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Migration to Australia for Doctors

Do you want to move to Australia to work as a doctor? As a doctor working in Australia, you’ll be well paid, have a work life balance, moreover, have an opportunity to use your skills in a wide range of medicine.

Doctors on the Skilled Occupations List

There are occupations related to medical services on the current skilled occupation list for GSM visa application purpose, including general practitioners and practitioners in other special areas of their expertise.

Requirements to work in Australia for Doctors

You will need to hold registration with AHPRA – Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency, entitling you to work in Australia as a doctor.

Registration Requirements for Medical Practitioners

Australian trained medical practitioners will go through the following registration processes with AHPRA:

A full registration with AHPRA is received is considered as a positive skills assessment outcome for general practitioners.

For overseas trained medical practitioners, there are several assessment pathways for registration:

  1. Competent Authority Pathway
    This pathway is available to international trained non-specialists or specialists, which would lead to general registration.
    Medical Board of Australia has approved a number of international authorities as competent to access to this program. Applicants who completed training or assessment from an approved competent authority can apply for provisional registration visa this pathway.
    The approved competent authorities are:

    • General Medical Council (UK)
    • Medical Council of Canada (LMCC)
    • Educational commission for Foreign Medical Graduates of the US (USMLE)
    • Medical Council of New Zealand (NZREX)
    • Medical Council of Ireland

    International trained doctors need to have a primary qualification in a medicine and surgery awarded by a training institution recognized by BOTH the Australian Medical Council ( and the World Directory of Medical Schools ( also eligible to consider Competent pathway.

    Applicants under this pathway would receive provisional registration with AHPRA and when they complete 12 months supervised practice satisfactorily.

  2. Specialist Pathway
    This pathway is available to overseas trained doctors who have a primary qualification in medicine and surgery awarded by a training institution recognised by BOTH the Australian Medical Council and the World Directory of Medical Schools. The applicants need to have satisfied all the training and examination requirements to practise in their field of specialty in their country of training or no more than 2 years away from completing their specialist training overseas.Overseas trained specialists applying for registration through specialist pathway should apply directly to the relevant specialist medical college for assessment.
  3. Standard Pathway
    This pathway is for applicants who are not eligible for either the Competent Authority Pathway or the Specialist Pathway.Applicants need to have a primary qualification in medicine and surgery awarded by a training institution recognised by BOTH the Australian Medical Council and the World Directory of Medical Schools

AHPRA will assess the applicants’ overseas qualification and employment history before a provisional registration can be issued.

Visa Application Pathways for Doctors

The overseas trained doctors are able to work in Australia under provisional registration, should they hold a valid visa, such as an employer sponsored visa on a temporary basis.

However, the overseas trained medical practitioners are not yet able to consider a general skilled visa, as provisional registration is not considered as full positive skills assessment.

A full registration status needs to be obtained before a general skilled visa can be considered.

Please note, for employer sponsored visa applications, general practitioner, resident medical officer and medical practitioners (nec) are required with a health workforce certificate before a nomination can be approved.

The workforce certificate can be requested by the nominator/business sponsor and issued by one of the following:

Skills Assessment for Doctors

The Department understands that for medical doctors, evidence of full registration with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) would enable a suitable skills assessment to be made; unless specifically required, the Department accepts evidence of full registration with AHPRA as positive skills assessment outcome for medical doctors for their skilled visa application purpose.

English Requirement

There are four pathways that you can use to demonstrate your English language competence. These are outlined in the English Language skills registration standard. The pathways are:

  1. Primary language pathway
  2. Combined secondary and tertiary education pathway
  3. Extended education pathway, or
  4. English language test pathway

The IELTS, PTE Academic and TOEFL iBT test can be taken by applicants from many professions.

For further information regarding English requirements for:

Skilled Invitation Round

Whilst the migration points threshold has been set as 65 points, which would enable candidates to consider submitting an expression of interest, the latest invitation round information shows much higher cut-off points for candidates to receive an invitation under the independent skilled visa pathway subclass 189. Candidates can receive an invitation with at least 85 points under the s/c 189 visa pathway based on the 11th August 2019 invitation record. We expect the same level of competitiveness under the state nominated visa pathway, i.e. we expect candidates for s/c 190 visa would be able to reach 85 points with the additional 5 points form state nomination approval to receive an invitation.

Studying in Australia to become a doctor

Are you considering a career as a general practitioner in Australia but you are not sure if it is the right option? The article ‘What’s it like to be a General Practitioner?‘ may assist with your decision. It lists tasks and duties, average income, what are the job opportunities and more.
A detailed list of approved programs of study in Australia, please access the information through the link
Please be reminded, the authorities in Australia may undertake reviews on a regular basis, please make sure you conduct necessary research before confirming enrolment with the education provider/s.


If you are dreaming of a life in Australia as a doctor, you may wish to speak with one of our registered migration agents about your visa eligibility and pathway.

Published Thu 26 September 2019. Tags: ,


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