Australian Doctor Visa questions answered

Australia Doctor Visa Temporary and PR Visa Options Explained

An important question and consideration when you’re planning to move abroad is which Australia Doctor visa to apply for and if you are planning a permanent move, which PR option is right for you.

Our immigration advisers have put together some information below to help guide you. Please do get in touch to discuss your specific circumstances.

What are my GP Visa options?

As a General Practitioner (GP) you are eligible to move to Australia on either a temporary visa or on a permanent basis as your occupation is currently on the Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL). Common to all pathways is the requirement that applicants meet the Skill, Health and Character requirements. In the case of GPs, the Skill requirement is evidenced by successful registration with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA). To be able to hold AHPRA registration, you first need to have signed an agreement with a practice in Australia and completed your RACGP PEP comparability assessment.

Permanent Residency Applications

There are several visa pathways to achieving the objective of Permanent Residency (PR). In this short article, we’ll be explaining the pathways in a straightforward way to help you choose the most appropriate option.

In simple terms, there are 2 primary pathways to Permanent Residency which we’ll discuss today. The Skilled Independent visa (sub class 189) which is a points-tested stream and the Employer Sponsored pathway (subclass 186).

The Temporary Resident Visa (Temporary Skill Shortage Visa Subclass 482) 

This is the most common visa to relocate to Australia as a GP. This 482 visa can be granted for up to 4 years.

From a practical perspective GPs can enter Australia much faster by applying for the 482, rather than by applying from the UK for the permanent visa (186). At the time of writing, 90% of applications are assessed in 11 weeks. Current GPs going through the process, we see visa approval in as little as 6 – 8 weeks.

Under the 482-visa, as a GP you can either be employed on a full-time employment contract or you can be an independent sub-contractor and provide your services to the employer on an hourly / weekly pay rate or profit share arrangement. The majority of our GP Jobs are independent contractor agreements offering a percentage of weekly billings.

The 482 visa provides temporary residency status. As the holder of a 482 visa you are free to travel to and from Australia, your family can accompany you and your spouse is free to work or study without restriction. If you have been living in the UK prior to your move, you will be entitled to Medicare health services once enrolled. Until this time when you arrive in Australia, you will need to hold Private health cover.

Direct Entry Pathway (186 Visa only)

This visa allows skilled workers, who are nominated by their employer, work and live in Australia permanently. At time of writing, he processing time for 90% of visas is 54 weeks. Our Immigration Advisor suggests that it may be around 6 months for a UK doctor to gain approval. A recent UK trained GP had her 186 visa approval in 10 weeks.

Many of our GP practices are happy to provide this sponsorship to allow you to work in Australia on a permanent basis. You should be under 45 to apply for this visa, however there are exemptions to this if you meet this if you have previously held a 482 visa, have been working for the nominating employer for the previous 3 years and can meet the income threshold.

Skilled Independent visa (subclass 189)

This is a points-based option for skilled workers. For this application, you need to submit an expression of interest. The eligibility criteria area; you must have a relevant occupation and complete a suitable skills assessment for this. The Skill requirement will again be evidenced by successful registration with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA).

You will be required to meet the points test pass mark of 65 and be under 45 years old at the time you are invited to apply. In order to gain enough points, most GPs are required to sit an IELTS English language test.

Further Reading:

PR 189 Skilled Independent Visa

PR 186 Employer Sponsored Visa

For further information or to discuss your circumstances directly please get in touch with one of the team here at Transition Medical. Richard, our Specialist Immigration Advisor and Lawyer is on hand to help.

Further Reading on our blog

Australian Education system

Find out more about working as a GP in Australia

Benefits of working as a GP in Australia


Straight to Residence visa for NZ

Can I get a New Zealand Straight to Residence Visa as a GP or Radiologist?

What are the options for residence in New Zealand?

New Zealand is a popular destination for doctors looking to relocate overseas. The country offers a high quality of life, excellent healthcare system, and strong job market.

Doctors are in high demand in New Zealand, and the government is keen to attract more GPs to the country.

There are 3 skills-based residence pathways that require you to have a job offer in order to apply:

  • The Skilled Migrant Category residence pathway
  • The Green List pathway (Straight to Residence and Work to Residence)
  • The Sector Agreement residence pathway (Care Workforce and Transport Sector Work to Residence)

We will talk about the Straight to Residence Visa in this blog.

