PROCESS OF NURSING REGISTRATION, IMMIGRATION AND OBTAIN A NURSING JOB IN NEW ZEALAND
How to Obtain a Nursing Job in New Zealand: The Process:
urses are currently in high demand in New Zealand. There are excellent career opportunities with permanent and temporary work available. Most visa applications for nurses will receive priority processing.
Whether you have a high level of skills and experience or need to gain additional skills, there is a opportunity to suit you. There are excellent career opportunities with permanent and temporary work available in New Zealand. It doesn’t matter whether you are in New Zealand or outside New Zealand, you can still apply for your visa to work as a nurse.
Every nurse wishing to work in New Zealand must register with the New Zealand Nursing Council (NZNC). Each nurse is assessed on an individual basis. The process for overseas nurses (excluding nurses registered in all Australians states except Western Australia) takes about 12 weeks (if your paperwork is in order) and will cost approximately NZ$485 initially. You cannot apply for this over the counter. After you are registered the NZNC will send you application forms for the annual practising certificate. This takes approx 7-10 days to be processed and turned around and costs NZ$96 per annum. You may apply for the practising certificate over the counter. A receipt will be issued to you and the certificate sent out to you after being printed. You are able to work using the receipt.
Please note that the processing fee is non-refundable and will not be refunded if your application is withdrawn.
To apply for a Working Visa for New Zealand you need to hold an offer of employment for which you are qualified, and there are no suitable New Zealand citizens available. As nurses are in such high demand in New Zealand, they fall into a special category.
In order to work in New Zealand you will need to complete the following:
- Obtain an offer of employment – liaise with your consultant.
- Register with the New Zealand Nursing Council.
- Obtain a police clearance and, in some cases, a medical and chest x-ray.
- Obtain a practicing certificate from the New Zealand Nursing Council.
- Obtain a working visa.
- Obtain a work permit on your passport upon entry to the country.
Obtaining Nursing Registration in New Zealand
Each nurse is assessed on an individual basis. The process for overseas nurses (excluding nurses registered in all Australian states except Western Australia) takes about 12 weeks (if your paperwork is in order). You cannot apply for this over the counter. Once you are registered the NZNC will send you application forms for the annual practicing certificate. This takes approx 7-10 days to be processed. You may apply for the practicing certificate over the counter. A receipt will be issued to you and the certificate sent out to you after being printed. You are able to work using the receipt.
NZ Nursing Council
|Postal address:||P O Box 9644, Wellington, New Zealand|
|Street address:||Level 12, Mid City Tower, 139-143 Willis Street, Wellington, New Zealand|
|Telephone:||+64 4 385 9589 – all inquiries except annual practising certificates|
|+64 4 802 0247 – inquiries regarding annual practising certificates|
|Fax:||+64 4 801 8502|
|Website:E-mail:||firstname.lastname@example.org administration inquiries
email@example.com overseas registration inquiries
firstname.lastname@example.org practising certificate inquiries
NZ Nursing Council
Nursing Qualification Requirements
Overseas nurses applying for registration must have:
- Registration with an overseas regulatory authority
- An equivalent international qualification OR
- A pass in an assessment of the Council competencies for Registered Nurses by an approved provider
- Successfully completed a programme approved by the Council for the purpose of assessing competencies for Registered Nurses
The Council requires evidence of your overseas nursing registration by verification from the regulatory authority where you hold registration. This verification must be sent directly from that authority to the Council. The Council also requires you to provide the original of a Police Certificate, no more than 6 months old when received by the Council, as evidence you don’t have any convictions.
Applying for Nursing Registration or Enrolment
Nurses who have gained registration/enrolment in countries other than New Zealand must apply to the Nursing Council of New Zealand for admission to the register/roll before being able to practise in New Zealand. The Nursing Council of New Zealand has an overseas registration section to process applications from outside New Zealand. Personnel who will assist you with inquiries in this area are:
International Registrations Coordinator
Telephone: +64 4 385 9589
The Nursing Council assesses each applicant on an individual basis, and does not operate a system of reciprocal registration or enrolment – except if the applicant meets the requirements of the Trans-Tasman Mutual Recognition Act, TTMR Act (1998). Principle considerations for registration are:
- The applicant has undertaken a nursing or midwifery programme that is similar in all specified content and length to the equivalent programme in New Zealand, and is able to meet the Competencies for Registration/Enrolment.
