Last Updated on March 1, 2013
There is currently a shortage of doctors and nurses in Australia, particularly in regional areas.
General practitioners or specialists can apply for a visa to work in Australia if they have obtained their primary medical qualification in a country other than Australia or gained their medical qualifications in Australia and are not an Australian permanent resident.
Nurses are currently in high demand in Australia with opportunities for permanent and temporary work available.
Working in Australia as a Doctor
Doctors can apply for either a temporary or permanent visa. For immigration purposes, doctors seeking permanent residency in Australia must hold full medical registration.
For immigration purposes, doctors seeking permanent residency in Australia must hold full medical registration. The department will accept one of the following certificates issued by the State or Territory Medical Board as evidence of full registration:
- full/unconditional/general medical registration
- conditional specialist registration – this registration allows you to practise only in your particular speciality, with no further training or supervision requirements.
Note: The Australian State and Territory Medical Boards are responsible for the registration of all medical practitioners. However, in the case of specialists, the Medical Boards require an assessment from the relevant Australian Specialist Medical College before registering a doctor for practice in their field of specialisation. The decision to grant medical registration is entirely up to the relevant State and Territory Medical Board.
Temporary Visa Options for Doctors
Doctors who do not yet hold full medical registration in Australia can be employed and sponsored as a temporary resident while they are in the process of meeting the requirements to obtain full medical registration.
Permanent Visa Options for Doctors
There are several different permanent visas available for doctors who have full medical registration in Australia.
Working in Australia as a Nurse
Whether you have a high level of skills and experience or need to gain additional skills, there is a visa to suit you. There are excellent career opportunities with permanent and temporary work available in Australia. You can be in or outside Australia when you apply for a visa to work as a nurse.
Nurses need to be in good health and have a certain level of education and experience. To work in a hospital or other health care area, nurses need to pass a health examination which includes a chest x-ray.
To work in Australia, nurses need to be assessed by either the Australian Nursing & Midwifery Council (ANMC) or the nurse regulatory body in the State or Territory in which they want to work.
The ANMC’s website has more information including links to State and Territory nurse regulatory bodies.
Visa Options for Nurses
Nurses are currently in high demand in Australia. There are excellent career opportunities with permanent and temporary work available in Australia. Most visa applications for nurses receive priority processing.
Nurses sponsored by an employer
Temporary Business (Long Stay) visa (subclass 457)
For registered nurses to work in Australia for an approved business sponsor, for up to four years. Your accompanying family members can work and study in Australia.
Employer Nomination Scheme
Overseas nurses under 45 years of age with qualifications and work experience as a registered nurse, may be eligible for a permanent visa under this scheme.
Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme
Overseas nurses with qualifications equivalent to an Australian diploma level qualification (two years full-time study) or higher may be eligible for a permanent visa. Under this scheme, nurses will be sponsored by an Australian employer to work and live in regional Australia.
General Skilled Migration
Nurses may be able to migrate to Australia as an independent skilled migrant or one of the sponsored visas under the General Skilled Migration Program.
If you are between 18 and 30, you may be able to come to Australia temporarily for a working holiday. This visa allows you to stay for 12 months and work as a nurse with any one employer for a maximum of six months, provided your work remains incidental to your holidays.
Improving your skills
Nurses who do not have the qualifications to work as a nurse in Australia can do a bridging program to improve their skills. There are some temporary visa options available for you to do this.
Occupational Trainee visa
For nurses to undertake a supervised, workplace-based training program in Australia. This option is good for training programs of three months or longer.
Business (Short Stay) visa (subclass 456)
Ideal for nurses to undertake an approved bridging or pre-registration program for less than three months. Nurses who successfully complete the course may be able to apply in Australia for a Business Long Stay visa.
AUSTRALIA is seeking the following health professionals now –