Green List Straight to Residence Visa

One of the most popular visa options for GPs and Radiologists moving to New Zealand is the Straight to Residence Visa. You can apply for the Straight to Residence Visa from either New Zealand or overseas, and, unlike most of the other Skilled Visa options, there is no requirement to work in New Zealand before applying.

This visa allows you to live, work, and study in New Zealand, and to include your partner and dependent children in your application.

To be eligible for the Straight to Residence Visa, you must:

  • Have a full-time job offer (at least 30 hours per week) from an accredited employer, for a role on Tier 1 of the Green List
  • Be paid at least the New Zealand median wage (currently NZ$29.66 per hour)
  • Meet the requirements of the Green List for your role
  • Be aged 55 or younger
  • Meet the English language requirements
  • Meet the health and character requirements for residence

Meeting the requirements of the Green List

The role of a GP or Radiologist is included in Tier 1 of the Green List.

In order to meet the requirements of the Green List, a GP or Radiologist will need to have New Zealand provisional general, general, provisional vocational, vocational or special purpose locum tenens registration with the Medical Council of New Zealand (or a letter of eligibility for one of these forms of registration issued by the Medical Council of New Zealand).

Meeting English Language requirements

The principal applicant, their partner, and any dependent children aged 16 or over will need to meet a minimum standard of English language.

There are a number of ways that this can be demonstrated, which can include your country of citizenship, your qualifications or by taking an English Language Test (such as IELTS).

The best way to understand how you can meet the English Language requirements (and the other eligibility requirements for this visa) is to talk to a Licensed Immigration Adviser. Our Immigration Advisor, Nicola, will be able to give you guidance on the requirements of the visa and what route is best for you and your family.

How long does it take to get a visa for NZ?

Visa applications are generally allocated and processed in the order they are received by Immigration New Zealand. However, a new priority processing order has been introduced to recognise the importance of Tier 1 Green List roles.

Straight to Residence Visa applications have been given the highest priority (along with certain high paid roles and well qualified Skilled Migrant applicants). This means that immigration officers will assess these applications before other skilled residence applications.

For more information on the Straight to Residency visa, please do get in touch with our team. We’ll need to secure you a GP or Radiology job first and Nicola will guide you through the process for the most appropriate visa for you.

More information on Nicola’s services to GPs or Radiologists relocating to New Zealand. 

See our GP jobs for New Zealand

See our Radiology Jobs for New Zealand

What do Radiologists Earn in New Zealand?

If you’re thinking about working as a Radiologist in New Zealand, then you may be enticed by the wonderful work – life balance offered. NZ is a truly stunning country offering outdoor adventures and beautiful beaches. It is a fantastic place to live with a relaxed pace of life.

You may also be thinking about the work – life balance which Radiologists in New Zealand enjoy and want to find out more about what life is like. You will also be thinking about what the Radiologist salary is in New Zealand. We’ve put together some more information in the blog to answer some of your questions.

Working as a Radiologist in New Zealand

New Zealand is located in the South Pacific with a relatively small population of 4.5 million. The country has an excellent public health care system with opportunities for Radiologists to join teams across the country. Whether you are looking for a job close to sunny beaches, in central Wellington or more rural near mountains and glaziers then we have the job for you.

Radiologist Salary NZ

As a Radiologist working in New Zealand, you can work in either a Government hospital setting or private company. We will outline the salaries offered at both.

Health Boards New Zealand

The District Health Boards employ doctors using the MECA agreement. Your Radiologist salary in New Zealand will be dependant and on a 15 step banding goes up to $250,560. If required to do on-call there are on-call allowances, usually as a percentage of your salary.

The benefits packages offered are excellent. You will be offered a relocation package which is negotiated with the hospital. This can include costs such as flights, removal costs, accommodation and car hire. You will also be reimbursed for your Annual Practicing Certificate which is the equivalent of your GMC registration. You may also be offered College or Medical Indemnity insurance reimbursed. For those on a Permanent visa, there are contributions to your Kiwi Saver which is the NZ Pension scheme.

Benefits will vary from hospital to hospital and your salary will be dependent on the level of experience you hold.