- The applicant has practised as a nurse or midwife within the past five years.
- The applicant has supplied the Nursing Council with evidence, obtained within the past two years, of ability to speak and write in the English language, when English is not the applicant’s first language. Recognised tests are CGNFS, IELTS, OET, or as part of a competency programme.
- Applicants who do not meet the requirements for nursing registration may be required to undergo further experience with instruction through a Department of Nursing within a New Zealand educational institution. The applicant is responsible for negotiating the arrangements for the experience and instruction and for informing the Nursing Council about those arrangements.
Police Clearance and Medical Clearance
You are required to have a police clearance completed in your own country should you wish to gain employment in NZ. Some employers also require you to undertake a medical examination – you will be advised of this prior to your commencement.
Application forms for registration can be downloaded from the NZNC website. The website also provides answers to commonly asked questions and detailed information on the registration process. The Nursing Council of New Zealand does not assist with immigration requirements or employment opportunities. E-mail:
The Council will process and assess your application ONLY when the application fee has been paid and all required documents have been received.
Practising certificate and fees
Once you have obtained registration in New Zealand, you will need to apply for a practising certificate. All applications for a practising certificate must be on the official Nursing Council of New Zealand application form. These are not available online.
For inquiries contact:
|NZ Registrations Administrator|
|Postal address:||PO Box 9644, Wellington, New Zealand|
|Telephone:||+64 4 802 0245 or +64 4 802 0235|
|Fax:||+64 4 801 8502|
Midwives applying for registration from overseas (and Western Australia), will be assessed according to the Midwifery Council’s policy.
In order to register as a midwife in New Zealand applicants must meet the following criteria:
– Fitness for registration
– Qualifications for registration
– Competence for registration.
Detailed information, including flowcharts, and application forms for overseas midwives can be downloaded from the Midwifery Council of New Zealand website.
All midwives must hold a practicing certificate before they may practice, and an application will be sent to all new registrants.
The 1st April is considered the beginning of the year for the MCNZ. Presuming all paperwork is in order, applicants from Western Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom should allow around 2 months for their applications to be processed. Applicants from other countries should allow around 3 months.
- General information email: email@example.com
- Phone: +64 4 499 7979
- Post: Level 21, Grand Plimmer Tower 2-6 Gilmer Terrace PO Box 10 140 Wellington, New Zealand
Your Work Visa – Applying Offshore
After you have your registration you should apply for a work visa, and an endorsement on your passport to allow you to enter or re-enter New Zealand. To apply for a work visa you will need to complete the following forms which can be downloaded from the New Zealand Immigration Migrant Section on their Website. The NZIS can also be contacted on +64 9 914 4100.
- Application to Work in New Zealand
- Supplementary Application Form (provided by your employer)
As part of the application process you will need to provide your passport, proof of New Zealand Nurses Registration, proof of original nursing qualification (e.g. Diploma or Degree Certificate) and job offer stating position, salary and length of contract. Visa costs vary in New Zealand depending on your citizenship and the country from where you are applying. To determine the cost of a work visa you can visit the fees calculation section on the New Zealand Immigration Service website.
Your Work Permit
Your work permit will be stamped on your passport at the airport upon entry to New Zealand. There is no cost attached.
What about Bringing the Family?
If you are travelling with a partner or dependants, then they must each submit a separate visa application (see the application form; there is a specific section for families/dependants). Your partner should be eligible to work full time in New Zealand and will need to apply for a partnership work permit. They will need to complete only certain sections of the same work visa application form and will need to provide evidence of the relationship and a letter from you. They will not need to provide proof of work.
Parents should complete visa applications for any dependants and submit these with together with their application. Dependants are considered as any children up to the age of 18 or up to the age of 21 if they are enrolled in a full time University course in New Zealand. Schooling for Dependent Children, the spouse and dependent children of Work Visa holders are given Visitor or Student Visas for the same period as the Work Visa holder.
Dependent children of Work Visa holders do not pay international student tuition fees until they complete secondary school. Primary or secondary students who are dependants of someone who holds a New Zealand Work Permit will be regarded as domestic students.
