Everything you need to know about moving to New Zealand as an IMG GP


Considering a career as a GP in picturesque New Zealand? Whether you're eyeing a permanent position or a locum role, the process is simpler than ever.

As GPs are part of the Tier 1 category on New Zealand's Green List, they qualify for the Straight to Residence Visa. This visa permits you to apply for New Zealand residency before you land, given you hold a job offer from an accredited employer. Other advantages of this visa type include the ability to purchase property and accumulate employer superannuation right after entering the country, bypassing the usual 2-year wait.

This pathway now means that, to be eligible for residence all you require is:

  • A job offer from an Accredited Employer
  • For a contract of 12 months of more
  • For a role which appears on the Green List
  • Medical Registration with the Medical Council of New Zealand
  • Be under the age of 55
  • Meet Health and Character requirements
  • In some cases, you will need to meet English Language requirements

We have seen some doctors get approval in as little as 48 hours.

New Zealand GP work force statistics

Te Whatu Ora have provided these statistics on the New Zealand GP work force

  • Average salary for a GP in New Zealand is $145,000 to $210,000 NZD per year
  • 64% work in GP-owned practices
  • 58% identify as female
  • 51% work full-time
  • 38% are international medical graduates

Life in New Zealand as an IMG GP

New Zealand is consistently ranked as one of the best places to live and work in the world. Famous for its superior working conditions and healthcare system, New Zealand offers international doctors an ideal blend of professional and personal enrichment.

New Zealand is a great place to raise a family with, The Global Peace Index usually rating New Zealand as the second safest country in the world. The New Zealand crime rate even decreased in 2020 and 2021.

New Zealand holds a high demand for General Practitioners, offering competitive rates and adaptable contracts to complement your lifestyle.

We present numerous opportunities for general practitioners throughout New Zealand, including coveted positions in Hawkes Bay - a highly sought-after beachside location on the North Island.

What other IMG GPs are saying:

"My partner and I had always had this idea that New Zealand was a magical place, with incredible scenery, loads of space, and a relaxed way of life. Then in 2019 we visited for 7 weeks, realised all of that was true, and spent the next 3 years planning how we would move out here! We had a fair few friends who had worked out here and assured us that the working conditions and pay were fantastic," Dr Fraser Smith said in an interview with Medrecruit.

Dr Nicky Anto said: "That elusive, beautiful unicorn of a concept called ‘Work-Life Balance’ I mentioned earlier? Turns out it exists after all! I work 3 days a week, have the energy to meditate and exercise most days, have lost 12 kg (intentionally; fear not fellow medics), and go exploring or hiking most weekends.

I’ve only been here 3 months, but I’m happier and healthier, the country is gorgeous, and the people are friendly – the grass is definitely a lush green this side of the pond as far as I’m concerned."

As a leading international doctor medical recruitment agency, Medrecruit specialises in assisting IMG GPs secure employment in New Zealand. Our passionate team provides comprehensive support to help physicians navigate the process. If you are interested in making the move, register here to speak with one of our dedicated IMG GP team members.

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Medrecruit Editorial Team
18 July 2023Article by Medrecruit Editorial TeamMedrecruit Editor