Occupational Therapist – New Zealand

New Zealand – full of beauty, outdoor activities and friendly companies to work for!

OT’s are in demand in NZ and we have lots of opportunities available in locations throughout NZ.

Our team will help you with the registration process, advise you about the popular locations/visas, organise interviews, introduce you to others and support you with your move.

OT Roles

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Health Boards (Public System)

Caseload – Health Board roles available in a variety of areas including inpatient, outpatient, community, mental health, paeds, equipment

Suggested experience level – 2 years+ is the minimum experience required and at this level, it can be good to be open to other roles or flexible with locations. 3 years+/band 6/senior highly preferred

Locations – positions available throughout NZ (depending on experience)

Community Neuro/PAEDS (Private)

Caseload – usually adults or mixed adults/paeds

Adults – Mainly TBI/concussion but also SCI and other complex poly-traumas – most of the work is community based but some roles include residential/clinic work

Paeds – Clinic/schools/home visits: TBI, cerebral palsy, multi-trauma, cognitive and sensory issues, neuro-developmental challenges

Suggested experience level – minimum 2 years, ideally 3 years+ experience/senior staff suggested

Locations – mainly larger cities e.g. Auckland/Christchurch/Wellington

Car requirement – these roles often require you to buy your own car, occasionally a pool car can be provided

Rehab (Private)

Caseload – Clinic/Community based – Concussion service, training for independence (neuro/ortho), social rehabilitation, equipment, VOC (return to work) – caseload can be tailored to your interests

Suggested experience level – 2 years+ experience (flexible)

Locations – positions available across NZ

Car requirement – some roles will provide a pool car, other roles will require you to buy a car

Hand Therapist (Private Practise)

Caseloadproviding clinical hand therapy to patients, ensuring service is compliant with ACC hand therapy guidelines

Suggested experience level – 1-2 years+ hand therapy experience

Locations – positions available across NZ


Steps To Working With Healthcare Abroad

Step 01


Read through our website/contact us for an information booklet to see what roles & visas you are eligible for.

Step 02


Let us know what role/visa you are interested in, we will then support you with gaining your registration, including providing free guides. We are experts with the process and are here to help!

Step 03

Submit your CV

Once you have your registration approved, send through your CV via email and book in for a call on our website.

We will get to know you so that we can find you the best fit from your chosen role/location!

Step 04

Interview with our partners

We are partnered with companies in locations all across AUS/NZ/Dubai and we will set up suitable interviews that match what you are looking for – we have lots of fantastic opportunities!

Step 05

Make plans to move

We will provide you with set up guides and introduce you to others that we have placed in the same location. We are always available to help with your questions about the move!


Employment linked visas – apply after registration approved & job secured.

Working Holiday or certain Residency visas/not linked to employment – can apply before job role is secured.

Where We Recruit

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I had a great experience with Healthcare Abroad.. Securing a job was quick and most importantly no stress with the help of Jon. Not only did they help me secure a role but they were also brilliant in assisting with the next steps. It was always reassuring knowing I had someone to turn to for advice and support.

I used Healthcare abroad to facilitate working as a physio in Auckland and would highly recommend anyone thinking of doing the same to reach out to them. They made the whole process as simple as possible.. Couldn’t have moved here without their help.

Health care abroad have been a pleasure to work with from the very beginning, going above and beyond helping with every aspect of the process. They have made my life a hell of alot easier and I would definitely recommend them to any physio or OT who would like to work abroad!

I got in touch with healthcare abroad to get more information about the processes involved with gaining registration, visas and obtaining employment. Healthcare abroad made the journey of moving to NZ a lot easier which I am very thankful for.

Healthcare Abroad were so helpful throughout the whole process of securing job roles and moving to New Zealand. The team managed to secure us all job roles in different clinical areas within the same city and We were linked with other physios out there.

The guys at healthcare abroad have been absolutely amazing at helping us through the registration process to work as Physio in NZ. Nothing was too much trouble and they have set us up in jobs that we both now love!

Healthcare Abroad have helped me immensely in getting out here and starting a new journey and I’m sure will continue to do so for many others! I couldn’t recommend them more! The only regret I have is not having done it sooner!

I would HIGHLY recommend using Healthcare Abroad when moving to Australia and NZ – so helpful, informative and easy .. what more could you want!!!

I would definitely recommend Healthcare Abroad for making the process of gaining NZ registration, finding and securing jobs and settling in as smooth as possible !

