Help with applying for a visa: Contact us on (02) 8268 4000 for expert advice, preferably well ahead of the expiry of any current visa.
There are several visa options for doctors and nurses wishing to migrate to or remain in Australia. Qualified doctors and nurses are in demand in Australia.
An Accredited Specialist in Immigration Law (as certified by the Law Society of New South Wales) leads our team of migration lawyers and agents.
Craddock Murray Neumann has lawyers who can also assist with applications to the Migration Review Tribunal and the Federal Court if a visa application is unsuccessful. (Migration agents who are not lawyers cannot assist you with Federal Court applications).
Visa options for Doctors
To qualify for a visa that will enable you to work as a doctor in Australia you must be registered with the Medical Board of the State in which you intend to work.
You can only apply for a permanent visa if you have full registration to practice medicine in Australia. If you do not have full registration, you will need to apply for a temporary visa.
Temporary Visa Options
Doctors who do not have full Australian registration can apply for:
- a subclass 457 visa that will enable them to work in Australia for a hospital or medical practice, usually for 4 years, or
- a subclass 442 visa that will enable them to undertake a period of training as a medical practitioner in Australia.
For information on applying for a subclass 457 or 442 visa please refer to our section on Employer Sponsored Visas.
Permanent Visa Options
Only doctors who are fully registered in Australia can apply for a permanent visa, including employer nominated and sponsored visas or a general skilled migration visa. Please refer to our sections on Employer Sponsored Visas and Professional and Skilled Migrants Visas, remembering that concessions are available to people who are willing to work and reside in regional areas of Australia.
Issues can arise for foreign-trained doctors seeking to have their qualifications recognised in Australia. Call us for expert advice.
To work in Australia, nurses must:
- meet qualification requirements;
- meet experience requirements;
- pass a medical and x-ray examination;
- be registered with the relevant State or Territory authority.
Visa options for Nurses
Both temporary and permanent visa options exist for nurses who wish to migrate to or remain in Australia. Visa applications from nurses are given some priority processing.
Temporary Visa Options
Temporary visa options for nurses generally involve employer sponsorship. Please refer to our section on [Employer Sponsored Visas].
For nurses under 30 years old, the “Working Holiday Visa” and the “Work and Holiday Visa” might also be options if they hold the passport of an eligible country. Please see our section on [Working Holiday Visas].
Visas that allow overseas qualified nurses to undertake training
For nurses who do not hold qualifications that permit them to work as a nurse in Australia, two visas are available to allow applicants to improve their skills. These are the Subclass 442 Occupational Trainee Visa and the Subclass 456 Business (Short Stay) Visa.
The Subclass 442 Occupational Trainee visa:
- is granted for workplace-based supervised training programmes;
- is granted for up to two years (subject to the length of the approved training programme);
- involves an organisation sponsoring and nominating the occupational trainee;
- requires the applicant to meet English language, health and character criteria.
The Subclass 456 Business (Short Stay) visa:
- allows nurses to undertake an approved bridging or pre-registration program of less than three months’ duration;
- can be applied for by all passport holders who intend to visit Australia for business;
- does not require sponsorship;
- may enable visa holders who have completed their program to apply for a temporary employer-sponsored visa.
Permanent Visa Options
Eligible nurses who have obtained a skills assessment from the Australia Nursing and Midwifery Accreditation Council can apply for one of the permanent visas under the Skilled Migration Program. This includes independent and employer sponsored options. See our sections on [Employer Sponsored Visas] and [Professional and Skilled Visas].
As for doctors (see above), a Regional Permanent option is also available for nurses. Those with overseas qualifications must show equivalence to at least an Australian diploma – level qualification.
Warning: this page states the law as at as at 11.12.11. The law is complex and changes frequently. The law may have changed when you read this page. Contact us to confirm your rights.