Visa Planning for Doctors

Whether you are already in Australia working as a doctor, or planning to migrate to Australia, there are some basic facts which will be important as you, whether you intend to stay only for a few years, or want to become a permanent resident

Initial Visa Options for IMG’s

For an International Medical Graduate (IMG) to work in Australia as a medical practitioner the most common pathway is:

  1. Get a job offer
  2. Obtain a successful skills assessment
  3. Get registered with the Australian Medical Board (AMB)
  4. Get a visa

For most IMG’s migrating to Australia, (if you do not already hold General or Specialist registration), the main pathway is the 457 visa program.

Temporary Work (457) Visa

This is the most common pathway for medical practitioners and requires you be sponsored by an Australian medical practice or hospital. The medical practice or hospital must be an approved 457 Standard Business Sponsor. The Department of Immigration and Border Protection is currently taking about 3 months to process 457 visas. The visa is usually granted for up to 4 years and it enables the doctor to work for the sponsoring medical practice or hospital and in some circumstances, other medical practices. This visa can provide a very useful stepping stone on the pathway to a permanent residence visa. To apply for a 457 visa, your occupation must be on the Combined List of Eligible Occupations. We have created an abbreviated version of the Combined List of Eligible Occupations for medical professions below so that you can easily check whether your occupation is listed  (most medical occupations are).

Temporary Skills Shortage (TSS) Visa

This will replace the 457 visa in March 2018 and is likely to become the most common pathway for medical practitioners to migrate to Australia. We anticipate that the requirements and conditions will be similar to the 457 program for medical professionals, however this visa is considerably more expensive. 457 visas issued before March 2018 will continue to be valid until their normal expiry date.

Permanent Residence Options

Doctors who want to stay in Australia may have several different visa options, dependent on a number of factors. The table below shows which visas are available to the various medical professions and specialisations. You can use the SEARCH function to find your occupation. Once you have found your occupation, see the Visa Types for Doctors section below for details of the various visas as they apply to medical professionals.