Doctor Visas

Australia encourages migration of doctors and nurses to meet the shortage of qualified and skilled personnel in these professions. Both doctors and nurses can find increasing temporary and permanent work opportunities.

Eligibility Criteria for Doctors

Primary medical qualification acquired in a country other than Australia is considered valid for an Australian visa. Doctors who have gained their medical qualifications in Australia and are not Australian permanent residents can also apply for a visa.

Doctors who wish to practise in Australia must first be registered with the Medical Board in the State or Territory where they intend to practise. You must hold full medical registration if you seek permanent residency in Australia.

In evidence of full registration, you must submit one of the following certificates issued by the State or Territory Medical Board:

  • 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.

After the visa is granted, you must apply to Medicare Australia for a Medicare Provider Number if you plan to start general practice or prescribe drugs.

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.

Doctors can apply for either a temporary or a permanent visa.

Temporary Visa Options for Doctors

You can apply for temporary visas for doctors if

  • you do not yet hold full medical registration in Australia and wish to be permanent residents of Australia OR
  • you do not yet hold full medical registration in Australia and are employed and sponsored as temporary resident while in the process of meeting the requirements to obtain full medical registration.

Note: Australian organisations (businesses, communities or government agencies) can sponsor overseas doctors to work in Australia for up to 4 years.

Overseas trained doctors can start supervised practice and formal assessment in Australia to meet the requirements for full medical registration.

If you are a graduate from an Australian or New Zealand Medical Council accredited medical school and wish to complete your internship in Australia, you will need to apply for one of the temporary visas.

Temporary Visa options for doctors are:

Temporary Business (Long Stay) Visa

The Temporary Business (Long Stay) visa allows employers to hire overseas doctors to fill nominated skilled positions in Australia, on a temporary basis for a period between 3 months and 4 years. Employers can be either Australian or overseas businesses. With this visa, the employers can benefit from the following arrangements:

  • Employers and doctors can avail of a special online application form.
  • Employers can have one sponsorship agreement for multiple doctors, nurses and other staff.
  • Once a sponsorship agreement has been approved, employers can nominate doctors using a nomination application that is simpler than a full sponsorship application.

The Temporary Business (Long Stay) visa allows doctors to:

  • work in Australia for a period between 3 months and 4 years
  • bring any eligible secondary applicants with them to Australia – secondary applicants can work and study
  • travel in and out of Australia any number of times after entering Australia

Medical Practitioner Temporary Visa

This visa allows foreign medical practitioners to work in Australia for a sponsoring employer. Employers must lodge a separate sponsorship application for each doctor sponsored. This visa is most appropriate when a rural community or local council wishes to sponsor a doctor.

This visa is best suited for:

  • Overseas-trained doctors
  • Overseas students who have completed their medical degree in Australia

The Medical Practitioner Temporary visa allows doctors to:

  • work in Australia for a period between 3 months and 4 years
  • bring any eligible secondary applicants with them to Australia – secondary applicants can work and study
  • travel in and out of Australia any number of times after entering Australia

Occupational Trainee Visa

With Occupational Trainee visa, you can apply for the Skilled – Regional Sponsored (Provisional) visa at the end of your training.

This temporary visa is for skilled personnel including doctors from outside Australia who wish to improve their work skills through training with an Australian employer.

The doctor must be appointed to a designated training position that is not primarily service-providing in nature. Organisations providing occupational training programs must apply to nominate doctors for this visa.

The Occupational Trainee visa allows foreign nationals to complete structured and supervised workplace-based training programs or academic research in Australia on a temporary basis. The training must provide people with additional or enhanced skills in their present occupations, tertiary studies or fields of expertise.

This visa may be valid for up to two years to undertake a training program (subject to the length of the approved training program). An additional two months may be added beyond the training end date to allow you and your family members to make arrangements to leave Australia or to apply for another visa.

Note: If the training is not completed in the approved visa period, you can apply for a second occupational trainee visa. You and your nominating organisation must meet eligibility requirements again.

Permanent Visa Options for Doctors

Doctors who have full medical registration in Australia can apply for permanent residence under one of the following employer-sponsored or independent visas:

  • General Skilled Migration
  • Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS)
  • Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS)
  • Labour Agreements (LAs)

General Skilled Migration

Doctors who have acquired full medical registration are eligible to migrate to Australia as an independent skilled migrant under the General Skilled Migration Program.

Read more about General Skilled Migration.

Doctors can also apply under the ENS, RSMS, LA schemes. Read more about ENS, RSMS and Labour Agreements.

Please contact us to discuss your requirements or click here for a detailed assessment of your particulars towards migration to Australia.

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