Australian visa pathways for doctors and medical professionals.

Zhanna Heenan

Occupation List, Temporary Visa Holder, Visa News

COVID-19 pandemic has led Australia to a historically high level of unemployment. Businesses, small and large, across the country are desperately trying to hire workers.

The ongoing effects of the pandemic, along with the changing economy as a result, have created challenges in various occupations, including those related to health.

The National Skills Commission published the 2022 Skills Priorities List according to which General practitioners and Resident Medical Officers are the top 10 most in-demand professions in the country.

If you have relevant medical qualifications, skills and experience, the right time for you to come and work in Australia is now.

All skilled migration pathways, covering Subclass 189, 190, 491 as well as employer sponsored subclasses 482, 186, 187 and 494, include general practitioners and resident medical officers.

The first step to meeting the requirements for a skilled visa pathway is to have your skills recognised for migrating to Australia.

The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA), that regulates Australia’s registered health practitioners, is responsible for Migration skills assessment for International medical graduates.

Skills Assessment pathways

There are several assessment pathways. Which one to choose will depend on your circumstances.

International medical graduates (IMGs) with medical qualifications obtained outside of Australia or New Zealand and who wish to practise medicine in Australia must provide evidence of eligibility to undertake one of the following assessment pathways:

Competent Authority pathway

The Competent Authority pathway is for non-specialists, but is also available to specialists, including general practitioners. This pathway leads to general registration.

Before applying for assessment under this pathway, IMGs must pass recognised examinations or complete training through a Board approved competent authority,

IMGs applying for the Competent Authority pathway should apply directly to the Medical Board of Australia (the Board) for provisional registration.

The Standard pathway

The Standard pathway is for IMGs seeking general registration with the Board. This pathway applies to IMGs who do not qualify for the Competent Authority pathway or the Specialist pathway.

IMGs 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 (WDOMS) can apply for assessment under this pathway.

IMGs applying for the Standard pathway need to apply directly to the Australian Medical Council (AMC).

IMGs must pass the AMC CAT MCQ Examination before they can apply to the Board for registration.

The Specialist pathway

The Specialist pathway is for the following IMGs:

specialists applying for assessment of comparability to the standard of a specialist trained in that specialty in Australia (specialist recognition), and

specialists applying for an area of need specialist level position in Australia

IMGs who have a primary qualification in medicine and surgery obtained through a training from an institution recognised by both the Australian Medical Council and the World Directory of Medical Schools (WDOMS) and who have satisfied all the training and examination requirements to practise in their field of specialty in their country of training, can apply for assessment under this pathway (specialist recognition or area of need). IMGs applying for the Specialist pathway should apply directly to the relevant specialist medical college for assessment.

Short term training in a medical specialty pathway.

The short-term training in a medical specialty pathway is for IMGs who are overseas-trained specialists or specialists-in-training wishing to undertake a short period (usually up to 24 months) of specialist or advanced training in Australia.

This pathway does not lead to registration as a specialist in Australia. IMGs seeking to qualify for specialist registration apply for registration via the specialist pathway – specialist recognition.

IMGs 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 (WDOMS) and who have satisfied all the training and examination requirements to practise in their field of specialty in their country of training or who are no more than two years away from completing their specialist training overseas, can apply for assessment under this pathway (short term training in a medical specialty pathway).

IMGs applying for the short-term training in a medical specialty pathway apply directly to the relevant specialist medical college for assessment using a Board application form (AAMC-30) before applying to the Board for registration.

Which pathway am I eligible for?

Book an appointment with one of our registered migration agents today to help you decide which pathway may be relevant to you.

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