Top 5 Visa Options for Medical Professionals Moving to New Zealand

New Zealand, renowned for its stunning landscapes and high quality of life, also boasts a robust healthcare system that actively seeks skilled medical professionals. If you are a doctor or healthcare worker considering relocating to New Zealand, understanding the visa options available is crucial. Here, we explore the top five visa options for medical professionals moving to New Zealand, ensuring you are well-informed on your journey to join NZ’s healthcare workforce.

1. Skilled Migrant Category Resident Visa

The Skilled Migrant Category Resident Visa is a popular choice among medical professionals. This visa is points-based, considering factors such as age, work experience, qualifications, and an offer of skilled employment in New Zealand.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Occupation on the Long Term Skill Shortage List (LTSSL): Medical professionals are often listed on the LTSSL, which helps in gaining points.
  • Relevant Qualifications: Having qualifications that are recognized by the New Zealand Medical Council or other relevant bodies.
  • English Proficiency: Competence in English, usually proven through tests like IELTS.


  • Permanent Residency: This visa leads to permanent residency, allowing you to live, work, and study in New Zealand indefinitely.
  • Family Inclusion: You can include your partner and dependent children in your application.

2. Essential Skills Work Visa

The Essential Skills Work Visa caters to skilled workers who have a job offer from a New Zealand employer.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Job Offer: A job offer from an accredited New Zealand employer.
  • Relevant Skills and Experience: Your skills and work experience must match the job offer.
  • Market Test: The employer must demonstrate that they have made genuine efforts to hire a New Zealander for the position.


  • Work Experience: Gain valuable work experience in New Zealand’s healthcare system.
  • Pathway to Residency: This visa can serve as a pathway to residency through the Skilled Migrant Category Resident Visa.

3. Accredited Employer Work Visa

The Accredited Employer Work Visa is intended for workers with a job offer from an employer accredited by Immigration New Zealand.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Accredited Employer: The job offer must come from an accredited employer.
  • Job Matching Skills: Your skills and experience should match the job requirements.
  • Salary Threshold: Meeting the minimum salary threshold set by Immigration New Zealand.


  • Simplified Process: Faster and more straightforward application process due to employer accreditation.
  • Residence Pathway: Often leads to a Residence from Work Visa after two years.

4. Residence from Work Visa

For those already working in New Zealand under the Long Term Skill Shortage List Work Visa or an Accredited Employer Work Visa, the Residence from Work Visa is an ideal pathway to residency.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Employment Duration: Must have been employed in New Zealand for at least 24 months.
  • Skill Shortage Occupation: Employment in a role that appears on the LTSSL or under an accredited employer.
  • Satisfactory Health and Character: Must meet health and character requirements.


  • Permanent Residency: Grants permanent residency, allowing you to settle in New Zealand.
  • Family Inclusion: Your family can also gain residency.

5. Long Term Skill Shortage List Work Visa

The Long Term Skill Shortage List Work Visa is designed for professionals whose occupations are listed on the LTSSL.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Job Offer in LTSSL Occupation: A job offer in an occupation listed on the LTSSL.
  • Relevant Qualifications and Experience: Matching qualifications and work experience.
  • Health and Character Requirements: Meeting standard health and character requirements.


  • Pathway to Residency: Provides a clear route to the Residence from Work Visa after two years of employment.
  • High Demand Occupations: Focuses on occupations in high demand, ensuring job stability.


NZ immigration medical doctors can be a rewarding decision, offering numerous visa options tailored to skilled workers in the healthcare sector. Whether you are aiming for permanent residency through the Skilled Migrant Category Resident Visa or seeking initial work experience with the Essential Skills Work Visa, understanding these pathways can help you navigate the NZ immigration system effectively. With a high demand for medical doctors and other healthcare professionals, New Zealand offers a promising future for those looking to make a significant impact in their field while enjoying the unique lifestyle the country has to offer.