Private Radiology Providers

Transition Medical work with one of the largest providers of Radiology services in New Zealand.  Radiologist salaries for the group are highly competitive, up to $400K NZD. You will also be offered health insurance and your medical registration and professional indemnity costs paid.

As an overseas applicant, you will also be offered relocation assistance to help with your moving costs.

Working in New Zealand will offer you a superb quality of life whilst earning a good income. We have Radiology jobs in New Zealand for either shorter term and permanent contracts. Take a look at our current jobs or get in touch for more information.

Further Reading

Working as a Radiologist in New Zealand

‘Fast Track’ residency in New Zealand for Radiologists

Take a look at Radiology jobs

High Paid GP Job South Island

Working as a GP on the South Island

Working as a GP in New Zealand allows for a rewarding career whilst enjoying the work / life balance and quality of outdoor life you’ve been looking for. GPs in New Zealand play a vital role in the healthcare system, providing primary care to people of all ages. You can work in a variety of settings, including private practices, community health clinics, and hospitals. GP jobs in NZ can be in the main cities such as Auckland, Wellington or Christchurch, in smaller cities or in rural locations.

GP Salary New Zealand

GPs in New Zealand earn a good salary, with average earnings of $187,000 per year. However, there are some GPs who earn significantly more than this. In this blog post, we focus on one of the highest-paying, and most attractive benefits of GP jobs in New Zealand.

GP Job South Island

This is a great GP job in the Oamaru which is a friendly and welcoming town, with a strong sense of community. It is a great place to live, work, and raise a family. It is a town in the Waitaki District of the South Island of New Zealand. It has a population of 13,000 people and is located on the Pacific coast, about 80 kilometres south of Timaru and a 3 hour drive from Christchurch.

You will work in a modern, well-equipped practice in a team of 4 friendly GPs.  It is a Cornerstone accredited practice where the team take pride in delivering a high standard of care for their patients.

The Salary Package

This is one of the best GP salaries and benefit packages we’ve seen in New Zealand.

  • £107K for a 4 day week
  • Free accommodation and car
  • 6 weeks paid annual leave
  • Paid holiday equivalent to 1 month salary
  • Minimum 6 month contract; longer preferred

The team consist of NZ and overseas trained GPs with a strong team of nurses and admin staff. staff who are all very supportive. Although a longer term contract is preferred, the team will support you in a shorter, working holiday!

The Location is perfect to explore the South Island, with a short drive to Christchurch for the weekend, less than 3 hours to the incredible ski fields of the south island and visit the Fjordland, a UNESCO heritage site.

Find out more about this amazing opportunity.

Further GP Jobs in New Zealand

What Do GPs Earn in New Zealand? (2023)

GP Salary New Zealand

If you’re thinking about working as a GP in New Zealand, then you are likely to be attracted by a beautiful country offering beaches, nature, outdoor adventures plus national parks for walking and biking.

You may also be thinking about the work – life balance which GPs in New Zealand enjoy and want to find out more about what life is like. One of the questions we’re often asked, is what the salary is for GPs in New Zealand. We will address these and answer your questions below.

A full time working week in New Zealand is 40 hours per week, over 5 days (10 sessions). In reality however, most GPs don’t work full time. The majority of the contracts we see are 32 hours per week which allows for a day off in the week although there is generally scope to work up to 10 sessions if you wish. The pace of work is also more relaxed with standard appointment times of 15 minutes. You can work fewer hours, however on a temporary work visa, the minimum number of hours required is 30 per week.

GP salaries in New Zealand can be stated as an hourly rate or an annual salary. GP income is around $200K – $220K for a full time position of 40 hours per week. This would be pro-rata for less than 10 sessions.

The current average GP Salary in New Zealand is $106.37 NZD per hour.

Contracts are employment agreements which also include paid annual leave and sick leave plus other benefits such as paid medical indemnity insurance, registration fees and sometimes relocation assistance.

How Do NZ Salaries Compare with the UK?

How your NZ GP income compares will depend on the type of practise in the UK. Salaried GPs may find their income slightly more or at least comparable. If however you are in a successful GP Partnership or busy doing Locum or Out of hours shifts, you may find income to be lower.

Money however, is not everything, and what attracts GPs to New Zealand is the lifestyle. It offers a relaxed pace of life, amazing (free!) outdoor and indoor activities for the family, and a well run healthcare system where GPs are looked after.

