Your registration interview

All international medical graduates coming to New Zealand to practise medicine for the first time must attend a registration interview and be able to produce the information we've asked for.

About the interview

The first step in your registration process is completing and sending your application, the next step is your registration interview. The registration interview allows you to complete registration formalities and apply for a practising certificate.

Once we've assessed your application and determined that you are eligible for the scope of practice that you have applied for, we'll email you a letter of eligibility for registration. This letter has contact details for our Wellington office, and our registration agents elsewhere in New Zealand. It also tells you what to bring with you to the interview. You can then schedule your registration interview, which will be conducted either by a Medical Council registration staff member in Wellington, or one of our agents in Auckland, Christchurch or Dunedin.

At your registration interview we'll confirm your identity, look at your original documents (see below), ask you about your practice intentions, and outline your supervision requirements. You'll also have to complete another form to apply and pay for your practising certificate. You can't practise in New Zealand until your registration has been confirmed and you have a practising certificate, so please allow 5 working days between your interview and your start date for the paperwork to be processed and a practising certificate to be issued.

Before you attend your registration interview all your required documents must have been primary source verified through the Electronic Portfolio of International Credentials (EPIC) service.

What to bring with you

You need to bring to your interview your passport and any other documents listed in the checklist attached to your letter of eligibility. You will also need to provide payment details for your practising certificate. All documents must be originals unless we advise you otherwise.

Certificate of professional status or licensure verification

You will need a Certificate of Professional Status (COPS) or licensure verification, from each of the registration or licensing authorities you have been registered or licensed with for the previous 5 years. COPS are usually sent from the regulatory authority directly to the Medical Council of New Zealand.

If you've done voluntary medical or clinical work for any period within the previous 5 years and were not registered with a regulatory authority, your employer must also provide a letter of professional status. This will need to be from a senior member of the overseas organisation on their letter head, which includes the dates and nature of your role, and whether there were any disciplinary or performance concerns while you worked with them.

If the COPS or letter of professional status has not been sent to Council directly, you may need to bring the original to the interview with you. If you do intend to bring the original certificate to your registration interview please bring the original packaging with you.

Certificates of professional status must be dated within 3 months of the date you start work here.

Please ensure you request all required COPS before you come to New Zealand. The Council will not register you until we've received all the required documentation, including COPS. If there is anything missing you will not be able to start work in New Zealand.

Special note:
We are working with various overseas regulators to establish a way to allow the electronic exchange of Certificates of Professional Status (COPS). To date we are able to receive COPS electronically from the following regulators:

  • Australia
    • Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency
  • Canada
    • Alberta (CPSA)
    • British Columbia(CPSBC)
    • Manitoba (CPSM)
    • New Brunswick (CPSNB)
    • Nova Scotia (CPSNS)
    • Ontario (CPSO)
    • Prince Edward Island (CPSPEI)
    • Saskatchewan (CPSSK)
  • India
    • Delhi, India (DMC)

  • UK
    • General Medical Council (UK)

  • Ireland/Eire
    • Irish Medical Council

  • Spain
    • Consejo General de Colegios Oficiales de Médicos (CGCOM)

  • South Africa (HPCSA)
  • Tonga
  • Ukraine

  • USA
    • Illinois
    • Kentucky
    • Maine
    • Oregon
    • Maryland
    • North Carolina
    • Ohio State
    • Oregon State
    • Pennsylvania
    • Washington State

If you are coming from one of the above jurisdictions, ask your registration authority to send us your Certificates of Professional Status electronically. For all other authorities, please provide original letters or certificates via post.

Other documents you need to bring

Each interview requires different documentation, so please read the checklist attached to your 'letter of eligibility' carefully.

You may need to provide original documents such as:

  • your current passport
  • your original IELTS or OET test results
  • original documentary evidence of any name changes, if applicable.

Photocopies of documents to bring with you

You need to bring photocopies of the personal details pages of your passport.

Please also bring photocopies of all original documents we’ve asked you to bring. During the interview we will certify these photocopies are true copies of the original documents and include them with your final registration application.

Fee for your practising certificate

You will need to pay the practising certificate fee when you attend your registration interview. This fee is payable by cheque, cash, or credit card (Note: Visa and Mastercard only).

The fee varies depending on your individual circumstances. Your letter of eligibility includes the fee you need to pay.