Immigrate to New Zealand via Straight to Residence Pathway Program for Healthcare Professions in 2024


New Zealand offers an enticing opportunity for healthcare professionals around the world with its Straight to Residence pathway program. This program is designed for skilled individuals in high-demand occupations, allowing them to apply for permanent residency directly. Here’s everything you need to know if you’re considering New Zealand as your new home.

Understanding the Residence Pathway Program of New Zealand

The Residence Pathway Program of New Zealand refers to a set of immigration policies and visa categories designed by the New Zealand government to allow foreign nationals to obtain permanent residency in New Zealand. These pathways are tailored for skilled workers, professionals, and individuals who possess skills and qualifications that are in demand in New Zealand’s labor market.

Under the Residence Pathway Program, applicants may be required to meet specific criteria such as having a valid job offer from a New Zealand employer, possessing relevant qualifications and work experience that match New Zealand standards, demonstrating English language proficiency, and meeting health and character requirements. Some pathways within the program offer a direct route to permanent residency, allowing individuals to bypass temporary visa stages, while others may require a period of temporary residence or work in New Zealand before eligibility for permanent residency is established.


Key components of New Zealand’s Residence Pathway Program include the Skilled Migrant Category, which is points-based and focuses on skilled employment in New Zealand, and specific pathways for entrepreneurs and investors. Additionally, there are targeted New Zealand pathways for individuals with skills in sectors identified as having high demand, such as healthcare, engineering, and ICT, among others.

The objective of the Residence Pathway Program is not only to fill immediate gaps in the labor market but also to support New Zealand’s long-term economic goals by attracting individuals who can bring innovation, diversity, and global connections to the country


Eligibility Criteria

    • Job Offer: Secure a confirmed job offer from an accredited employer in New Zealand for a role listed on Tier 1 of the Green List, which includes 32 healthcare roles.
    • Skill Qualification: Ensure your qualifications are recognized as meeting New Zealand’s industry standards.
    • English Language Proficiency: Demonstrate proficiency in English, with a Grade B or higher in all four skills (Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking) on the OET (Occupational English Test).
    • Health and Character: Fulfill the health and character requirements standard for New Zealand visas.
    • Age: Applicants should generally be 55 or younger.

Application Process

    • Eligibility Check: Check your eligibility at official New Zealand Immigration website and also make sure to find your occupation on ‘Green List’.
    • Job Offer & Skill Recognition: Secure a job offer and have your qualifications recognized.
    • Immigration Application: Submit your application online through the Immigration New Zealand website, including documents, fees, and medical checks.
    • Processing & Decision: Wait for the processing, which may take several months, followed by the decision.
    • Decision & Visa Grant: Upon a successful application, receive your visa to live in New Zealand permanently.

List of 24 Eligible Healthcare Professions for 2024 Straight to Residence Program of New Zealand

The healthcare roles eligible for the Straight to Residence program in 2024 include a wide range of professions from addiction practitioners to sterile processing technicians as listed below:

  1. Addiction practitioner/alcohol & drug clinician
  2. Audiometrist
  3. Chiropractor
  4. Clinical dental technician
  5. Clinical physiologists (covering specialties like sleep, renal, exercise, respiratory, neurology, and cardiac)
  6. Counsellor
  7. Dental specialists
  8. Dental technician
  9. Dental therapist
  10. Dentist
  11. Dietician
  12. Dispensing optician
  13. Drug and alcohol counselor
  14. Enrolled nurse
  15. Genetic counsellor
  16. Medical laboratory pre-analytical technician
  17. Magnetic resonance imaging technologist
  18. Nuclear medicine technologist
  19. Nurse practitioner
  20. Optometrist
  21. Oral health therapist
  22. Orthotic and prosthetic technician
  23. Orthotist/prosthetist
  24. Osteopath

Additionally, here are the remaining roles to complete the list of 32 healthcare professions eligible for the program:

  1. Paramedic
  2. Perfusionist (cardiac)
  3. Pharmacist
  4. Physiotherapist
  5. Play therapist (hospital)
  6. Social worker
  7. Speech language therapist
  8. Sterile processing technician

Dr. Philip Morgan

(Associate Editor) Dr. Philip Morgan is a postdoctoral fellow and lead author at He earned his Master's and Ph.D. from Stanford before pursuing research in the U.S. on a Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship. Leveraging his diverse academic background, Dr. Morgan creates informative articles on scholarships, internships, and fellowships for international students. His expertise and passion empower students to achieve their academic goals through international education opportunities.

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