We have placed many doctors in New Zealand who find the people very friendly and life much more relaxed. If you would like to find out more about working in New Zealand please do get in touch with our team!

Further Reading

One of our highest paid GP jobs on the South Island

What is life like for GPs in New Zealand




Living in Perth, Australia

Life in Perth as a GP in Australia

Perth is one of the most popular cities in Australia for GPs to relocate to and it’s easy to see why! Find out more in our blog about life in Perth and more about our GP jobs in Perth and surrounds.

  • Perth is the thriving capital of Western Australia and the state’s largest city.
  • It is a laid back, very liveable city with wonderful weather and a relaxed feel.
  • With a population of almost 2 million it is the 4th largest city in Australia.
  • Perth is the 12th most liveable city in the world (Economist Intelligence Unit’s Global Liveability Index 2023)

The city runs alongside the Indian Ocean on the west coast and the distance from north to south is about 100km. The many suburbs based along the beautiful coastline have easy access to stunning beaches. The Swan River providing lots of water activities runs through the city and has Darling Ranges for stunning scenery, walking and bike trails, to the west.  The city centre of Perth is only a short 12km drive to the ocean.

Perth is an easy city to get around. The International airport is 30 minutes to the city by car. It is well serviced by public transport with great train and bus links around the Perth including the free city CAT bus. There is also a ferry terminal only 10 minutes’ walk from the city centre which crosses the Swan River with other ferry services providing trips out to the popular Rottnest Island.

Perth Time Zone

Australia is a big country with 3 separate time zones.  As Perth is the furthest west of all the cities, it is the closest to the UK, only 8 hours ahead of the UK and only 7 hours during British Summer time. Unlike some of the other states, Western Australia doesn’t practice Daylight Saving Time.

If you’re looking to have a shorter journey home or have family living in Asia and want to be closer, this is the perfect location.

Perth Climate

Perth is the sunniest capital city in Australia with an average of 8 hours sunshine daily. It has a mixture of Californian and Mediterranean climates with mild winters and hot dry summers. The summer months run from December to February and the temperature averages around 29 degrees during the day and 17 overnight.  The temperature can reach much higher temperatures however the hot days are cooled by the ‘Freemantle doctor’ which is a strong sea breeze that blows in for the ocean which provides relief and is excellent for windsurfing and sailing on the Swan river.

The winter months in Perth are from June to August.  These are mild with an average temperature of 18 degrees during the day and around 9 overnight. The wettest month is July which sees quite a bit of rainfall which comes down quite quickly and in many instances passes to be followed by sunny periods. It rarely gets cold enough for snow to fall or frost to form.

Combine the warm weather and beautiful beaches it is easy to see why so many people enjoy the outdoor lifestyle of Western Australia. All year round the residents of Perth enjoy the beautiful sandy beaches along the coast line, and on hot days, cooling down in the clean blue Indian Ocean.

Perth Beaches

Situated on the Indian Ocean, Perth has some of Australia’s finest beaches, most of which are easily accessible by car or bus. Enjoy surfing, swimming, scuba diving and fishing within a 20 minute drive of the Central Business District (CBD). For swimming, some great options are Cottesloe, Swanbourne, City Beach, Floreat Beach and Scarborough Beach. For those who want to try surfing, beaches such as Trigg, to the north of Scarborough, are ideal.

Kings Park and Botanic Gardens

Kings Park is a must see and has an amazing view of Perth City and the Swan River.  With 400 hectares of tranquil parkland, bushland and botanic gardens interlaced with trails and pathways Kings Park gives you the chance to experience Australian flora and fauna without leaving the city.  Great for kids to connect with nature with a playground and café on site.


Visit fabulous Fremantle, located on the coast just 30 minutes south of Perth CBD.  You can enjoy a coffee on the famous ‘Cappuccino strip’, take a stroll through the Fremantle markets, go underground on the Fremantle Prison Tunnel Tour or enjoy fish and chips down on Fisherman’s Wharf. Weekends are a great time to visit Fremantle with many festivals and events hosted in this great city.

Perth Housing and Schools

Perth for Kids

With such a great climate, entertaining kids in Perth is made much easier – visits to the beach or the park can be a spur of the moment decision and with better weather means planned days out can be enjoyed rather than it being a wash out.

