Official Requirements for Overseas Doctors, Midwives and Nurses in Australia
There are a number of procedures that overseas nurses and midwives should comply with before they are eligible to work in Australia.
Anybody wishing to work as a midwife or nurse in Australia must register with the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA). On the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia’s website, you can find all the information you need regarding the registration process, renewal dates and costs. Application forms are also available here, as well as details about the NMBA’s standards, codes and guidelines.
As part of the registration process, you will need to undergo a criminal record check, provide proof of your English language proficiency, and submit evidence regarding your qualifications and how recently you have practised.
The Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia is under the control of the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA). The AHPRA is the body that will grant your registration. Please note that if you get your registration, it will be valid for every state in Australia. To find out more about the AHPRA, please visit their website.
If you receive your registration, you will still need to meet Australia’s visa and immigration requirements. Your Visa will be issued by Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection. Information about Australian visa requirements and the immigration process can be found on their website.
Anybody seeking a nursing or midwifery job in Australia will need to undergo a skills assessment as part of the immigration process. The skills assessment will be conducted by the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Accreditation Council (ANMAC), an independent organisation which operates in conjunction with the Australian Government’s General Skilled Migration Programme.
The skills assessment process should take around 8 weeks. Please note that applicants are charged fees to undergo this process.
To pass the skills assessment, you will need to provide proof of identity and evidence of English language proficiency, and to hold medical qualifications which are accepted in Australia. It is preferable if you have practised in the last five years and you need to be able to demonstrate that you are fit to practise.
Please note that completing the skills assessment is an entirely separate process to registering with the NMBA and that overseas applicants seeking nursing or midwifery jobs in Australia must undergo both processes.
Full details of the skills assessment process are available on the ANMAC Website.
Some nurses or midwives may wish to apply under the Employer Nomination Scheme Occupational List (ENSOL) rather than the General Skilled Migration Programme. Such individuals need to have been nominated for a job, in an occupational area that appears in the ENSOL, by an Australian employer. More details about ENSOL can be found here.
The registration requirements for people seeking doctors’ jobs in Australia are rather complex. It is best to consult the Australian Government Department for Health Website, which gives full details of the registration procedures for Overseas Trained Doctors (OTDs). A useful, simplified summary of the steps overseas doctors need to take can be accessed here.
Several different routes can be followed to gain Australian medical registration. These depend upon the qualifications you hold, your personal circumstances, whether or not you hold a job offer, and whether you are a general practitioner (GP), a specialist or a hospital non-specialist. As part of the registration process, you will need to do the following:
Overseas Trained Doctors will receive either limited medical registration or full medical registration from the AHPRA. Overseas doctors may only receive limited medical registration at first, meaning they will have to undertake a period of supervised employment in an Area of Need. Areas of need are determined by state and territory governments and relate to both public and private medical provision. Methods of defining them can vary between different territories and states.