9 May 2019

Permanent Residence pathway changes for nurses in Australia

We are expecting to see changes to the way in which overseas-trained nurses can become eligible to apply for permanent residence through the General Skilled Migration program.

Instead of the existing option to undertake a three-month bridging program, nurses may soon need to take an outcomes-based assessment to qualify. The outcomes-based assessment will involve cognitive and behavioural tests and assess the applicant’s qualifications and experience.

When will nurses require an outcomes based assessment?

In 2018, the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia announced the existing bridging program for overseas trained nurses could be phased out as early as mid 2019. An implementation date is yet to be confirmed.

In the meantime, referrals for the bridging program are still being issued, however SBS News have reported there is a very lengthy waiting list and some providers are already at full capacity.

Permanent residence for nurses in Australia

The existing bridging program is currently used by nurses as a pathway to qualify for permanent residence if their overseas qualifications do not meet the Australian equivalent standard. The outcomes-based assessment may soon replace this permanent residence pathway for nurses.

Overseas-trained nurses may alternatively become eligible for permanent residence by applying for a Student Visa to complete a Bachelor of Nursing degree in Australia. Credits can usually be allocated for studies completed overseas. Depending on the circumstances, some applicants will only need to complete one and a half years of study to obtain the equivalent Australian qualifications.

Migrating to Australia as a Registered Nurse also requires applicants to be registered with the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Accreditation Council (ANMAC). This process requires migrants to achieve a positive skills assessment.

Immigracious | Perth Migration Agents

If you are interested in understanding how the changes may impact your visa options as an overseas-trained nurse in Australia, we encourage you to seek professional advice.

Immigracious’ Registered Migration Agents can advise whether you are eligible to apply for permanent residence in Australia and guide you throughout the visa process. Simply contact our team on
08 6263 4406 or

Immigracious’ Registered Migration Agents
SBS News

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: Uncategorized


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