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Social workers now require Registration

Immigration New Zealand released an update announcing that as of the 1st of March, social workers would require registration with the Social Workers Registration Board in order to both work in New Zealand and obtain either a work visa or residence visa.

The Social Workers Registration Board (SWRB) are labelling this an exciting moment as it sets a standard of professionalism within the industry and allows them to join the ranks of other regulated professionals such as doctors, nurses, teachers and lawyers.

Social Worker

Impact on Immigration New Zealand, visas and entry to New Zealand

On the Immigration front, Social Workers are also able to enter New Zealand despite the current border restrictions on the basis of being critical health care workers if they hold registration and obtain a job offer in New Zealand.

It is also an exciting step as it means that anyone applying for residence as a social worker would receive prioritisation of the processing of their application due to their occupational registration. This could potentially cut processing time down from 18 months to approximately 4-6 months.

Social Workers are also able to enter New Zealand despite the current border restrictions on the basis of being critical health care workers

Who must be registered?

You need to be registered if you:

  • call yourself a social worker,
  • are known as a social worker, or
  • are held out to be a social worker

Social work practice

Practising social work can include any one or more of the following:

  • working directly with clients, including whānau, hapū and community
  • being involved with casework decisions at any level
  • managing and/or supervising other social workers
  • if you apply your social work values, skills, ethics, and knowledge in your role
  • teaching social work practice or theory
  • developing policy that impacts upon social work practice

You can find out more regarding becoming registered as a social worker here: https://swrb.govt.nz/

If you are a social worker and would like to undertake our free eligibility assessment, please complete our assessment here:

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