  • We have partnerships with employers all across NZ!

    Once you have your NZ OT registration approved, we can help you choose a location which is a good fit for you – we can also provide you with location guides

    Our team is from the UK and have lived in NZ so we can provide you with honest feedback and help you find the best fit!

  • THE PEOPLE! New Zealanders are very welcoming and approachable so you are made to feel at home very quickly.

    THE SCENERY! There are lots of amazing travel opportunities from beaches to mountains and everything is very accessible allowing you to explore lots of New Zealand.

    THE JOBS! We have really good feedback about the companies/roles in NZ, with friendly management and a great work-life balance. New Zealand would suit those who enjoy a relaxed life and outdoor activities.

  • If you are applying for an Accredited/Straight to Residency Visa (NZ) children/partners can be added to your visa/they can apply for subsequent visas based on your successful application – conditions apply.

    If you are applying for a Working Holiday Visa – these are individual visas.

  • The most popular visa is the Accredited Employer Work Visa, all age groups can apply for this visa and you can stay for up to 5 years​. The cost for this visa is NZD $750 and you will need your NZ OT registration and a job offer before you can apply.

    The Working Holiday Visa/WHV is also an option for certain age groups/passport holders, this visa allows you to work for 12 months, but it can be less preferred by some employers. The fee for a 12 month WHV is NZD $450, you also need to have NZD $350 in savings for every month you intend to stay and enough money for a return ticket. UK passport holders are eligible for x3 WHV’s.

    As OT’s are currently on the Green List, you can also have a look at the Straight to Residency Visa

    Medical/Police Checks can be requested for all visas over 12 months (additional fees apply)

    As employers can have a preference for different visas, we advise you to wait until you have your registration and are at the interview stage to apply for your visa.

  • The main fees you need to be aware of are for your Visa (above) and transferring your OT licence which is NZD $1188 + an Annual Fee of NZD $500 (some companies will cover the annual fee)

    We will secure you a full-time role for when you arrive which can range from NZD $60-105k.

    We would suggest you have enough money to buy a car and a minimum of NZD $5k for your first month (deposit for rental/enough money to support yourself until you are paid).

    The service we provide is completely free for those that would like to be placed in a role with one of our partners

  • If possible, try to have your registration approved and be interviewing in the NZ winter (May-August) as this is when the most jobs are available.

  • We work with employers who can offer a relocation allowance (e.g. upfront amount which can be used for flights/accommodation) for those who are moving on a long-term visa.

  • We do have paeds roles become available, however, depending on the location, some of the OT roles are mixed adults and paeds/they do not have enough referrals just for paeds.

    There is a bigger demand for paeds OT’s in Australia so if you are interested in a paeds only caseload, you may want to consider this – your NZ registration is valid in both AUS & NZ so we can still look in NZ first.

    • Neuro, Paeds, Health Boards & Hand Therapy roles usually look for at least 2 years relevant experience
    • The ACC roles can be the most flexible but the feedback from other OT’s has been that it is better to have at least 2 years experience before making the move as the ACC caseload can be quite broad and it takes time to get used to a new system
  • Once you have read through the role/visa eligibility information (available on the website/booklets) – please let us know which role/visa you are interested in and the university you attended/graduation year, we will then send through more information about the registration process

    We will support you throughout the registration process including free guides and unlimited phone/email support, we are experts and here to help!

  • Canadian/Irish/UK trained OT’s – the registration process timeframe can vary depending on how long it takes to source the documents required, we would suggest you allow for 3 months (but it could be much quicker!)

    SA trained OT’s applying for the standard pathway should allow for at least 6 months to gain OT registration (applications can also be slowed down by long wait times for police/medical checks)

    Once your registration has been approved, we find 3-4 months is an ideal timeframe for the next steps (securing a role + visa/handing in your notice/getting organised, etc!).

  • We will arrange interviews once your registration has been approved and ideally, 3-4 months before your planned start date – this gives you enough time to hand in your notice/get organised to leave/apply for your visa etc. and also means that the role is not left open for too long for the employer.

    We can also organise interviews nearer to your start date depending on which visa you hold/are looking to apply for.

    The maximum time we can organise interviews in NZ is 6 months before, but this will depend on the role/location and we feel 3-4 months before gives you more/accurate choices.

  • It is beneficial to be able to drive for almost all roles in NZ.

    The positions that do not require you to drive are in-patient hospital & Hand Therapy.

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