Qualifications & Occupational Registration

Will your qualification be recognised in New Zealand?

The New Zealand Qualification Framework

New Zealand has an official framework which ranks qualifications from 0 to 10. This framework is also used by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) to rank overseas qualifications. A diploma is 5/6, a bachelor’s degree is 7, a master’s degree is 9, etc.

When assessing your eligibility to migrate to New Zealand, we look up your qualification in a list of pre-approved international qualifications, and if it matches the name, institution, and year granted, it is exempt from doing an International Qualifications Assessment (IQA), saving you time and money. If it doesn’t, you may require a Pre-assessment Result (PAR) if you are only submitting an Expression of Interest (EOI), or a full IQA. The PAR provides a preliminary indication of the level equivalence but is not sufficient for a full visa application. There is a fee of NZ$746 for a full IQA, and the process can take up to 7 weeks.

Professional bodies

Certain industries such as in the legal, medical, education, trades, or engineering fields, have a representative body in New Zealand. These professional bodies advocate on behalf of the industry, handle occupational registration for certain jobs, and in some cases, can also recognise your qualifications.

Mandatory VS optional occupational registration

If registration is sometimes optional, for a number of occupations it is mandatory to have it in order to be able to work legally in New Zealand and/or to claim points under the Skilled Migrant Category. This can be a lengthy process that your Licensed Adviser can assist you with. There are requirements specific to each industry and you may need to provide evidence of registration when lodging your visa application. Once again, not doing things in the right order may delay or jeopardise your migration plans.

You may, however, be able to undertake work without registration in certain cases depending on your sub-occupation, or when you work under the supervision of a registered professional, or under a company registration (an ‘employer licence’).

As of 27/02/2021, the occupations that require mandatory registration include:

  • Architect
  • Barrister
  • Barrister and solicitor
  • Cable jointer
  • Chiropractor
  • Clinical dental technician
  • Clinical dental therapist
  • Dental hygienist
  • Dental technician
  • Dental therapist
  • Dentist
  • Dietitian
  • Dispensing optician
  • Electrician
  • Electrical appliance serviceperson
  • Electrical engineer
  • Electrical inspector
  • Electrical installer
  • Electrical service technician
  • Financial adviser
  • 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
  • Social Worker
  • Cadastral (land title) surveyor
  • Teacher
  • Veterinarian