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Australia can offer you just about anything you want. Your only problem might be time! It is a big place and there is a lot to see. From large cities offering great culture and nightlife to remote outposts and unspoilt environment. The great thing about nursing is that your career can take you to all these places!  

To work in Australia as a nurse, you must have a valid working permit or visa. If you do not hold an Australian or New Zealand passport then you will need to look at the options below.

1. The Working Holiday Visa

The working holiday visa is valid for a period of 12 months and allows you to work in any area of Australia as long as you don't work for the one employer for longer than 6 months. Australia offers working holiday visas to certain passport holders only.  The criteria are as follows

(a) You must be 30 years or under in age

(b) You must hold a passport from one of the following countries

UK, Canada, Holland, Japan, Ireland, Korea, Malta, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Hong Kong, Finland, Cyprus, France, Italy, Belgium, Taiwan.  This visa will allow you to work in Australia but not your family or dependents.

If you do not meet the above criteria then you are not eligible for a working holiday visa.

2. Sponsored Work Permit - Employer Sponsorship

This visa is for the following people

(a) Those who are not eligible for a working holiday visa

(b) Those seeking to come to Australia for longer than 12 months

(c) Those looking to come to Australia with family

(d) Those who have used their working holiday visa and want to stay in Australia or come back to Australia

This visa is supplied to you by your employer once you have secured work from them. Nurses must first hold current registration as an RN in Australia to apply for work and this visa. Australian immigration will also ask that you complete a medical examination and criminal record screen. 

For more information on visas visit the Australian Immigration Website at 

New Zealand

1. The Working Holiday Visa

For those between the ages of 18 and 30 NZ offers a working holiday visa. Applicants must also possess a passport from one of the following countries.

Argentina, Belgium, Canada, Chile, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Malta, Holland, Norway, Singapore, Sweden, Taiwan, Thailand, UK, USA. 

The working holiday visa is generally for 12 months in length however depending on your passport nationality it could be longer.

2. Skilled Visa

To apply for this visa you must hold current registration as a nurse in New Zealand. If you are not currently registered as a nurse in NZ, then please complete this part of the application first. A skilled visa will allow you and your family to move to New Zealand to live and work. Generally you need the following before you can apply and meet the immigration department criteria.

  • Good Health
  • Fluent English ( pass in IELTS if required)
  • Current Registration as a Registered Nurse
  • Clear Criminal Record History
  • Under the age of 56 years

Applicants for this visa are based on a points system. Preferential points are given to applicants who have the following

  • A written job offer in New Zealand
  • A minimum 2 years full time working experience
  • Current Registration as a Registered Nurse

For more information on working visas for New Zealand visit the NZ immigration website at 




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