Tertiary students will need to meet the general requirements as an international student, including paying foreign student fees. However, they won’t require guarantees to cover accommodation and living costs, provided the Work Permit holder has the income to cover them or has met this requirement in their own application. Further information can be obtained from Immigration New Zealand and The Ministry of Education.
How long will a Permit take to Process?
Presuming all paperwork is completed correctly you should allow approximately 6-8 weeks for applications to be processed. It is wise to send applications by express post to reduce the time spent in transit.
How to Apply for a Working Visa
To make an application you MUST supply all of the following:
- A valid British Passport (which must be valid for at least two years and one month from the date of application)
- A completed Working Holiday Scheme application form.
- A recent photo.
- Include the appropriate fee payable by personal cheque, Bank draft, Postal order or Credit Card, such as Visa, delta, Eurocard/Mastercard.
- A pre-paid self addressed envelope.
- Proof of sufficient funds, in the form of a bank statement, savings book.
Failure to produce the above will result in your application being returned to you. You should hear back from the NZ High Commission within 4-6 weeks. Successful applicants will also be required to provide the following on arrival in New Zealand:
- Evidence of your return or onward travel ticket or sufficient funds to purchase one.
Some Important Points
- You must arrive in New Zealand within 12 months from the date of issue of the Visa.
- You are able to enter and freely exit during your 12 month period. Please remember, however, that your permit is valid for 12 months from the initial date of entry, for multiple journeys. The 12 month period is not accumulative.
- You will not be eligible to return to New Zealand for a further working holiday under the scheme.
- You MUST have your return ticket or sufficient funds to purchase one and cover your travelling expenses. You CANNOT be sponsored by a New Zealand citizen or resident instead.
- You should not attempt to make any travel bookings until you have received your passport back.
New Zealand Nurses Organisation
New Zealand Nurses Organisation (NZNO) is the largest union and professional organisation of nurses, midwives and caregivers.
Address: Level 3 Wilbank House 57 Wills Street PO Box 2128 Wellington
Phone: 0800 28 38 48
Fax: 04 382 9993
Medical Care and Insurance
If you are a citizen of Australia, a national of the United Kingdom, or hold a temporary permit that is valid for two years or more you are entitled to free or subsidised medical treatment under the public healthcare system in New Zealand (NZ). You do not need to enrol for this care. When visiting a GP you will be charged approximately $40 for the consultation and you will also be charged for any prescriptions. Children under the age of 5 years are entitled to free GP visits. If you do not belong to one of these special categories and you receive medical treatment during your visit, you will be liable or your sponsor may be liable for the full costs of that treatment. We therefore strongly recommend that you have medical insurance for the duration of your visit.
There are many private healthcare companies although you need to be in NZ for at least 3 months prior to enrolling with them.
The following websites can also provide you with details on the New Zealand health system, and the range of private health insurance options available.
When you work in NZ, the NZ Taxation Department (Inland Revenue Department = IRD) must tax you. To ensure you are paying tax, firstly you need to get an IRD number. You do this when you arrive in NZ. It will take about 10 days to get your IRD number. For enquiries and detailed information please visit the Inland Revenue Taxation website. From here you can download the relevant form (IR 595). For income tax and general enquiries you can contact the department by phone on +64 4 801 9973 from overseas and 0800 227 774 within New Zealand or 09 263 3439 if calling from a New Zealand mobile. Goods and Services Tax GST is a tax charged on all goods and services supplied by businesses.
If you are only here for a temporary period you can drive on your own driver’s license. There is little or practically no point in gaining an International Driving Licence, as this has to be accompanied by your home license at all times anyway. If you are staying longer than 6 months it is important that you apply for a NZ license. This can be done through the Automobile Association (AA) once you are in NZ. You will need to contact your local AA office (see your local telephone directory) or check out New Zealand AA website.
We also suggest you obtain a New Zealand LONELY PLANET GUIDE – available at all good book shops for about $35.00. This provides you with everything you need to know about NZ, it’s culture and people, where to travel, what to do and see.
APPLYING FOR REGISTRATION AS A REGISTERED NURSE IN AOTEAROA NEW ZEALAND
When a nurse who is registered with an overseas authority applies to the Council for registration in New Zealand, each application is assessed on an individual basis. The Council operates a system of reciprocal registration with Australia. The application fee for internationally qualified nurse (IQN) registration is $650.00 and the TTMR application fee is $340.00. Please note both fees are non-refundable.
