Learner eligibility – DQ3-7

Learner eligibility – DQ3-7

Last updated 20 September 2023
Last updated 20 September 2023

This page contains information about learner eligibility for enrolment in programmes funded through the Delivery at Levels 3–7 (non-degree) on the New Zealand Qualifications and Credentials Framework and all industry training (DQ3-7) Fund. Tertiary education organisations (TEOs) must ensure that learners are eligible to be enrolled in DQ3-7 funded programmes.

Learner identity

For audit purposes, the TEO must keep copies of the Record of Achievement (ROA) that was used at first enrolment to determine eligibility.

For more information, see the DQ3-7 funding conditions for the relevant year.

Learners enrolled with more than one TEO

A learner may be concurrently enrolled at more than one TEO and therefore undertaking a high study load. While this is not prohibited, take care to identify these learners and support them to successfully complete their courses and qualifications.

Literacy and numeracy requirements

Learners should not be enrolled in a programme funded under the DQ3-7 Fund until their literacy and numeracy skills are sufficient for them to be successful (eg, until they present at Step 3 or higher on the Learning Progressions).

Literacy and numeracy skills can be built through programmes funded under the Intensive Literacy and Numeracy Fund (ILN) or the Workplace Literacy and Numeracy Fund (WLN).

Domestic learners studying overseas

International learners who become defined as domestic learners are included in these policy settings.


New Zealand Permanent Residents, Australian citizens and Australian Permanent Residents studying overseas

Learners must meet domestic enrolment conditions to be considered a domestic learner when studying overseas with a New Zealand TEO.

To be classified as a domestic learner, New Zealand Permanent Residents (NZPRs), Australian citizens and Australian Permanent Residents (APRs) studying outside New Zealand (enrolled with a New Zealand-based TEO) must meet the criteria set out in the Education (Tertiary Education—Criteria Permanent Residents Studying Overseas must Satisfy to be Domestic Learners) Regulations 2016.

This includes that they must be ordinarily resident in New Zealand.

“Ordinarily resident” in New Zealand means the learner meets the “ordinarily resident test” whereby they are lawfully able to reside in New Zealand, normally reside in New Zealand and intend to remain in New Zealand (ie, they consider New Zealand to be their home). A learner cannot be “ordinarily resident” in two countries at the same time.

To decide whether a learner meets the “ordinarily resident test”, use the Ministry of Social Development’s Guidelines for deciding ordinarily resident.

TEOs are responsible for ensuring that a learner meets the “ordinarily resident test” and is eligible to access tuition subsidy funding and study support. The TEO may require NZPRs, APRs and Australian citizens intending to study part of a New Zealand qualification overseas to complete a declaration to confirm their unfamiliarity with the overseas country they intend to study in and provide evidence that they are ordinarily resident in New Zealand.

Note: We have not specified the amount and timing of the parts of the study to be completed in New Zealand and overseas. This is to allow flexibility for the TEO to best structure its delivery of the qualification.

For more details on valid enrolments and funding for study overseas see the funding conditions for the relevant year.

Overseas travel

For details on how to determine if overseas travel is academically essential, see the DQ3-7 funding conditions for the relevant year.

International learner eligibility

Enrolment of international students

If a learner is an international student, the TEO should confirm that the learner is eligible to attend the TEO as an international student.[1] You can do this by either:

  • sighting the learner’s passport and conducting a VisaView check (see VisaView below); or
  • sighting the learner’s passport with either:
    • a current student visa label or visa approval notification (see “Visa approval notification” below) (or in the case of a pathway student visa, the letter from Immigration New Zealand specifying the TEOs and courses the learner is eligible to attend); or
    • a current work visa label or visa approval notification with conditions that allow the learner to study (this relates to an international learner who has a practical component in their study programme); or
    • a current work or visitor visa label or visa approval notification if the learner is enrolling in a course of less than 12 weeks. For more information about work and visitor visas see Immigration New Zealand.

For details on the enrolment records to be kept for a DQ3-7 funded learner, see the funding conditions for the relevant year. We recommend that a TEO keep these records for its international learners as well, in order to comply with the record-keeping requirements for tertiary education institutions (TEIs) in section 309 of the Education and Training Act 2020 (the Act), and for private training establishments (PTEs) in section 361 of the Act and under the NZQA Rules.

Visa approval notification

Immigration New Zealand is moving towards the use of label-less visas. These visas are recorded electronically in Immigration New Zealand’s system, so some learners will not have a visa label in their passport. Instead, a label-less visa approval notification is sent by email or letter to the learner.

Learners with label-less visas (e-Visa) may present their visa approval notification as evidence of their visa when they enrol with a TEO, and the TEO can verify this using VisaView.


A TEO can check whether a learner who is not a New Zealand citizen can study with them in New Zealand using Immigration New Zealand’s VisaView.

For more information see the VisaView Guide for Education Providers (PDF 641 KB). You can also contact Immigration New Zealand if you have questions.

We recommend that you download and retain the VisaView record to comply with the funding conditions for the relevant year.

International learners with domestic learner eligibility

Whether or not a learner is a domestic or international learner for the purposes of fees and TEC funding is determined by their status at the time of enrolment.

A learner’s eligibility at the start of a course applies until the course ends.

Permanent Residence status granted mid-way through study

Domestic learner funding can be claimed for an international learner enrolling in courses that start after the learner is granted residency, whether in the same or a different qualification.

International learners who must be treated as domestic students

The Tertiary Education (Domestic Students) Notice specifies that some learners who are not New Zealand citizens or residents must be treated as if they are domestic students.

Domestic Tertiary Students Notice 2022

Learners eligible under the Non-Domestic Learners Exemption Process (NDLEP)

Funding for non-domestic learners in work-based learning for 2023


[1] The TEO must have any necessary approvals for the enrolment of international students under the Tertiary and International Learners Code of Practice.