IT Professionals New Zealand | Te Pou Hangarau Ngaio

Immigrating to New Zealand

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New Zealand is a great place to live with a truly thriving tech industry. It's also a great place to call home if you love tech.

In fact New Zealand's tech sector is the country's third largest export sector and growing fast. 

If you're thinking about moving to New Zealand, check out the Immigration New Zealand website.

Note that by law, we are unable to help you with immigration advice.


Critical Tech Worker Class Exception

ITPNZ operates the industry nomination process for the Tech Worker Exception of the Critical Purpose Visitor Visa. You can apply for a nomination here.

More info

In partnership with NZTech, IT Professionals New Zealand validates whether a company, role and worker meets the industry requirements for the Class Exception, and if so, nominates you for the Exception Process.

Download the Guide or Apply for a place now 

Spaces still available: 500+


What is the "Critical Worker - Tech Class Exception"?

In December 2021 the New Zealand Government approved a Class Exception for certain tech workers to come to New Zealand as critical workers.

This means that eligible companies may bring eligible people to New Zealand as "Other Critical Workers" holding a Critical Purpose Visitor Visa, provided they meet the criteria and are nominated by the industry via the process outlined here.

ITPNZ is operating the industry nomination process and applications are now open.

The Class Exception allows for 600 workers who, if eligible, may bring partners and children with them. All applications are also subject to general immigration requirements such as character and health criteria.

Immigration NZ have said that those holding a Critical Purpose Visitor Visa through this Exception, and who meet other requirements (such as arriving in NZ before 31 July 2022), are eligible to apply for the 2021 Resident Visa without having to meet the settled, skilled or scarce criteria.


Overall process

This should be considered general information only, and not advice. Please seek advice from a Licensed Immigration Agent or Immigration New Zealand. 

Critical Tech Work Class Exception Process

IT Professionals NZ is managing the Nomination Process for Tech "Other Critical Workers" on behalf of industry. This involves a validation process with information about the role, the worker, and the company.

Applications will generally be processed in the order they are received, but with priority given to company and agencies also contributing to skills development in New Zealand. Most applications will be processed within 10 working days, but it may take longer to process applications if a larger queue has developed.

Applications are currently being processed within 10 working days.

The list of those nominated will be transferred to Immigration NZ fortnightly, at which point the process continues directly with Immigration NZ. The company submits a Request for Travel as a nominated company and if successful, the worker will be invited to apply for the Critical Purpose Visitor Visa.


Industry Nomination Eligibility

There are 2 sets of criteria that will be validated before an Industry Nomination can be issued:

  • Cabinet-endorsed Requirements for the Role
    • is in one of the Categories, including their synonyms, covered by the exception (see below), and
    • meets salary requirements.

  • Expectation of the individual:
    • has appropriate experience and education for the role.

Priority will be given to applications from companies who:

  • are engaged with a programme to support domestic skills growth, and
  • are supporting the tech sector ecosystem by being an active member of a relevant industry body.

    (company expectation is only apply for companies with 5+ staff)

These expectations have been set to ensure that those using the immigration exception are also actively involved in building the domestic talent pipeline.

Full details are in the Tech Class Exception Guide.


Roles covered by the Exception

The Class Exception doesn't cover every tech-related role - just those that have been deemed by the industry as being in the highest demand.

The role Categories (including their synonyms) covered by the exception are:

  1. Software and Application Programmers (ANZSCO 2613)
  2. ICT Managers (ANZSCO 1351)
  3. ICT Security Specialist (ANZSCO 2621)
  4. Multimedia Specialists (ANZSCO 2612)

The role being offered must also have a salary of at least $120,000 (NZD) for Categories 1-3 above, or a salary of at least $95,000 (NZD) for Category 4 (italicized above and below). This must be a base salary - bonuses, share options, or other kinds of remuneration aren't counted.


These categories include roles that fall within the following ANZSCO occupation definitions:

  • 261311 Analyst Programmer
  • 261312 Developer Programmer
  • 261313 Software Engineer
  • 261314 Software Tester
  • 261315 Cyber Security Engineer
  • 261316 DevOps Engineer
  • 261317 Penetration Tester
  • 135111 Chief Information Officer
  • 135112 ICT Project Manager
  • 135199 IT Service Delivery Manager or Network Manager
  • 262114 Cyber Governance Risk and Compliance Specialist
  • 262115 Cyber Security Advice and Assessment Specialist
  • 262116 Cyber Security Analyst
  • 262117 Cyber Security Architect
  • 262118 Cyber Security Operations Coordinator
  • 261211 Electronic Game Developer, Multimedia Developer or Multimedia Programmer
  • 261212 Web Developer

Note that these are the overall occupations as per the ANZSCO codes, however, the Exception also applies to all synonyms (e.g. Product Manager). A full list of Synonyms for these roles are on the StatsNZ website.


