Moving to another country for work is a complicated process and the requirements differ enormously from country to country. It is important to establish whether your initial qualification as an occupational therapist or physiotherapist is accepted without further examination. Additionally, many countries have restrictions on entry to work, visas required and/or job offers in place prior to application. For further information and for initial investigations contact the professional body in the destination country and search their governmental website for information on entry requirements.
There are a number of questions to ask when considering moving abroad:
- Is my current national OT / PT qualification recognized by employers abroad?
- Do I need to obtain a working license in the country that I wish to work in?
- Are there any exams that I will have to pass to be able to work as an Occupational or Physical Therapist and/or qualified hand therapist?
- How do I find out about job listings abroad?
- Is fluency of language a requirement or is English sufficient for work abroad?
- What kind of living/working permits are required?
- Can I fulfill my national certification requirements while working in a foreign country?
- What kind of VISA will I need to work in a foreign country? How do I go about applying for the VISA ? How much is the cost?
- Does the country I am interested in, grant work visas to therapists holding passports from my country?
- What kind of medical check is needed prior to starting a job in a foreign country?
- If proof of continuing education courses, teaching, conferences, publications, work hours etc. are in a foreign language, do they need to be translated?
- Are there any vacinations and or immunizations needed to work in this country?
Additional information about working abroad is available on the WFOT website: http://www.wfot.org/ResourceCentre.aspx Page 10 in resource center, PDF Download, " Working as an Occupational Therapist in Another Country" updated October 2014