For applicants not registered in Australia we recommend using our online assessment tool as your first step in the application process before completing the online application.
Note:All IQN applicants need to complete an International Criminal History Check (ICHC) when advised from a Council approved vendor for each country they have lived in, or been primarily based in other than New Zealand for six consecutive months or longer. Applicants will be responsible for paying for their ICHC, a fee of $149.00 Australian Dollars per country.
All applicants who have resided in New Zealand for six months or more will also be required to complete New Zealand Police Vetting.
REQUIREMENTS FOR JOINING THE NEW ZEALAND REGISTER:
Internationally qualified nurses applying for registration in New Zealand must meet the following requirements for fitness to practice.
Applicants must establish their identity.
- English language requirement:
Applicants must be able to communicate in and understand English for the purpose of practicing nursing. To prove this, they must successfully complete an English Language Assessment (ELA) before applying for New Zealand registration. (This requirement does not apply to applicants with Australian registration.)
- Educational equivalence:
Applicants must meet the Nursing Council of New Zealand’s educational standards for the registered nurse scope of practice. These standards are described in the next section.
- Current registration:
You must have current registration in your own country to apply for registration with the Nursing Council of New Zealand.
- Post-registration experience:
Applicants must have completed the required two years post-registration practice, within the immediate 5 years preceding application (no less than 2,500 hours).
- Fitness to practice:
Applicants must be able to demonstrate that they are fit for registration.
- Competence to practice:
Applicants must be competent to practice within their scopes of practice.
EDUCATION STANDARDS FOR REGISTERED NURSES :
This section gives a summary of the Education Programme Standards for the registered nurse programme in New Zealand. The full document is available on the Nursing Council’s website.
Qualifications required for registration International applicants must have nursing qualifications that: are equivalent to: – Level 7 on the New Zealand Qualifications Framework (NZQF).
For more information, see
– full-time study for a minimum of 3 years, completed within 5 years of first enrolment meet the Education Standards for the registered nurse programme in New Zealand .
Please note: The organization providing the training must be authorized by the local and/or national nurse regulatory authority and endorsed by the local health and/or education authority during the time the applicant was completing the nursing programme.
Standards for training programmes:
Training programmes completed by international applicants must meet the standards described below.
Requirements of graduates :
Graduates of the nursing programme must be able to engage in self-directed learning and demonstrate: intellectual independence, critical thinking and analytic rigour knowledge and skills relating to the ideas, principles, concepts, research methods and problem solving techniques of nursing the skills needed to acquire, understand and assess information from a range of sources communication and collaborative skills.
knowledge of pharmacology and medicine management comprehensive skills in assessing health consumers and making clinical decisions effective therapeutic communication with health consumers the ability to: – work within a health care team – provide delegation and direction in practice – use information technology and manage health information.
Structure and content of the programme:
The nursing programme must: be based on health care and practice needs provide learning experiences in theory and clinical practice that:
– promote the development of critical thinking and nursing inquiry
– uses teaching and learning approaches that are based on current best practice and research evidence.
The programme must identify the expected learning outcomes for each course and demonstrate how these learning outcomes will be met and assessed. It must also show how nursing knowledge and skills are expanded and extended across the duration of the programme.
Fifty percent of the theory hours of the nursing programme must have a clear nursing focus and include nursing theory and concepts.
Clinical experience :
The programme must provide a minimum of 1100 hours of clinical experience. This excludes laboratory or simulation hours.
The final semester/year of the programme must include an extended clinical experience of at least 360 hours, in full shifts of approximately 8 hours.
The clinical experiences must occur in a range of settings with health consumers across the lifespan and must include: primary health care and community settings acute care including medical and surgical settings continuing care settings including acute and rehabilitation/disability care settings mental health care including acute and rehabilitation/continuing care settings.
The clinical experiences must have formulated learning outcomes that demonstrate increased responsibility, knowledge and skills across the years.
The final semester/year of the programme must have a clear focus on the registered nurse role.
COMPETENCE TO PRACTISE :
To be assessed for competence to practise, the applicant must supply evidence that: supports and verifies the educational equivalence of the training programme completed by the applicant verifies the applicant’s registration with the relevant regulatory authority verifies the applicant’s post-registration experience and ongoing professional development if required by the Nursing Council of New Zealand, shows that the applicant has successfully completed a competence assessment programme or individualised competence assessment programme that has been approved by the Nursing Council
Competence assessment programme :
The Nursing Council of New Zealand may require applicants to complete a competence assessment programme (CAP).