Top 10 Family Attractions

Family Days Out

Hillarys Boat Harbour: A brilliant family destination only 30 minutes from the Perth CBD, Hillarys Boat Harbour is a great place to spend the day. Whether you are keen on swimming, boating, fishing, shopping or dining in cafes or restaurants, Hillarys has everything you need. For the little kids there is a lovely, cosy, beach with play equipment right on the sand. Bigger kids can enjoy waterslides, trampolines, minigolf and circus rides at The Great Escape. Parents can join right in or choose to relax at one of the cafes nearby.

Around Perth

Rottnest Island
Just 19 km off the coast of Perth, just under a 30 minute ferry ride from Perth city centre or Fremantle is the sunny holiday island of Rottnest.   Blessed with some of the world’s finest beaches and pristine bays, Rottnest Island is Western Australia’s very own island getaway.

There are no cars on the island so a popular way to get around is by bike, it is a small island making it easy to explore with a number of great trails to follow.  Not surprisingly, water activities play a major role in island life – from snorkelling and diving to fishing, surfing, boating, kayaking, sailing and swimming!

Margaret River
A 3 hour drive south of Perth is the Margaret river region.  This is an area renowned for its wine production and first class restaurants. You’ll be spoilt for choice with over 100 wineries plus many fine restaurants, boutique breweries, art galleries and fresh produce, from divine cheeses to chocolate.

Margaret River is also a top surfing destination holding yearly surfing competitions, and the town has evolved from a relaxed surfing town to a popular base to enjoy the areas flavours and spectacular scenery.The Swan Valley The Swan Valley is a 30 minute drive from central Perth. In the region you will find wildlife and historical parks, bushland, arts and crafts and several wineries. The Swan Valley is also breathtakingly beautiful in wild flower season.

More information on our Perth vacancies

Further Reading

Read our blog on Australian School Fees

Read our blog on GP Salaries in Australia

Perth GP Jobs

Work as a Radiologist in NZ

Radiology Jobs New Zealand

As a Radiologist you may be considering a move to New Zealand. Located in the South Pacific, New Zealand is made up of two islands offering a wonderful outdoor lifestyle with stunning coastlines, mountains, cultural activities and vineyards.

New Zealand is consistently rated as a country with one of the highest qualities of life in the world. It offers a safe environment for the whole family offering a great outdoor lifestyle.  New Zealand is an increasingly multicultural society that appeals due to its diversity, laid back way of life and temperate climate.

Take a look at some of our high paid Radiology Jobs in New Zealand. To find out more, please get in touch for a chat.

Working as a Radiologist in NZ

There are 18 District Health Boards across New Zealand responsible for providing or funding the provision of health services in hospitals and local communities. We also work with private Radiology companies with clinics across the north and south island.

We always have a demand from clinics and hospitals for Radiologists and we can help you find the right job and location for you and your family.

To be eligible to apply for Radiology jobs in New Zealand, you will need to gain Vocational Registration with the Medical Council of New Zealand. Each qualification is assessed on it’s own merit however you should hold CCT as a Radiologist in either the UK or Ireland. As a Radiologist you are able to become a member of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists (RANZCR)

There are also options for both temporary and longer term residence visas in New Zealand which we can discuss with you in more detail.

Transition Medical will guide you through this process, free of charge, from matching you with a hospital to expertly managing your medical registration and visa applications.

How Transition Medical can help

Transition Medical will work with you to find you the right role and right location. We have excellent relationships in place with private Radiology companies and Health Boards across New Zealand. We’re here to help you navigate where to work and live and the make the relocation process as smooth as possible.

As a Radiologist in NZ, you can choose to work full or part time with minimum hours being 30 per week to meet visa requirements. There are no restrictions on where you can practise in New Zealand so you can choose to live and work in the city, somewhere coastal or rural.

Take a look at some of our Radiology Jobs in New Zealand. If you are thinking about relocating and would like to find out more then please do get in touch for a chat.

Further Reading

What do Radiologists earn in New Zealand

Information on applying for Residency in New Zealand

School Fees Australia for Temporary Residents

Australia School System

As a GP relocating to Australia, you want to make sure you find not only the right job, but the right location for your family. For those relocating with children, schooling is an important factor and making sure your family settle is key.

The great news is, the standard of education in Australia is world class. The Human Development Index (HDI) ranked Australia 5th  out of 174 countries in the world. This is calculated using the high GDP, literacy and education and quality of life.

