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Updates to List of Qualifications Exempt from Assessment

Starting on the 29th of September, the New Zealand Government will begin updating the List of Qualifications Exempt from Assessment (LQEA).  The LQEA is a publicly available list that outlines the New Zealand Qualifications and Credentials Framework (NZQCF) for specified overseas qualifications. The update is to support the expanded points requirements for qualifications under the new Skilled Migrant Category Residence Visa, which is opening on 9 October 2023. The updated LQEA will also be used for the Green List visas and the Accredited Employer Work Visa.

The updates will take place in phases and will initially include qualifications from 7 countries:

  • Hong Kong
  • Ireland
  • Malaysia
  • Philippines
  • South Africa
  • United Kingdom
  • United States of America.

What the List of Qualifications Exempt from Assessment is Used For

Certain visa applicants have to submit evidence that their overseas qualification has a comparable New Zealand qualification. This is called an International Qualification Assessment.

Applicants with qualifications that are on the LQEA do not need to submit an International Qualification Assessment.

The updated LQEA will be used for the:

  • Green List Straight to Residence
  • Green List and Sector WTR
  • Accredited Employer Work Visa
  • New SMC resident visa

The New Skilled Migrant Category and the LQEA

Under the new Skilled Migrant Category settings, applicants can claim between three to six points for formal qualifications from a Bachelor’s degree and above. The review and eventual update of the LQEA will add or remove qualification types in line with the new Skilled Migrant Category visa requirements. It will ensure that included qualifications are quality assured, approved, accredited and relevant.

For any questions regarding this update or any further immigration matters, please contact Arno Nothnagel, our NZ Immigration Director, here.

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