Working Overseas

Returning to Work in NZ
If you have previously been registered with the Veterinary Council, have been overseas and want to return to work in New Zealand, you will have to apply to renew your Annual Practising Certificate by paying the annual practising fee and completing the APC form. You will also have to arrange with the registration body of the country you have most recently worked in to provide a letter of good standing.
Contact the Registration Officer for more information.
Working Overseas
If you intend to travel and work overseas, you will need to register with the appropriate registration authority.
Most registration authorities require, at the minimum:

  • proof of identity (notarised copy of passport, and photo)
  • proof of qualification (notarised copy of qualification)
  • proof of registration (a letter of good standing from the appropriate registration authority)

If you are travelling overseas to work, the registration authority in your country of destination will require from the Veterinary Council of New Zealand a Letter of Good Standing. This states your date of registration, your current practising status, whether there has every been a finding of professional misconduct against you, how you stand in relation to fee payment, and whether you are in good standing with the Council. In many jurisdictions this letter of good standing has a "shelf-life" of no more than three months so you need to ensure it is reasonably current when you apply to be registered overseas.
You may request a letter of good standing by contacting the Council Office , or by e-mailing the Registration Officer and paying the current fee . The Council staff will post and email the letter of good standing directly to the overseas registration authority and send you a copy if you request it.
The Veterinary Council of New Zealand cannot issue a letter of good standing for veterinarians who do not have a current or non practising certificate. The Council can make a statement about your registration status if you have been previously registered but don't have a current practising certificate. That is not always accepted for registration purposes overseas.
Ensure that you keep the Council informed of any changes of address or a New Zealand contact address if you are travelling overseas. It is your statutory responsibility to do so. Whilst overseas you may wish to retain a non-practising status with the Council until you return, and then upgrade to full practising status.
Many New Zealand veterinarians travel to the United Kingdom. The UK Registration body is the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons. If you are travelling to Australia, each state or territory has its own registration board.
If you wish to work in the Republic of Ireland and are a Massey graduate, you should check with the Veterinary Council of Ireland about your registration status. Not all Massey graduates are accepted for registration.
Note: Veterinarians contemplating working overseas are advised to take care to ensure that they obtain all appropriate permits and documentation before starting work. Particular care should be taken to ensure that foreign language documentation is fully understood and is everything that is required for work in that jurisdiction. The Council is aware of situations where NZ registered veterinarians have found themselves working without proper visas and work-permits because they took the advice of their employer on trust. In some countries even innocent non-compliance with local requirements could result in serious charges, fines and possible imprisonment.