It’s useful to know the options for education and the costs you may incur on a temporary (482) work visa. In this blog, we have outlined the costs involved.

Schooling in Australia

You will have the choice to send your children to public, state funded schools, faith schools and private education. This is very similar to our system in the UK. Education is compulsory between the ages of 6 and 16.

Private Education in Australia

If you wish to send your child to a private school in Australia, then you should begin this process early on in the relocation process and contact schools. All private schools will charge a fee for your child to attend and this fee is governed by the individual school. It is likely you will be a registration fee prior to your move.

Independent schools are non-profit and will cater to a variety of students with unique values. There are approximately 1200 private schools in Australia out of almost 10,000 schools.

Private School Guide

State Education in Australia

To gain admission to your desired state school, similar to the UK, you must generally live within the geographic boundary of the school district. Each State and Territory has different regulations and its own Department of Education.

Although state education in Australia is essentially free, some schools may add a voluntary contribution. In addition, you may need to pay for school uniform, books and stationery items.

Some states also charge an annual fee for children attending school whilst on a temporary work visa (Subclass 482) The majority of our GPs will start their work life on this employer sponsored visa.

School fees for dependent subclass 482 visa holders Applicants for a TSS visa may include dependent family members in their application. The schooling fees vary depending on the state or territory the subclass 482 visa holders reside in.

New South Wales (NSW) – Between $5600 – $6400 per child

Victoria – No applicable fees

Queensland – No applicable fees

Western Australia – $4000 per annum regardless of number of children enrolled

South Australia (greater Adelaide only)  – Between $5900 and $7000

Australian Capital Territory (ACT) – No applicable Fees

Northern Territory (NT) – No applicable fees

Tasmania – No applicable fees

Once you move to a permanent work visa then these fees for state schools no longer apply. Please get in touch with us if you would like a full breakdown of the applicable costs and exemptions for each state.

Further Reading

Day in the life of a GP in Australia

GP Salary in Australia

Tax System for GPs in Australia






A Day in the Life of a GP in Australia

In this blog, we will take you on a journey through a typical day in the life of a GP, Emma, who recently moved as a GP to Australia.

What made you decide to move to Australia as a GP?

I worked in hospital jobs there over 20 years ago and met my Australian husband so it was always on the cards to go back at some point but was never the right time due to family and other commitments. Recently we decided that the time would be right in terms of the children’s ages and the poor state of General Practice in the UK. 

Tell us about a typical day in your GP role as a GP in Australia.

I have quite a long commute (50 minutes) so leave the house at 7 am. It is a straight drive though with no jams. I start my morning clinic at 8 am and consult at 20-minute appointments until around 12. I have an hour lunch break then another clinic in the afternoon with the last patient booked at 4.20. There are no home visits. I see 21 patients in a whole day and probably spend <30 minutes doing admin. There is no on-call system and occasionally there are 1 or 2 extras. I usually leave by 5 pm and am home before 6. On a Friday the practice closes early so I am finished before 4.

The best bit about your day?

Not running late! Because the appointments are longer there is more time to spend with patients and even if they go over time you will then get paid extra. The whole experience is much less hurried and therefore you have time to chat with patients and get to know them better. There is often extra time to catch up or do admin between appointments as some people only come for quick things eg prescriptions.

The most challenging part of your day?

I still do not fully understand the Medicare system and who pays for what and when. It is very complicated and adds another dimension to the consultation knowing that people have to pay for medicines and some investigations and treatment.

How do you find the culture and lifestyle compared to the UK?

There is more of an outdoor lifestyle due to the weather which is almost always warm and sunny here in Queensland. There are lots of nice places to visit although there is more driving involved as everything is more spread out. The people are friendly and welcoming. Our children are finding the school experience more relaxed and less exam focussed than in the UK and for us, the work/life balance is better.

How have you settled in and would you have any tips for other GPs relocating?

We have settled in well but already having my husband’s family here has helped. Waiting for provider numbers before starting work is frustrating but also gives time to adjust. I would advise trying to save as much as possible before moving as almost everything is more expensive than in the UK and the initial costs are large, although you will make it back eventually with higher earnings.
Stay patient with the initial paperwork stage. It can seem overwhelming, especially when problems crop up, but it does come right in the end.