The nomination process 

The process of applying for a nomination is quick and easy:

  1. company submits a nomination request through this process for a particular role and worker.
  2. ITPNZ validates the request on behalf of the industry.
  3. If the request meets the criteria, ITPNZ issues an Industry Nomination for a particular company, role and worker.
  4. The process then continues with Immigration New Zealand (via a Request to Travel then Visa application)

Full details are in the Tech Class Exception Guide.


Cost of the Validation and Nomination Process

The nomination and validation process is operated on a cost-recovery model, with a cost of $49+GST.

Note that this cost is for the nomination and validation process only and doesn't include any Immigration NZ costs. Also, obtaining a nomination or Visa does not provide an MIQ place - this is a separate cost, although MIQ will soon not be required.


Full details

Full details are in the Tech Class Exception Guide. You should read this carefully before beginning the application process.


Apply for a Class Exception place now

If you meet the criteria, you can apply for a Class Exception place now.

Apply for a Class Exception place now

Qualifications Assessment for LTSSL

ITPNZ can undertake a qualification assessment to help provide evidence you meet New Zealand's Long Term Skills Shortage List (LTSSL) requirements.

More info


IT Professionals New Zealand provide a service confirming whether your degree-level (or above) qualification, in conjunction with subsequent learning, meets the benchmark educational requirements for Chartered IT Professional NZ (CITPNZ) certification, one of the requirements of the LTSSL.

Apply for ITP Qualification Recognition now or click here for a detailed guide to apply

Note that this is not a full CITPNZ assessment nor a skills assessment. It is an assessment of whether your qualifications and learning meet the benchmark educational requirements of CITPNZ. To gain CITPNZ itself, you must undertake a full assessment (details here).


Why undertake the ITP Qualification Recognition process?

You should undertake this process if:

  • Immigration New Zealand or NZQA requests it for your visa application
  • You want to show you meet this requirement as listed in New Zealand's Long Term Skills Shortage List (LTSSL)
  • You want to know how your qualification, or base qualification and subsequent learning, compares to New Zealand industry expectations (using the CITPNZ benchmark requirements)
  • A potential employer or education provider requests that you undergo this process to assess your qualifications against the CITPNZ benchmark requirements

Qualification requirements

To be recognised as meeting the benchmark requirements of CITPNZ, your qualification(s) must be:

  1. at the right level (NZQF level 7 Degree or above), and
  2. when combined with subsequent learning, meet the content benchmark requirements for CITPNZ

If you are undertaking this qualification recognition process for immigration purposes, you will need to hold a qualification equivalent to Level 7 on the NZ Qualifications Framework as a minimum requirement, the equivalent of a New Zealand Bachelors Degree. This does not have to be a strictly computing/IT degree, provided it is relevant to working in technology and you meet the rest of the benchmark requirements through subsequent learning.

For example, an advanced mathematics degree that is relevant but not specifically focused on Computing or IT, alongside additional sufficient IT-related learning and evidence that the learnings from the degree have been used in a technology context (eg AI), would likely meet the benchmark requirements, however the degree on its own would likely not be sufficient.

Determining the level

The NZ Qualifications Authority (NZQA) solely determines the level of your overseas qualification(s) compared to the NZ Qualifications Framework. Before you can start our Qualification Recognition process, your qualification will need to meet one of these requirements:

  • Be a degree issued by a New Zealand institution and at Level 7 or above on the NZ Qualifications Framework
  • Be from overseas and have been accredited under the Seoul Accord programme (check here)
  • Be from overseas and be on NZQA's List of Qualifications Exempt from Assessment (check here)
  • Undertake an International Qualifications Assessment (IQA) with NZQA and have been assessed as equivalent to a Level 7 or above qualification.

Full details are on the NZQA website.

Please note that we cannot start the content assessment process unless one of these level requirements has been met. If you need to undertake an IQA with NZQA, you need to do this prior to undertaking our Qualification Recognition process.

