Aotearoa New Zealand has always enjoyed a reputation for ‘liveability’ due to our beautiful natural scenery and relaxed, welcoming culture. During a global pandemic, our remote location creates a safehaven where residents can still enjoy a relatively unimpeded lifestyle.
Here at Lumino The Dentists, our status as employers of critical healthcare workers has enabled us to continue successfully relocating Clinicians and their families to their new lives in our beautiful country. In addition to the equipment and technology you need to grow professionally in a supportive environment, our Clinicians also receive unique benefit packages and the right mix of clinical hours to suit your lifestyle AND build your patient books. Add in a healthcare system that enables Clinicians to spend more quality time planning long-term treatment plans with patients, and it’s easy to see why Lumino has welcomed so many overseas dentists to their new home.
And what a home New Zealand is! At a time when overseas travel feels like a distant dream, New Zealand’s natural playground may make you feel as though you’re permanently on vacation. Being smaller in size, our abundance of beaches, national parks and bushwalks are easily accessible - did you know that the furthest you can ever be from the sea here is just 120 kilometres?! With a mixture of family-friendly spots with gentle tides, to rugged black-sand surfing spots, there’s something for everyone.
Lumino has clinics throughout the country, with options for Clinicians to set up home in either the main metros or smaller towns and still get to enjoy the best of both worlds. For those considering a rural location, you’ll never feel remote. Alongside incredible scenery in your backyard, a community feel and your pick of great outdoor activities, you’ll never be far from a larger town with all the amenities you need. And if that’s not enough to convince you, it’s worth knowing that choosing a rural clinic can mean a smoother relocation, as they are often able to wait while you navigate the visa and moving process, and are considered areas of critical need - assisting your ability to enter New Zealand during the pandemic.
International relocations are further complicated by travel restrictions imposed by COVID-19, but our supportive team have some top tips to help you start your new adventure.
Having moved to Blenheim, New Zealand from South Africa, Dr Miche Bruno recommends “from a process side, the best idea is to get your registration with the New Zealand Dental Council before you start looking for work” as so much of the relocation process relies on your ability to practise. Depending on where you’ve qualified and practised, your journey towards registration could be fairly straightforward, so check out their website.
Once you’re registered, the next step is to get immigration advice from a licenced specialist, particularly in the challenging landscape of COVID-19 where a job offer meeting stipulations of critical work such as healthcare is mandatory to be granted an exemption to enter New Zealand. Your immigration specialist will talk you through the process of obtaining a visa, including how a job offer from a Visa Accredited employer such as Lumino can help expedite this process.
Travel looks a little different during the pandemic, with flights often being cancelled or changed at short notice, so Dr Kyle Theys, a Clinician who has recently joined Lumino in New Plymouth, recommends being prepared, being flexible, and keeping in regular contact with your new employer so that they’re prepared for your arrival. At present there is a two week mandatory isolation period once you land in New Zealand, and you’ll need to cover the cost unless you’re a NZ Permanent Resident or Citizen – though if you’re using the time to research which of your new local cafes makes a world-class flat white, you may find the wait flies by!
Relocating, even during a pandemic, doesn’t need to be daunting if you’re prepared and understand the immigration process. Dr Bruno recommends having ‘a network of supporting friends in New Zealand to encourage you, and find a colleague who had gone through the process to provide advice.’ New Zealand has a reputation for being friendly, welcoming and relaxed, and a career with Lumino will offer you a beautiful home as well as a fulfilling career.