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Registration process

Regardless of the type of registration you are applying for, the basic process to get registered as a doctor in New Zealand will be similar.

This page outlines the process providing information on what you can expect, what you might need to provide, and how long it will take.

The basic registration process

For all types of registration the basic registration process is as follows. The specific registration process you'll follow will depend on which registration pathway is appropriate for you.

  • 1
    Use the registration self-assessment tool to determine your appropriate registration pathway.
    Use our registration self assessment tool to determine which pathway to registration (as a medical practitioner in Aotearoa New Zealand) you might be eligible for. Note: we do not cover student electives.
  • 2
    Learn about your registration pathway
    We have three main types of registration (what we call scopes) - vocational, general and special purpose. Within each scope there are multiple application pathways. Each of these has specific requirements you need to meet in order to be registered. This section outlines the different pathways for each scope.
  • 3
    Complete and submit the required forms, documentation and fees to us.
    This page contains a full list of our forms including application, report and referee forms, as well as checklists and the current fees payable.
  • 4
    Undergo pre-assessment interview (if necessary)
    All international medical graduates coming to New Zealand to practise medicine for the first time must attend a registration meeting and be able to produce the information we've asked for.
  • 5
    We review your registration application and grant you registration, if appropriate.
  • 6
    We issue you with a practising certificate and you may start practising in New Zealand
    This page outlines your rights responsibilities in relation to your practising certificate, and the possible consequences if you practise without a certificate.

How long will it take to get registered?

General and special purpose registration

Applications for provisional general, general and special purpose registration require 20 working days for us to assess your eligibility for registration. The 20 working days starts once we've received a complete application. If your registration pathway requires you to have a job offer before applying, your employer will need to help you with your application.

Vocational registration

Applications for vocational registration require varying timeframes for us to assess your eligibility for registration. These are:

  • VOC1 - 10 working days
  • VOC2 - 2 months
  • VOC3 (provisional vocational) - 6 months.

The time frame begins once we've received a complete application. Vocational registration pathways do not require you to have a job offer before applying, however if you do have a job offer when you apply for provisional vocational registration, your employer will need to help you with your application.

What will you need to process my application?

We can only process applications that are complete. For your application to be considered complete, you must:

  • submit the required documents for primary source verification before applying
  • satisfy our English language policy
  • complete and submit all the documents listed in the checklist associated with your pathway
  • submit references that meet our reference policy.

If you have disclosures to make you may need to provide additional information with your application, such as certificates of professional status from overseas regulatory authorities.

How is my application assessed?

Your application will be assigned to a registration coordinator to determine whether you:

  • hold the prescribed qualification
  • are fit for registration
  • are competent to practice in the scope of practice you have applied for.

Your qualifications, work history, references and information from other regulators such as the type of registration you hold, are important considerations in this assessment.

If your pathway requires you to work under supervision, the registration coordinator will also need to consider your supervision plan to ensure that it meets our requirements, and allows you to be safely oriented to New Zealand medical practice.

Where should I start?

To get started, use the registration self assessment tool to determine your most appropriate registration pathway.