Immigration New Zealand and the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) have implemented another round of changes to the List of Qualifications Exempt from Assessment (LQEA). These came into effect on 25 March, 2024.

What has changed?

On 25 March, the LQEA was updated to include qualifications from Australia, Canada, China, Fiji and Japan. The list also added Doctoral Degrees awarded in South Africa and the USA and Master’s degrees from Malaysia.

These add to the list which was already updated on 29 September 2023, including qualifications from South Africa, Philippines, Hong Kong, United Kingdom, Ireland, Malaysia and USA.

Immigration New Zealand has confirmed more qualifications from additional countries will be added to the LQEA in further phases.

 Importance of the changes

The LQEA is important as it sets out how specific overseas qualifications compare to New Zealand Qualifications. It is widely used in applications for the new Skilled Migrant Category, Green List Straight to Residence, Green List and Sector Work to Residence and Accredited Employer Work visas.

If applicants can prove that their qualification meets the specific requirements of the LQEA, it will not need to undergo assessment by the NZQA for immigration purposes. This can avoid substantial NZQA assessment fees. However, a common pitfall is not getting the details right on the specifics of your qualification versus the LQEA.

If you need help assessing your situation, contact us.

 Dafydd Parry

Licensed Immigration Adviser (Provisional)