These programmes are generally 6–8 weeks long and include a theoretical and a clinical component.
Applicants are given 24 months from the date of notification to begin a CAP. CAP providers charge fees for the programme.
This fee is payable to the provider, not to the Nursing Council. The Nursing Council’s website
has a list of the approved CAP providers in New Zealand.
Please note: We advise nurses to secure a place on a CAP before making plans to come to New Zealand. A nurse who is required by the Nursing Council to complete a CAP must secure a place within 24 months, or the application will expire. No extension is given on applications.
THE APPLICATION PROCESS:
Application for registration is a two-step process.
The online application is for step one.
Step two will involve getting information from your school of training and regulatory body.
We will consider your application when we have all the required documents as per the checklist emailed to you at the completion of the online application. We cannot tell you what the Council’s decision will be until your application has been assessed. This can take up to 30 working days. Please keep your contact details up to date.
The checklists below list all the requirements for your application. They are provided to help you ensure that your application is complete. We suggest that you tick each completed item in the box on the right
Checklist of requirements –
- A completed online application form
- Application fee Certified copies of your:
- Registration certificate
- English language assessment – IELTS (academic test) or OET certificate Original copies of your:
- Curriculum vitae
- Two professional references
- One character reference
- Evidence of employment letter
- Evidence of name change (if applicable)
When the Nursing Council has received a complete online application and signed checklist with all the required documents, you will be given a personal reference number. Please quote this number whenever you contact the Nursing Council.
You must supply all the required documents with your application.
If you do not supply all the necessary documents, your application may be declined.
Checklist of requirements –
- Verification request form (for your regulatory authority)
- Transcript request form (for your pre-registration nursing education provider) The regulatory authority and the education provider must send these forms directly to the Nursing Council of New Zealand.
- International Criminal History Check (the NCNZ will advise when this is required)
GUIDELINES FOR STEP ONE OF THE APPLICATION PROCESS
The application form :
You must complete the online application form yourself. No one else may complete your online application for you. Remember, when sending in your documents to include the signed and dated checklist provided to you via email at the end of the online application.
Registration fee :
The total application fee is NZ$650.00. Please note that this fee is non-refundable.
Scopes of practice section :
Please refer to the Nursing Council website for further information on scopes of practice
Declaration of competence and fitness to practice:
You must provide a declaration on the application form about your competence and fitness for registration. Mental or physical condition preventing performance of nursing functions
If your answer is yes (in other words – you have a mental or physical condition that means you are unable to perform the functions required for practicing nursing; this includes impairment caused by alcohol or drug abuse), please provide a letter giving further details.
Put the letter in an envelope marked ‘Private and confidential’ and address it to the Registration Manager, and attach it to the checklist provided via email. Professional investigation or disciplinary proceedings This question includes any: disciplinary action by an overseas regulatory authority or a New Zealand regulatory authority that has led to the removal of your name from a register, or suspension of your registration (or equivalent), or conditions being included in your scope of practice, or criminal proceedings or a criminal conviction, either in New Zealand or overseas.
If your answer is yes, provide a letter giving further details. Put the letter in an envelope marked ‘Private and confidential’ and addressed to the Registration Manager, and attach it to the checklist provided by email.
Supporting documents required :
You must include the following documents with your checklist and declaration
1. Passport (a certified copy of the original):
You must provide a certified copy of the details page of your current passport, showing a clear photograph.
- Registration certificate (certified copy of the original) :
You must provide evidence of your initial registration in your home country (your registration certificate) and of your current registration status, from the relevant regulatory authority. The registration must contain an expiry date. Applicants from the Philippines must provide an authenticated Board certificate. For the authentication procedure, please see the General Information section.
- English language certificate (certified copy of the original) :
You must provide a certified copy of an English language assessment certificate. The Nursing Council will verify this with the testing authority.
The Nursing Council has approved two English Language Assessments:
the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) (Academic test) and the Occupational English Test (OET).
Your certificate must be one of these. The two assessments are explained in the table below.
