Relocating from USA to NZ – Q&A

We had a catch-up with one of our Associate Veterinarians whom we placed in her new role in New Zealand. She has been in her new role for almost three months and moved from Seattle, Washington to Southland, NZ!

If you’re curious about the process of moving overseas or don’t know where to start, give this Q&A a read and get in touch with NSV for some friendly advice.

What was the main reason for you wanting to relocate?

I knew I wanted to move overseas and New Zealand had always been at the top of my list, however, I was open to other options.

How did you find NSV?

I had a friend living in New Zealand and they sent me the link to NSV as they were encouraging me to make the move. I sent my resume and Lawrance got in touch to find out a bit more about me and what I was seeking, we had a good chat and he went out and found some opportunities and presented them to me.

How did NSV support the process, starting with searching for the right role and practice, setting up meetings, providing feedback etc?

I was seeking an area I can afford and easily manoeuvre into, as I had horses and I wanted to be on a farm, so I wanted a rural environment with a good salary.

I had two interviews with a practice which offered me the job in Auckland, however, they wanted me to sign a two-year contract and I wanted a one-year contract preferably and they weren’t offering enough salary to make the move worthwhile.

I then had interviews with two other practices, one of which was the one I accepted. They were offering a great salary with a one-year contract which suited my needs more. I want to stay in New Zealand for a minimum of one year and if I love it, I will stay more.

Lawrance was instrumental throughout the process, he was great at coordinating with each practice to set up interviews and give me the ins and outs. He checked in afterwards, checking for any concerns I had, being honest about possible salaries, and all in all, acted as my agent throughout which was really nice and took a lot of stress out of it for me.

Was the move easier than expected?

I accepted the role in March 2022 and arrived in New Zealand in November 2022. This was a good amount of time to be able to sort out my transition as well getting my dog the necessary vaccines and paperwork

I already had a friend in New Zealand who had made the transition from Seattle too. This was a great point of contact for me to hear how easy the move might be and put any questions or worries to ease.

How does your new role compare to your previous role in the US?

My role in New Zealand is quite similar to my role in the US. The new practice is bigger and busier, so the day-to-day tasks slightly differ, and the veterinary staff times are distributed in a good way I would say, better than how it is run in the US. The new practice concentrates on how individuals respond which makes the running of the practice smooth.

I do have some out-of-hours which I didn’t in my previous role. However, in this practice, they prioritise getting a great work-life balance, even though my schedule differs slightly each week, they stick to the rota and make sure you go home when you finish. They look after you to ensure you get enough time out of work and you never end up staying longer than you should be, they define your in-work and out-of-work hours and I appreciate this as I have never experienced this before.

How was the process of finding new accommodation?

It was actually great timing as the employer got in touch with me to inform me of a colleague they had who was renting a house if I wanted it. It was a great location and lovely house, and I am still living there, so the transition was really easy! They were very helpful and said if I wanted to get a feel for the land and move after a few months that would be fine and really facilitated the move for me.

A lot of vets may want to relocate but are held back by the fear of the unknown, how were you reassured that this was the role for you?

As I had a friend in New Zealand who had already made the transition, it was great to get a personal opinion on the process and the lifestyle difference. My advice would be to try and connect with people who have already made the move to share their experience with you, as it really helped put my mind to ease. Lawrance and Craig were also helpful in providing as much information as possible about the area and lifestyle so I could make an informed decision.

As New Zealand was coming out of lockdown, the practice hired an immigration agency to help them become verified employers and helped me through the visa process. My immigration agent walked me through the visa application, license requirements and transfer of my credentials, it really took the stress out of it for me. However, if the clinic didn’t have this option, Craig and Lawrance mentioned they could also coordinate support through this process too.

Would you recommend a move to a different country if you feel stuck in your current role and location?

Absolutely! So far, I am in a one-year contract and my visa is valid for three years with the option to apply for residency afterwards. My personal approach is I want to try it out for a year to see how it suits me, so far, I really like the practice and I want to see how I like the area, how I fit in and make a decision after a year to see if I want to stay longer. If I like being here, I will definitely stay longer. I wanted a revitalisation in my career, and this is exactly what I needed.

How have you settled into your new role?

I have now been here almost 3 months and have settled in great! Lawrance and Craig have touched base to check everything is running smoothly and the practice have welcomed me with open arms.

Overall, would you recommend NSV if a Veterinary professional was thinking of relocating?

Yes, I 100% feel it was a good way for me to revitalise my career and interest, fight burnout, and give my career a change-up. I was in my previous role for 15 years and I was ready to go, I didn’t feel like moving domestically, as there didn’t seem to be any opportunities that excited me, however, moving to New Zealand excited me and NSV gave me enough opportunities to interview for until I found the one that felt right.

For anyone who has the opportunity, definitely go for it.


We love seeing candidates we’ve placed enjoying their new jobs. We pride ourselves on building long-term relationships with everyone we speak to–and it genuinely makes our job worthwhile, knowing we’ve helped someone grow their career and reach their goals.

It’s absolutely possible to fulfil your travel dreams while also furthering your veterinary career. We have placed Veterinary professionals in the UK, Canada, Australia, the US, Hong Kong, New Zealand, and many more. Get in touch if you are considering moving your veterinary career overseas either permanently or temporarily. You could even get a working holiday visa to try the country out first! We will provide you with the expertise and support you need when searching and applying for jobs overseas.

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