Residency in New Zealand for doctors

Foreign doctor NZ

If you're a doctor looking to live and work in New Zealand, the first step is to confirm eligibility for registration as a doctor. Everything to do with registration and examination is administered by the Medical Council of New Zealand and you must show them that you are qualified, competent, and fit for registration.

Renowned for its working conditions and health care system, New Zealand is a popular destination for international doctors. MCNZ registers more than 1500 new doctors each year and there are over 17,000 registered doctors living and practising in New Zealand.

Our specialist International Team will give insights into all aspects of work, day-to-day living, and relocating. We can help with the paperwork and our immigration advisor can assist with visas. For foreign doctors looking to work in New Zealand, the process can take six months to a year.

Can foreigners become doctors in New Zealand?

In New Zealand, doctors who received their qualifications overseas are often known as International Medical Graduates (IMGs) and this is a term you’ll see a lot, both here and on official government documentation.

If you are a doctor looking to immigrate to New Zealand your pathway to medical registration will depend on your individual circumstances, such as where you completed your primary medical degree, the countries in which you have clinical experience, and if you’re a specialist or junior doctor.

If you are not yet a specialist and you completed your primary medical degree and internship in the UK or Ireland then you may be eligible for the Competent Authority Pathway. This is the most common pathway for non-specialist doctors to gain registration in New Zealand. After six months of provisional general supervision, you can apply for full general registration.

Find out everything you need to know about moving to Australia or New Zealand in our free IMG Guide.
Download now

If you are not yet a specialist and you completed your medical training in a country outside the UK or Ireland and you are looking to work as a doctor in New Zealand, there are multiple pathways available to you. Please get in touch and one of our dedicated International Solution Specialists will let you know the next steps

To work as a specialist in New Zealand, you’ll need to have an appropriate specialist qualification. MCNZ will compare your training, qualifications, and experience to those of a New Zealand-trained and vocationally registered doctor in the same area of medicine. These assessments aren’t cheap and don’t guarantee you a job offer, but they’re an essential step. VOC3 Vocational (specialist) pathway is the most common route to medical registration and is a merit-based system. If you have the right credentials, the Special Purpose – Locum Tenens pathway is a great option if you’re interested in a fixed-term position of up to 12 months. In some cases, you can apply for both pathways. Your Solutions Specialist can help you navigate your options.

To find out more, register with Medrecruit. Once registered, you’ll be able to see and search for job opportunities and if it’s the right time for you, we’ll put you in contact with a Solutions Specialist and our in-house doctor immigration specialist.

Together, you’ll be able to discuss your options and take your first steps toward medical registration in New Zealand.

25 April 2022Article by Julia Medrecruit Editor