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20 Nov 2015

A Guide To Migrating To Australia As A Doctor

If you’re a doctor contemplating a new professional life in Australia, there are a few practicalities regarding your working visa to attend to before you move over. There are a few different visa options available depending on your specific area of practice and intended duration of stay. Whether you choose to apply for the 189 Skilled Independent Visa, the 190 Employer Sponsored Visa, or the 457 Temporary Work Visa, this will set you on the right path.

In order to migrate to Australia, your occupation must be listed on the Nominated Skilled Occupations list, which includes the following professions:

General Medical Practitioner
Anaesthetist
Dermatologist
Emergency Medicine Specialist
Obstetrician and Gynaecologist
Ophthalmologist
Paediatrician
Pathologist
Specialist Physician
Psychiatrist
Radiologist
Surgeon
Specialist Medical Practitioners (not elsewhere classified)

The first step is to undergo a skills assessment process. You will be required to lodge your application with the medical board that represents the state or territory in which you wish to practise. Once you have evidence that you are registered as a medical practitioner you will be able to submit your chosen visa application.

If your medical qualifications are not recognised by the state or territory medical board where you wish to move to, you will have to undergo an examination by the Australian Medical Council, or AMC. As well as a multiple choice question exam, a clinical exam is also held by the AMC. Upon successful completion of these pre-requisites, it will be possible for you to lodge a visa application as a skilled worker with your desired state or territory.

If you are moving to Australia from abroad as an overseas-trained specialist, you will again have to submit a skills assessment by the AMC. This enables the AMC to work out how equivalent your training and qualifications are compared to your Australian counterparts. Provided you are assessed as being competent to practise medicine in Australia, you will have the green light to register as a specialist practitioner.

Australia is an increasingly sought-after destination for those working in the medical field. And with salary rates reported as being up to 50 per cent higher than the UK, it isn’t difficult to see why. Not only this, but working as a doctor in Australia can also entail a better working environment with shorter working hours. Add to this Australia’s agreeable climate and reputation for its friendly and laidback populace and you can see why so many doctors and nurses from the UK are making the decision to head Down Under.

There are also a lot of employment opportunities for medical practitioners who desire a fresh start abroad. Statistics from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development indicate that the country is in need of as many as 26,500 new doctors and 47,700 new nurses.


Sheila Woods

Posted by: Sheila Woods

A very experienced migration agent, Sheila has always been fascinated by this field. Her university degree thesis was on Australia’s post-war immigration history (and it earned her first-class honours).


Filed in: Visas

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