How have you found the transition from general practice in the UK to Australia?

The patients come in with all the same sorts of things so in that respect it is very similar, although here in Queensland there is a lot more skin cancer! The systems are very different though. It is much easier to get investigations in a timely manner.  Prescribing is more complicated than in the UK. There is a lot more use of the private sector in secondary care and it can be hard to know who and where to refer to. On the whole, patients seem more responsible for their own health and accept that they have to pay for certain things. GPs seem to do more chronic disease management (rather than nurses) and there is more scope to do procedural work eg minor surgery which attracts a higher fee. Workload seems to be quite flexible in that you can choose to do more or less but that will reflect in your earnings.

Finally, how have you found Transition Medical in helping you make the move?

Emma and Kirsty have been fantastic and we wouldn’t have got here without them. The process is very daunting and complicated but they take you through it step by step and are always on hand to ask questions or talk it through. If you are thinking about making the move, I would definitely recommend giving them a call. 

If this has sparked your interest and you would like to chat through your options,  get in touch with our friendly team who will be happy to help.

Further Reading

What is life like for GPs in New Zealand?

What is it like to work as a GP in New Zealand

Before you start your New Zealand GP Job search, you may want to find out more about day to day life in New Zealand.

There are just 4.8 million New Zealanders, scattered across 270,534 sq km: bigger than the UK with one-fourteenth the population. New Zealand is the land of extremes with sublime forests, mountains, lakes, beaches and glaziers. It is relatively easy to travel around with distances between different towns and cities not being too great. Transport networks are well developed with airports throughout the country and well maintained highways.

It is made up of two main islands and numerous smaller ones: the North Island (known as Te Ika-a-Maui in Maori) is the more populous of the two, and is separated by the Cook Strait from the somewhat larger but much less populated South Island (or Te Waipounamu).

New Zealand is consistently rated as a country with one of the highest qualities of life in the world. It offers a safe environment for the whole family offering a great outdoor lifestyle.  New Zealand is an increasing multicultural society that appeals due to its diversity, laid back way of life and temperate climate.

New Zealand People

This former British colony has a population mainly of European descent but with an important indigenous Māori minority of mixed blood, a rapidly growing Asian minority, and smaller minorities of Polynesians, people from the Americas, South Africans and African.

The people of New Zealand are famed for their relaxed and friendly approach. More than one million New Zealanders were born overseas.

New Zealand Climate

New Zealand has mild temperatures, moderate rainfall and many hours of sunshine. While the far north has subtropical weather during summer, and inland alpine areas of the South Island can get as cold as -10°C in winter, most of the country lies close to the coast with milder temperatures.

The average New Zealand temperature decreases as you travel south.  With their summer over January and February, these are the warmest months, and July is the coldest month of the year. In summer, the average maximum temperature ranges between 20-30ºC (70-90°F) and in winter between 10-15ºC (50-60°F).

Most places in New Zealand receive over 2,000 hours of sunshine a year, with the sunniest areas – Bay of Plenty, Hawke’s Bay and Nelson/Marlborough – receiving over 2,350 hours. As New Zealand observes daylight saving, during summer months daylight can last up until 9.30pm.

Cost of Living as a GP in New Zealand

Cost of living in New Zealand will very much depend on which part of the country you relocate.

One independent international survey ranked Auckland 58th in the world in terms of its cost of living, and Wellington 75th, far better than other major cities. Such cities included Hong Kong (3), Singapore (4), New York (16), London (25), Sydney (26), Melbourne (33) and Guangzhou (31) – showing that comparatively, New Zealand’s major metropolitan areas are more affordable. See our recent blog piece on cost of living for a GP in New Zealand

For an up to date costs of different items please see here 

New Zealand GP Registration Process

The registration process for New Zealand is relatively straightforward and usually takes a month to complete the application with the Medical Council of New Zealand.  To complete the full immigration and registration process you should allow 3 months after we have secured you a position. You will be eligible for registration if you hold a specialist GP certificate (i.e. MRCGP / MICGP / JCPTGP / PMETB).

If you hold your GP qualification from another country then you may be eligible for ‘comparable healthcare.’ registration.  You will be required to hold 3 years of comparable healthcare experience. Please see the MCNZ website for a full list of comparable countries.

