standards.

What qualifications don’t need to be assessed?

Luckily, there’s a huge list of overseas qualifications that don’t require assessment.

See Immigration New Zealand’s Qualifications Exempt from Assessment list; which you can search by your country and then your qualification. They also have a list of Qualifications Recognised as an Exception, that doesn’t require assessment.

If you find your qualification on either of these lists, they’re recognised in New Zealand and do not require external authorisation which helps to make your immigration process a bit smoother and quicker.

Help! My qualification isn’t on the list

In that case, your qualifications will need to be assessed by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA). See their website for further information about this process.

Exception: teaching in New Zealand

If you want to teach in New Zealand, you will have to have your teaching qualification or degree in education assessed by the NZQA for teacher registration and salary purposes.

What next?

So now you’ve found out if your qualifications are recognised in New Zealand, now it’s time to work out if your occupation requires you to register with a professional body to allow you to practice.

You will only qualify for points for a job offer in the occupations listed below under the Skilled Migrant Category if you can prove that:

  • you have been granted full or provisional registration by the relevant New Zealand occupational registration authority and can therefore legally work in that occupation in New Zealand, or
  • you are a dental or medical professional and hold written confirmation from the New Zealand Dental or Medical Council that you are eligible for full or provisional registration subject only to attending a personal interview with a Council representative within one month of your arrival in New Zealand.

To be granted a work visa – or a residence class visa under the Work to Residence category – to work in one of these occupations, you also need to prove you can meet occupational registration requirements. The following occupations require registration:

  • Architect
  • Barrister or solicitor
  • Chiropractor
  • Clinical dental technician
  • Clinical dental therapist
  • Dental hygienist
  • Dental technician
  • Dental therapist
  • Dentist
  • Dietitian
  • Dispensing optician
  • Electrician: where a current ‘Employer License’ is held, an electrician working for that employer does not require individual occupational registration.
  • Electrical service technician
  • Enrolled nurse
  • Immigration adviser
  • Line mechanic
  • Medical laboratory scientist/technologist
  • Medical laboratory technician
  • Medical practitioner
  • Medical radiation technologist
  • Nurses and midwives
  • Occupational therapist
  • Optometrist
  • Osteopath
  • Pharmacist
  • Physiotherapist
  • Plumber, gasfitter and drainlayer
  • Podiatrist
  • Psychologist
  • Real estate agent
  • Cadastral (Land Title) Surveyor
  • Teacher
  • Veterinarian

If your occupation is one of the above, find out who your New Zealand occupational registration authority is.

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