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New Zealand - Qualifications and Training

There are currently two lists available from the department of Immigration in New Zealand which detail the qualifications and skills which are in demand in the country. One list is for long term requirements and the other is for short term requirements. Among the skills and qualifications currently in demand are teaching qualifications, construction skills, medical qualifications and scientific skills. Those who have skills that are required in New Zealand will find that their application for a visa is in a stronger position. These lists should be checked regularly as they are reviewed frequently and the situation regarding your own profession may change at any time. A job that is not on the list at the beginning of the year may appear on the list a few months later if it is determined that not enough people are entering the profession.

Some qualifications are not recognised in New Zealand but applicants can have their skills and qualifications assessed by the NZQA (New Zealand Qualifications Authority). This will give you an idea of how your qualifications will be received and what the equivalent qualification is in New Zealand. The NZQA also produces a list of qualifications which do not need to be assessed and which are automatically accepted. The list is divided by country then subdivided into academic and vocational qualifications. The list is intended for information for immigration applications and may not have a bearing on your ability to find a job with those qualifications.

It is also no guarantee that professional organisations would allow you to register with those qualifications. Qualifications that do not appear on the list will need to be assessed before you make your immigration application, even if you are simply submitting an Expression of Interest rather than an application for residency. An initial assessment can result in an invitation to apply for a visa as a skilled worker.

Your application to have your qualifications assessed can take anything from 20 working days for a fast track application to 35 working days for a standard application. These time periods may vary as there may be delays caused if the correct paperwork is not submitted or if further information is required from an institution that has issued the qualification. Until all the required information is received the application is halted. In order to make the application you need to complete the online application form. By applying online you are able to check the progress of the application. There are fees for each application for skills assessments and these are reviewed regularly.

The documentation that you send in support of your assessment application should all be original. These include certificates from both academic and vocational qualifications, documentation relating to apprenticeships, certified photocopy of ID such as a passport, certified copy of an academic syllabus and a marriage certificate or other document relating to a change of name. Any documentation that is not in English will need to be translated by an approved translator, a list is available from the New Zealand embassy or consulate in your home country. Documents will be returned if you include a prepaid courier bag, otherwise they will be kept for 6 years then destroyed.

Newcomers to New Zealand are advised to join the business organisations for their particular field to obtain further information on recommended qualifications. They will also be able to advise you on courses you can take to bridge any gaps in your CV. For many skilled professions it is necessary to be registered with a professional body as many occupations are regulated. Without the right registration and approved qualifications you may not be permitted to work in your chosen field.

It is often the case in New Zealand that smaller organisations expect staff to be able to do a variety of tasks, so your specialist skills may be only a small part of the job that you are applying for. For the best chance of obtaining a role in your field it is a good idea to be able to tackle a variety of tasks.

Useful Resources

PO Box 160
Wellington 6140
New Zealand
Tel: 0800 697 296 in NZ
Tel: +64 4 463 3000 from overseas
Email: online enquiry form on website

List of Professional Bodies in New Zealand

Read more about this country

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