The Procedure

If there are no eligible New Zealanders who meet your qualifications for the job, you must have an offer of employment to apply for a working visa for New Zealand. As a result of the great need for nurses in New Zealand (, they are given special treatment. Although the government has designated nursing as a long-term skill deficit, it must be checked to see if qualified New Zealanders are available. 

It would be best if you did the following before you can start working in New Zealand:

  • Get a job offer by speaking with your consultant.
  • Participate in the New Zealand Nursing Council registry.
  • Get a police clearance, a medical examination, and, in some situations, a chest x-ray.
  • The New Zealand Nursing Council should issue you a practising certificate. 
  • At the time of admission, get a work visa on your passport.

Getting a Nursing License in New Zealand 

To get a work permit, you must prove that you are registered with the NZNC, the New Zealand Nursing Council. The following is relevant to licenced nurses. Every nurse is evaluated on an individual basis. The procedure takes around 12 weeks for foreign nurses (as opposed to nurses registered in other Australian states other than Western Australia) (if your paperwork is in order). 

It cannot be applied over the counter. The NZNC will send you the application forms for the annual practising certificate after you have enrolled. It takes about 7 to 10 days to process this. The practising certificate application is available in person. You will receive a receipt, and once the certificate has been printed, it will be sent to you. Using the receipt will allow you to work. 

Prerequisites for Nursing Qualifications

When requesting registration, overseas nurses must have the following: 

  • Submission of an application to a foreign regulatory body AND
  • A foreign degree of equal standing OR 
  • Passing a Council of Competencies for Registered Nurses assessment performed by a provider who has been given the go-ahead and

Completed a programme approved by the Council to evaluate a registered nurse’s competency. The regulatory body where your registration is held must verify your overseas nursing registration for the Council to accept it. You must also submit the original of a police certificate, which must be at most six months when the Council receives it, as proof that you have never been punished for a crime. 

Registering or enrolling in nursing school

Nurses registered or enrolled in nations other than New Zealand must apply to the Nursing Council of New Zealand for admission to the register or roll before being permitted to practise in New Zealand. To handle applications from outside New Zealand, the Nursing Council of New Zealand includes a department for international registration. You can contact the following people for assistance with this matter: 


Except in cases when an applicant satisfies the provisions of the Trans-Tasman Mutual Recognition Act or TTMR Act, the Nursing Council evaluates each application individually. It does not run a system of reciprocal registration or enrollment (1998). Key factors for registration include: 

  • The applicant can meet the Qualifications for Registration/Enrolment and has completed a nursing or midwifery programme equivalent to the programme in New Zealand in terms of the specified content and length. 
  • The candidate has worked as a nurse or midwife for five years. 
  • When English is not the applicant’s native language, the applicant has provided the Nursing Council with evidence of their competence to speak and write in English, achieved within the last two years. The CGNFS, IELTS, OET, and as part of a competency programme are examples of recognised tests. 
  • A Department of Nursing within a New Zealand educational institution may be required to provide additional experience and teaching for applicants who need to meet the standards for nursing registration. In addition to informing the Nursing Council of the arrangements, the applicant is in charge of negotiating the terms of the experience and instruction. 

Clearances from the police and the medical system

If you want to work in New Zealand, you must get your police clearance processed there. You may also be asked to undergo a medical exam by some companies; if this is the case, you will be informed before you start the job. 

Information In general

Registration application forms are available for download. Together with answers to frequently asked concerns, the website offers complete details on the registration procedure. The Nursing Council of New Zealand does not offer assistance with employment prospects or immigration needs.

What if the family comes along? 

A section on the application form is designated specifically for families and dependents if you are travelling with a partner or dependents who must complete a separate visa application. Your spouse or partner must be able to obtain a partnership work permit and be legally permitted to work full-time in New Zealand. They will need to fill out specific sections of the same work visa application form, and they will need to submit proof of their relationship and a letter from you. They won’t have to present any documentation of their efforts. 

In addition to their application, parents should also fill out and submit visa applications for any dependents. Children up to the age of 18 or up to the age of 21, if they are enrolled in a full-time university programme in New Zealand, are regarded as dependents. Work visa holders’ spouses and dependent children receive visitor or student visas for the same duration as the work visa holder. Schooling for Dependent Children. 

Dependent children of people with work visas only have to pay foreign student fees once they graduate high school. Domestic students are those who attend primary or secondary school and are dependents of a person who has a New Zealand Work Permit. Students in higher education must adhere to general standards for international students, which include paying foreign student fees. However, suppose the holder of the Work Permit can pay for them or has already satisfied this condition in their application. In that case, they won’t need guarantees to pay for housing and living expenses.