Approved English Language Assessments IELTS test:
In this test, an applicant must achieve a minimum score of 7.0 for each band: reading, listening, writing and speaking. This does not need to be achieved in a single sitting of the IELTS test, but can be gained over a succession of tests. The total of seven in each band must be achieved within 12 months of first sitting the test. Information on the IELTS test can be found at the website:
An applicant must pass the OET with a score of at least B in each section. This does not need to be achieved in a single sitting of the OET test, but can be gained over a succession of tests, providing the applicant uses the same candidate number.
The score of B in each band must be achieved within 12 months of first sitting the test. Information on the OET can be found on the website: www.occupationalenglishtest.org
You can take the test either in your country of residence or in New Zealand. The Nursing Council strongly recommends that you complete this test before immigrating to New Zealand.
The English language assessment must be less than three years old at the time you submit a completed application to the Council.
- Curriculum Vitae (CV) :
You must provide a CV that gives a detailed record of your post-registration nursing experience, including dates employed, name of employer(s), position(s) held, areas of practice and actual nursing duties.
Your CV should also provide details of your education qualifications and professional development.
You must sign and date the CV to verify that it is an accurate and truthful overview of your qualifications, professional experiences and relevant personal information.
- Two professional references (original documents):
Two original professional references are required. These references must: be on letterhead paper include the contact details of the workplace (telephone number, email address, and work place email address where applicable), so that Council staff are able to contact the referees be written by a senior nurse, nursing supervisor, doctor or health professional who supervised your registered nurse practice at your current place of employment (the reference must include the writer’s work email address, credentials as a health professional, and role) include your full name and date of birth be addressed to the Nursing Council of New Zealand.
The referees must: include their own registration number and the name of the regulatory authority they are registered with confirm what professional role you were employed in and for how long discuss your post-registration experience include statements about your character and integrity – in particular:
– what reasons relating to character, integrity, reliability and diligence, in their opinion, make you suitable to be registered as a nurse in New Zealand
– if they know of anything that might hinder your registration in New Zealand – in particular, any issues of professional competence or fitness to practice relating to your nursing practice
– whether, to their knowledge, you have ever been convicted of an offence.
- One character reference (original document):
You must provide one character reference from a person who has known you for at least two years. The referee does not need to be a nurse, but must not be a member of your family. The reference must include: the referee’s full name and contact details (telephone and email) your full name and date of birth how long and it what circumstances the referee has known you statements about your character and integrity – in particular:
what reasons relating to character, integrity, reliability and diligence, in the referee’s opinion, make you suitable to be registered as a nurse in New Zealand – if they know of anything that might hinder your registration in New Zealand
– in particular, any issues of professional competence or fitness to practice relating to your nursing practice
– whether, to their knowledge, you have ever been convicted of an offence. The reference must be signed and dated, by the referee and addressed to the Nursing Council of New Zealand.
Please note: The Council does not accept references from nursing agencies.
- Letter from your employer:
The Nursing Council requires evidence that you have completed two years’ post-registration experience within the five years before your application for registration in New Zealand.
The two years must include a minimum of 2,500 hours of clinical practice.
The letter from your employer (or employers) must: be on letterhead paper, and signed and dated by your employer include the writer’s full name, work email and postal address give your name, date of birth, registration number and the specific role you were employed in state the number of clinical pratice hours you completed during your employment include the website address of the work place where applicable.
- Name change document If your current name does not match the name on all your documents, you must provide a certified copy of a change of name or marriage certificate document. Applicants from the Philippines must provide an authenticated name change document.
For more details please click below link:
For Registered nurse and Enrolled nurse International applicants
All information provided by an applicant in support of his or her application for registration must be true and accurate. If false or misleading information is submitted, the application will not be processed. This may affect any subsequent application and the appropriate authorities may be notified, including immigration New Zealand. If the applicant obtained registration by making a false or misleading representation or declaration, or was not entitled to be registered, the Council may order the cancellation of the applicant’s registration. Please note that all application fees are non-refundable.
There are two scopes of practice that you may apply for registration in:
- Registered Nurse scope of practice
- Enrolled Nurse scope of practice
Requirements for registration
Applicants for registration must provide evidence that they:
have an international nursing qualification equivalent to that prescribed in New Zealand. The qualification prescribed by the Nursing Council for Registered Nurses from overseas was updated 1 March 2013 (the nursing qualification leading to registration was further refined 9July 2015).
are competent to practise within their scope of practice
are fit for registration. This includes the ability to communicate effectively in English for the purpose of practising nursing.
