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Pathway for health professionals to nursing jobs in New Zealand 21 October 2022

Nursing or healthcare professionals who want to work in New Zealand can apply for visas to visit and work, and must meet requirements for nursing registration and the Competence Assessment Programme (CAP) and the CAP fund.

The visas people can apply for are:

  • the Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV)
  • the Occupational Registration Visitor Visa, or
  • the Specific Purpose Work Visa if they are from the Philippines.

Before you apply for your visa

To work as a nurse in New Zealand you need to:

  • be registered with the Nursing Council of New Zealand (NCNZ)
  • complete a Competence Assessment Programme (CAP), if required
  • meet Immigration New Zealand (INZ) visa requirements.

How to register with Nursing Council of New Zealand (NCNZ)

Choose the option for the type of current nursing registration you have and apply on the NCNZ website.

Applying with Australian registration
Internationally Qualified Nurses with other registration (non-Australian)

As part of your NCNZ registration you may be required to complete a CAP. Check the NCNZ website for information about how to register for a CAP course.

If you do not need to complete a CAP

If the NCNZ tells you you do not need a Competence Assessment Programme (CAP) you can apply for an Accredited Employer Work Visa and work in New Zealand when you arrive.

Accredited Employer Work Visa

If you do need to complete a CAP

You can apply on the NCNZ website.

Internationally Qualified Nurses with other registration (non-Australian)

Te Whatu Ora Health New Zealand provides funding assistance for eligible applicants.

Internationally Qualified Nurses CAP Fund | Te Whatu Ora Health New Zealand

Visa options and requirements if you need a CAP

You can apply for an Occupational Registration Visitor Visa if you are an Internationally Qualified Nurse (IQN) nurse and need to complete a Competence Assessment Programme (CAP).

Documents to include

As well as your identity and other immigration documents, you need to include in your online application:

  • a letter from NCNZ that confirms that you must complete a CAP
  • the 'offer of place' confirmation from your CAP provider
  • receipt of payments of course fees, if applicable.

Completing the online form

To help you successfully complete the Occupational Registration Visitor Visa, read through the following guidance.

Use your RealMe account to log into Immigration Online and apply for a Temporary entry class visa.

In the 'Your situation' section, answer these questions as follows:

  • What type of visa do you want to apply for? Select 'Visitor'.
  • Select the purpose of your visit. Select 'Professional'.
  • Why do you want to visit New Zealand? Select 'To seek occupational registration in New Zealand'.

Occupational Registration Visitor Visa 

Once you complete your CAP and are registered with NCNZ you can apply for an Accredited Employer Work Visa and work in New Zealand.

Accredited Employer Work Visa

Philippine applicants

You can apply for a Specific Purpose Work Visa if you are IQN registered and:

  • have received a job offer from a district health board or Te Whatu Ora Health New Zealand
  • are accepted for the Nursing Council’s Competence Assessment Programme.

Specific Purpose Work Visa

Nursing in New Zealand

Information about New Zealand's health sector, career information and job opportunities.

 A better place to work | Te Whatu Ora Health New Zealand