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Overseas Occupational Therapy Career

Occupational Therapist Jobs and
Career in New Zealand
If you are a graduate from a country other than New Zealand or Australia, then the following rules and regulations apply to you. The application process takes 8-12 weeks. That is the minimum. In some cases, it may take many more weeks. As soon as you have been granted provisional or full registration, you can start work.

The Occupational Therapy Board is a statutory body established under the Occupational Therapy Act 1949. The Board administers all forms of occupational therapy registration. Registration is a legal requirement for people wishing to call themselves occupational therapists in New Zealand. The Occupational Therapy Board is required by law to keep a Register of Occupational Therapists.

Individual applications for New Zealand registration are considered at a meeting of the Board. If registration is granted the Board directs that the applicants name shall be entered in the Register.


By Law you must be registered with the New Zealand Occupational Therapy Board before you can practice as an occupational therapist in New Zealand. All formalities must be completed before commencing practice. It is an offence to practise without obtaining registration and may result in legal action against the practitioner and the employer.

The Board may register only those persons who meet the requirements stated in the Occupational Therapy Act 1949. Each application is considered individually and the Board reserves the right to decline registration if the applicant's training and experience do not meet requirements. The initials NZROT (New Zealand Registered Occupational Therapist) are used to denote registration.

Registration Procedure

As an occupational therapist educated overseas you may be eligible for registration in New Zealand  providing you fulfil the following criteria:
(1) You are able to demonstrate functional proficiency in English
(2) Your qualifications are eligible for registration
(3) You are a person of good character and reputation
(4) You are 20 years of age or more
(5) English Language Proficiency
If your first or home language is not English, you must provide proof of functional proficiency in written and spoken English.

The information provided with your application enables the Board to determine whether or not your qualifications are sufficiently similar in theory and practice aspects (including clinical hours) to the occupational therapy curricula undertaken in New Zealand. After consideration your application is either approved and provisional registration issued, or declined because it does not meet the requirements for New Zealand registration, or You are asked to sit an assessment (Registration Competency Examination) to determine your eligibility for registration.

Provisional Registration

When there is a reasonable expectation that the Board will approve your registration at its next meeting, provisional registration is granted to allow you to commence work. A provisional certificate is usually issued for six months but may be extended up to a year. You are not eligible to begin practising as qualified occupational therapists until you hold a provisional registration certificate. You may apply for jobs but must not take them up or begin employment until provisional registration is granted. After your registration has been approved by the Board at its meeting, you are forwarded your registration details and an invoice for an annual practicing certificate (APC).

If the Occupational Therapy Board declines your application for registration you have the right to appeal that decision under section 26 of the Occupational Therapy Act 1949.

The professional body for occupational therapists in New Zealand is the New Zealand Association of Occupational Therapists (Inc.) (NZAOT). Membership is voluntary.

In the following pages, you will find brief information useful to overseas occupational therapists that want to work in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland, Australia and New Zealand.

The complete details can be found in 'Your Complete Guide to Overseas Occupational Therapy Career.'

It is a downloadable eBook. It is not available in paper format.

Information for overseas Occupational Therapists:

Looking for a bright, prosperous overseas career but don't know where, when and how to begin?
How to go to and work in the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, Ireland and New Zealand?
Whether it is career progress, life style or prosperity that you seek as an overseas professional, this career eBook will help you with all information you ought to know.
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