All new registrants, regardless of seniority, must work under supervision for the first 6-12 months in New Zealand to become familiar with the culture.  During this time you will be registered within a provisional general scope of practice and performance will be assessed by senior colleagues.

You will be required to complete certain requirements to be registered within a general scope. This will cause minimal impact on your day to day job and you will still be able to see patients independently.

NZ Visa for GPs 

To assist you through the complex immigration process we work with a Licensed Immigration Advisor who is registered with the Immigration Advisers Authority New Zealand. Our Immigration Advisor, Nicola, will expertly assist you and manage your visa process for you and your family. There are options for either a temporary work visa or a Straight to Residence visa which can be applied for from your home country.

What does a GP earn in New Zealand?

The minimum hours you are required to work to comply with your visa are 30. Most GPs work 8 sessions per week (32 hours).

Unlike Australia, there are no restrictions on where you can practise as a GP in New Zealand allowing you the option to choose where to live and work; be it in the city centre, by the beach or somewhere more rural.

As a GP moving to New Zealand you will be offered an employed, salary position ($180 – $200k NZD for a full time position). You may perhaps have the option to buy into the practice or take over the practice at a later date.  Work / life balance is excellent in New Zealand, most GPs only see 4 patients per hour allowing more time with patients and less bureaucracy and paperwork.

NZ Tax Rate 

2023 – 2024

10.5%              $0 to $14,000

17.5%              $14,001 to $48,000

30%                 $48,001 to $70,000

33%                 $70,001 to $180,000

39%                 $180,000 and above

For more detailed up to date tax information please see the tax office website

Income tax calculator

New Zealand Schools and Education

There’s a choice of three types of school in New Zealand – state schools (funded by the government), ‘state integrated’ schools and private schools.

State schools are the choice for the vast majority of New Zealand children (85%). Schooling is free at these schools, although parents are asked for a contribution to help cover costs of activities that are outside of the core curriculum. Typically this will be around NZ$250- $500. There will also be other charges for sports, school trips, special tuition, exam fees, and other course related costs.

‘State integrated’ schools are schools with a special character – they may be run by a particular religious faith e.g. Catholic or use specialist education methods like Steiner or Montessori. Just over 10% of students are enrolled at these schools. Education in state integrated schools is also funded by the government but the schools may charge fees for various facilities which are usually around NZ$1,500 a year. Just under 5% of children go to private schools which charge around NZ$20,000 in fees a year.

School usually starts at 9am and runs to 3pm or 3:30pm. There are four school terms running from late January to mid-December with two-week breaks between them and a six-week summer break at the end of the year.

New Zealand Accommodation

Most GPs choose to rent a property in New Zealand first and buy later when settled. Housing varies greatly across the country.  Prices tend to be higher in the cities with Auckland being the most expensive and slightly lower on the south island.  For more information on property please see and TradeMe

New Zealand Healthcare System

Primary healthcare, including general practice, out-patient services, and prescriptions, is funded by a combination of public subsidy and private contributions. General Practitioners provide primary, community based, comprehensive and continuing patient-centred care to individuals, families and the community. Many general practices run as private businesses and set their own fees which are paid by the patient.

The cost of a visit will be lower if you’re enrolled with the GP, because the government subsidises the fee. Some general practices join a ‘low cost access’ programme run by their primary health organisation (PHO) which is overseen by the local District Health Board. This means they get extra government funding to keep their fees at low levels.  GPs, Practice Nurses, Māori health providers and other primary healthcare providers work together to meet the health requirements of the local people, with PHOs funded according to the demographics and needs of their population.

Secondary healthcare services, including acute hospital treatment, are free to those who meet the eligibility criteria. New Zealand has a reciprocal agreement with the UK to provide free treatment. There is strong uptake of private health insurance (as in Australia), partially triggered by long waits for state hospital treatment.

Speak to Our GP Recruitment Team

Thinking about relocating to New Zealand? Our experienced GP team are here to help. We can advise on everything from visa queries to questions about the cost of living in New Zealand. Speak to us today to get started on your move down under or browse some of our excellent GP Jobs in New Zealand. 

Further Reading
8 Benefits of Moving to New Zealand
Is there an age limit for GPs
The Cost of Living as a Doctor in New Zealand

Useful Links
Medical Council of New Zealand
Immigration New Zealand