Quick Information on Working in New Zealand as a Physiotherapist

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If you are a physiotherapist that is interested in working abroad why not consider New Zealand? Yes, New Zealand. Why not?


If you’ve thought about Migrating to Australia as a physiotherapist, then why not New Zealand?


Do you know that being registered in New Zealand can give you access to work in Australia? But that’s not why I’m writing this today.


If you are a physiotherapist who has been actively practising and can prove your work experience, you may be able to pass the registration process.

Physiotherapy is actually one of the occupations on the New Zealand Skill shortage list and the government is welcoming internationally trained and skilled physiotherapists to work in New Zealand.

According to the Auckland Region District Health Boards/PSA Meca, 2017:
Graduate physiotherapists start on about $47,000 a year.
Physiotherapists with one to six years’ experience can earn between $47,000 and $68,000.
Physiotherapists with more than six year’s experience can earn $68,000 to $99,000.

Registration Requirements for Overseas Trained Physiotherapists in New Zealand

1. Does Your Primary Qualification meet the New Zealand physiotherapy education standards?

2. Do you meet the language requirements?


“If English is your first language and your programme of physiotherapy study was undertaken and examined in English, you meet the Board’s English language criteria.”

i. English is not your first language. “First language” (native language/mother tongue) is defined as the language a person learns first, usually from their family.
ii. Your course of physiotherapy (i.e. primary physiotherapy qualification) was not instructed and examined entirely in the English language.

If you answer “yes” to either 1 or 2 or both you need to do an English test; either IELTS or OET (Occupational English Test).

3. Recency of Practice Criteria:


i. Did you graduate from your primary physiotherapy qualification within the three years prior to the date of application for registration?


ii. Have you worked as a practising physiotherapist, whether full-time or part-time, for any period of time during the three years immediately prior to the date of application for registration?


iii. Are you able to provide evidence of successful completion of a formal course of university level physiotherapy study undertaken during the three years immediately prior to submitting your application for registration?

This physiotherapy course of study is in addition to your primary physiotherapy qualification and must include clinical practice experience,
i.e. a Graduate Diploma, a Postgraduate Diploma or a Masters with a clinical component.

You must answer “Yes” to at least ONE of the 3 questions.

The Application fee is NZ $1,734.50 (non-refundable) and they don’t guarantee you registration.

Extra points to note:

  • The application process takes an average of 2-3 months
  • Physiotherapists licensed to practice in Australia are entitled to seek registration in New Zealand under the Trans-Tasman Mutual Recognition Act 1997.
  • You must have an overall IELTS score of 7.5 with no less than 7 in each band
  • Your documents need to be notarized/certified before submission
  • If you seek clinical placements/internship/work experience as part of your physiotherapy qualifications, you must arrange this through one of the Schools of Physiotherapy in New Zealand.

These are the forms in the application pack:

  • Application Guidance Notes
  • Application Form
  • The Treaty of Waitangi: Referenced Report & Cultural Competence Reflective Statement
  • Threshold Templates
  • Threshold Template Information Sheet
  • Curriculum Vitae Template
  • Reflective Statement Template & Supporting Evidence Information Sheet
  • Validation of Work History Form
  • Confirmation of Fitness to Practise Form

If you’re ready to take on the New Zealand challenge to get licensed as a physiotherapist, start here: or contact the registration team

2 thoughts on “Quick Information on Working in New Zealand as a Physiotherapist

  1. Hi I am indian physiotherapist working in Australia as physiotherapist on limited registration in aged care. I m looking to migrate new Zealand. What is my scope of immigration

    1. If you are already working in Australia, that should be an advantage for New Zealand. Why not start searching for physio jobs in New Zealand?

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