[Date: 7 December 2022]

We are seeing an increase in the number of medical professionals swapping a life in the in their country of birth for a life “down under”. In this blog, we cover all the legal considerations for doctors, nurses and specialists who are considering immigrating to Australia as skilled migrants.

Australian labour skills shortage

The Australian Skills Priority List, published in October 2022, provides a detailed list of occupations that are in shortage in Australia, including breakdowns of the most needed professions for each state and territory. Data for the report has been gathered from labour markets and trends, and through engagement with stakeholders, industry groups and peak bodies. 

The study has found that there has been a surge in shortages of health professionals all around Australia. Employers in the health and medical industries are struggling to fill many vacancies right now. The number of suitable applicants for health vacancies almost halved in the 21-22 year as compared to the previous year.

Areas of medical specialisation required in Australia include, but are not limited to:

  • Medical Diagnostic Radiographer
  • Medical Radiation Therapist
  • Orthotist or Prosthetist
  • Dentist
  • Special Physician (General Medicine)
  • Clinical Hematologist
  • Endocrinologist
  • Gastroenterologist

There is also a shorting of nursing staff, including nurse researchers, nurse practitioners, registered nurses and mental health nurses.

Outcomes of the Jobs and Skills Summit

The Jobs and Skills Summit was held at Parliament House in Canberra on 1 and 2 September and one of the key topics for discussion was the Australian skills shortage. One outcome was the commitment to increase the number of skilled migrants granted entry to Australia. The Government has also committed to reducing visa wait times. 

The Immigration Department has also stated that 50% of the TSS (subclass 482) visa program applications will now be processed within three months. This visa class enables employers to bring skilled workers to do a job where they cannot find an appropriately skilled Australian worker. 

Migration to Australia

Medical professionals who seek to migrate to Australia must obtain professional registration with the Medical Board of Australia to enable them to work here, and qualify for grant of a skilled visa to become doctors in Australia. The visa application for medical professionals is a complex process and requires applicants to formulate a carefully considered plan. This means being fully informed about the various aspects which come into play and ensuring that the right timeline is planned.

Applicants must nominate the correct occupation because in some cases, there may be a need to decide between more than one possible occupation. Then the visa pathway should be mapped, dependent on the personal situation of the prospective applicant. English language criteria apply for skilled migrants and applicants must demonstrate a degree of competency and fluency in the English language and meet minimum score requirements in a prescribed English language test. 

Migration processes can be complex. If you are a medical professional and considering applying to immigrate to Australia, it pays to get advice early about your individual circumstances. When you contact Zed Legal, we will ensure you are informed about your responsibilities and applying under the most appropriate visa category. We will work with you to develop a customised plan for your application for a visa, to ensure you the highest chance of success.  

If you would like one of our lawyers to assist you with your migration needs, please contact the Zed Legal team – [email protected]. Alternatively, you can book an appointment with us at www.zed.legal/booking/

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