International applicants from all countries (except Australia) are required to sit an English Language assessment before submitting an application. The assessment can be either the International English Language Testing (IELTS) Academic Test, or the Occupational English Test (OET).
Applications for registration will not be considered until all the required documentation is received. Once the necessary documentation is received, the application will be considered within 30 working days. Please do not contact the Nursing Council during this time. Council staff will contact you if the information provided is insufficient or requires clarification.
Enrolled Nurse applicants
There are very limited placements available in the enrolled nurse Competence Assessment Programmes (CAPs). This programme must be successfully completed prior to registration within the required timeframe. In addition, there are limited employment opportunities for enrolled nurses to practise in New Zealand.
Please also note that the Council has no jurisdiction in immigration matters (www.immigration.govt.nz)
If you have any questions please contact the Council with your full name:
- Telephone +64-4-385 9589
- Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Shortened nursing courses available in New Zealand have not been approved by the Nursing Council and may not lead to registration. If you are unsure whether the course you are applying for is approved by the Council, or is a pathway to registration, please contact Council staff at
International applicants must have a nursing qualification that
- Is equivalent to level 7 (in New Zealand this is a bachelors degree) on the New Zealand Qualifications Framework.
- See for more information
- Full time study for a minimum of 3 years, completed within 5 years of first enrolment.
- meet the education standards for the registered nurse programme in New Zealand.
If your qualification does not meet these two criteria please contact us at :
- Nursing qualification must be authorised by the nursing regulatory authority and accredited and monitored by national education authority and nursing regulator.
- You must hold current registration with an overseas Regulatory Authority to apply for registration in New Zealand, and provide evidence of your initial registration from the relevant regulatory authority.
- Applicants registered with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) may apply to the Nursing Council of New Zealand for registration under the Trans-Tasman Mutual Recognition Act 1997 (TTMRA). Please use this form for a TTMRA application.
English Language Requirement
Applicants must be able to communicate in and understand English for the purpose of practising nursing. All Internationally Qualified Nurses regardless of your country of origin must successfully complete an English language assessment before applying for registration in New Zealand. The Nursing Council has approved two English Language Assessments: the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) (Academic test) and the Occupational English Test (OET). You must complete one of these English Language Assessments.
If you complete the IELTS test:
You must achieve a minimum score of 7.0 for each band: reading, listening, writing and speaking. This does not need to be achieved in a single sitting of the IELTS test. This can be gained over a succession of tests, sat within 12 months of first sitting the test. More information on the IELTS test can be found on their website:www.ielts.org.
If you complete the OET test:
You must pass the OET with a score of at least B in each section: reading, listening, writing and speaking. This does not need to be achieved in a single sitting of the OET, but can be gained over a succession of tests (providing the applicant uses the same candidate number) sat within 12 months of first sitting the test. More information on the OET test can be found on their website:
You can take the test either in your country of residence or in New Zealand, however the Nursing Council strongly recommends that you complete this test before immigrating to New Zealand.
Post Registration Experience Information
The Nursing Council requires evidence that you have completed two years post-registration nursing practice as a registered nurse. This must include at least 2500 practising hours within the five years immediately preceeding the date of application for registration in New Zealand.
What counts as nursing practice?
Nursing practice is using nursing knowledge in a direct relationship with clients or working in nursing management, nursing administration, nursing education, nursing research, nursing professional advice or nursing policy development roles, which impact on public safety.
For further information see the definition of practising Nursing Council of New Zealand website.
Where to Next?
From the answers you have provided in this self-assessment you appear ready to apply for registration in New Zealand in the registered nurse scope of practice.
When completing your application you will be asked to make a declaration regarding your competence and fitness to practice. This includes questions about your communication ability, mental and physical health conditions and any convictions or professional disciplinary proceedings.
Once all documents have been received, your application will be assessed within 20 working days
If you are ready to apply, please follow this link to the online application form or return to international registration. if you require more information. Please note that we can only accept credit cards or debit cards (Visa or Mastercard) for payment. We cannot accept bank drafts, cheques, cash or direct deposit.
Criminal history check:
you can apply for an International Criminal History Check (ICHC) using this application form.