Qualification content requirements

We use an interpretation of the Seoul Accord graduate attributes as a base for assessment of whether applicants meet the benchmark academic requirements for CITPNZ. The Seoul Accord is the global degree accreditation programme run by professional bodies.

This means that your qualification and subsequent learning must be sufficient to allow you to:

Apply knowledge of computing fundamentals, knowledge of a computing specialisation, and mathematics, science, and appropriate domain knowledge to defined technology problems and requirements. This needs to be accomplished to a suitably high level of complexity and depth.

There are 10 criteria that the qualification and learning must satisfy to meet this requirement and therefore meet the benchmark educational requirements for CITPNZ. These are contained in the Qualification Recognition Guide.

Process of applying for Qualification Recognition

The Qualification Recognition service has the following steps. More details are in the Qualification Recognition Guide.

  1. Provide evidence that your qualification is at the correct level (see Section 2 of the Guide). This may involve undertaking an International Qualifications Assessment (IQA) with NZQA. If so, this must be completed before you apply for Qualification Recognition from ITP.

    Please note that we cannot start the qualification assessment process unless this requirement has been met first. If you need to undertake an IQA with NZQA, you need to complete this prior to undertaking our Qualification Recognition process. See Section 2 for more information.
  1. Collect evidence that the content of your qualifications meet requirements (see Section 3 of the Guide). This includes an official transcript, official letter from your institution, or other such document, as well as details of content as outlined in the Evidence Document. If these are in a language other than English, an English language translation must also be provided.
  1. Complete the ITPNZ Evidence Document (see Section 4 of the Guide) to outline how your qualification(s) and subsequent learning meets the educational benchmark requirements for CITPNZ.
  1. Submit your application online, including uploading the above documents and paying the processing fee (see below).
  1. Your application will be assigned to an assessor. We aim to complete assessments within 14 days. Assessments may take longer if there is heavy demand or we have requested additional information. For probity reasons we do not disclose who your assessor is.

  1. The assessor may request additional information if there is insufficient evidence of meeting the benchmark educational requirements of CITPNZ. In this circumstance, you will have one opportunity to submit additional information before the final determination is made.

  1. We will then issue an official letter outlining whether or not your qualification meets the benchmark educational requirements for CITPNZ.

Cost of the Qualification Recognition service

The qualification recognition service involves a detailed assessment of whether your qualification (and subsequent learning) meet the benchmark educational requirements for CITPNZ. There is a processing fee of $NZD650 for this service which covers the cost of assessment and issuing the letter.

Appeals and other options

We undertake a comprehensive assessment as part of this Qualification Recognition service, including an experienced and expert assessor reviewing all material. Once a decision has been made, we are unable to enter into further correspondence and no appeal process is available. We can only re-evaluate if circumstances change (eg additional learning is undertaken).

Please note that we can also issue a confirmation letter without this assessment if you hold CITPNZ and a Level 7 qualification - please see below.

No need for assessment if you hold CITPNZ

If you hold current CITPNZ certification as well as a degree that NZQA has found to be at Level 7 or above (using the methods outlined above), we are able to issue you a letter confirming that you meet these requirements without further assessment as you have already been assessed as meeting the benchmark requirements. In this circumstance there is no processing fee for providing this letter, however please contact us directly rather than lodging an application.

The CITPNZ application and assessment process is different and also takes into consideration "on the job" learning and practice-based factors, confirming whether you are operating at the level of a senior IT Professional. There is a cost to apply for CITPNZ.

Find out more about CITPNZ

Apply for ITP Qualification Recognition now

If you have electronic copies of the required documentation, evidence from NZQA that your base qualification is equivalent to Level 7 or above on the NZ Qualifications Framework (see above) and have completed the ITPNZ Evidence Document, use this link to upload your documents and apply:

Apply for ITP Qualification Recognition

Further enquiries

All enquiries about this service or your application must be made via email to [email protected]. Our Qualification Assessment team do not work out of our main office and all phone or in-person enquiries will be referred to this email address.

Note that under New Zealand law we are unable to help you with immigration advice. 


Become an ITP Member

When you do immigrate to New Zealand, ITP provides great opportunities to meet with other IT Professionals from New Zealand and around the world. ITP has thousands of members, runs over 200 events each year, plus provides mentors and much more.

You don't have to wait until you're in New Zealand to join ITP - you're welcome to join now.

Find out more about joining ITP


Get certified

IT Professionals NZ provide two professional certifications for those working in the IT industry:

Find out more about ITP Certifications

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