• When you have submitted your application for the check, Fit2work will assess your application for completeness.
• When your application is considered complete, you will receive an email with an ICHC reference page that will include a check reference number.
• Please note: you do not need to provide the results report to Nursing Council of New Zealand. Your ICHC results will be sent directly to Nursing Council of New Zealand and you will also be emailed a copy by Fit2work.
If you have any queries, please contact Fit2work’s helpdesk on 1300 575 575 or email:
IMPORTANT NOTICE Regarding Australian National Police History Checks.
IMPORTANT NOTICE: As of 29/04/2015 and until further notice, International Checks for Nepal, Libya, Vanuatu, Syria and Yemen are unavailable.
Please contact Fit2work for further information and assistance.
VARIOUS WORKING VISA FOR NURSES :
Permanent and Temporary Visa Options for Nurses
Immigration New Zealand
Immigration New Zealand is the government office that is responsible for managing all visa applications.
Skilled Migrant Visa
Permanent residency may be possible with an application through the Skilled Migrant Category (Skilled Migration Visa).
The skilled Migrant Visa is a points-based visa with additional points awarded to nurses because there is such a serious shortage of Registered Nurses (in all fields) in New Zealand. As such, the New Zealand Government has listed Registered Nurses on their “Long Term skills shortage list” under the Skilled Migrant Category.
Temporary Work Visa
If you secure an offer of employment as a nurse, you may be able to obtain a Temporary Work Visa for up to 5 years. A Temporary Work Visa is typically processed as a priority application and can be obtained very quickly.
They offer an excellent opportunity for nurses wishing to experience living and working in another country at a relatively low cost.
Working Holiday Visa
This visa allows you to stay for 12 months and work as a nurse with any one employer for a maximum of six months, provided your work remains incidental to your holidays.
If you are between 18 and 30, you may be able to come to New Zealand temporarily for a working holiday.
The working holiday visa is offered by New Zealand to those who are aged between 18 and 30 years old. This visa allows a stay in New Zealand of up to 23 months. To be eligible for this type of visa you must be from one of the countries specified by Immigration New Zealand. To see the list of countries or to this working visa, please refer to the immigration New Zealand website
Silver Fern Visas
The Silver Fern visas include two visas. These are:
- Silver Fern Job Search
- Silver Fern Practical Experience
The Silver Fern Job Search Visa
This visa offers individuals the opportunity to enter New Zealand for 9 months to search for skilled employment. This visa is limited to 300 per year. To be eligible to receive this visa you must meet the following requirements:
- You must be aged between 20 and 35 years old
- You must meet qualification requirements
- You must meet English language proficiency requirements
- You must be in possession of enough funds to support yourself throughout your stay in New Zealand.
The Silver Fern Practical Experience Visa
This visa can only be applied for after the individual has successfully found skills employment in New Zealand under the Silver Fern Job Search Visa. This visa allows the individual to work up to 2 years in New Zealand in the job, which they secured during their job search. To be eligible for this visa you must meet the requirements specified under the Silver Fern job search visa.
The skilled migrant category is a visa that permits the individual to live and work permanently in New Zealand. To be eligible for the skilled migrant visa, you must meet the following criteria:
- You must be aged 55 or under
- You must be of good health and good character
- You are proficient in the English language
It is important to note that this visa is offered based on a points system. To be granted this visa you must have enough points, as specified by the immigration New Zealand. This points are given based on age, experience, employability and qualifications. To learn how to apply for this visa please click here.
Visa Eligibility Requirements
To be eligible for a visa in New Zealand, you must meet certain requirements specified by Immigration New Zealand. These requirements apply to all visas, and include the following:
- The individual must be in Good Health and of Good Character
- The individual has a valid passport
- The individual must genuinely want to work and be employed in New Zealand
- The individual must be in possession of the right visa for the stay in New Zealand
For more information on any New Zealand working visas please refer to the immigration New Zealand https://www.immigration.govt.nz/new-zealand-visas
For Indian nurses who needs to migrate to new Zealand , please visit below website to know your agency nurses emigration clearances office orders.
Ministry of external affairs, Overseas employment division. Visit:
Please share your knowledge regarding the immigration process if you are already working in New Zealand , and thus help our nursing colleagues to achieve success in their career.