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Nurses... we need you Down Under

Australia - how to get here

There are 3 ways you can live and work in Australia, with many visa options:

  1. Permanent Migration - as a Skilled Migrant

  2. Temporary Migration - for those who wish to improve their skills or experience

  3. Working Holiday - for those Registered Nurses 18-30 years old

We have a recruitment partner in Australia, Iqualis - they are introduced further down the page.

Why Australia?

Nursing in Australia has its plus points!!Australia has a lot going for it, the climate - the fantastic blue skies, the sunshine, the cold beer, the excellent wine and food, and the white sandy beaches. Life doesn’t get much better!

We are a cultural melting pot - since 1945 more than six million people from across the world have come to Australia to live. Today, more than 20 per cent of Australians are foreign born and more than 40 per cent are of mixed cultural origin No matter what your background you will feel welcome here.

Australia is the sixth largest country in the world. It's about the same size as the 48 mainland states of the USA and 50 per cent larger than Europe, but has the lowest population density in the world - only two people per square kilometre.

Australia’s coastline stretches almost 50,000 kilometres and is linked by over 10,000 beaches, more than any other country in the world. More than 85 per cent of Australians live within 50 kilometres of the coast, making it an integral part of our laid-back lifestyle.

Nursing – Visas, Immigration and You

Nurses are currently in high demand in Australia. There are excellent career opportunities with permanent and temporary work available in Australia.

Whether you have a high level of skills and experience or need to gain additional skills, there is a visa to suit you. There are excellent career opportunities with permanent and temporary work available in Australia. You can be in or outside Australia when you apply for a visa to work as a nurse.

There is a serious shortage of Registered Nurses (in all fields) in Australia

Permanent and Temporary Visa Options for Nurses

Skilled Migration

Nurse on the wardNurses may be able to migrate to Australia as skilled migrants.

Since 1 July 2012 new independent and sponsored skilled visas are available. The Australian visa system, however, is complex and you should seek professional help.

Working Holidays

If you are between 18 and 30, you may be able to come to Australia temporarily for a working holiday.

For Nurses, this visa allows you to stay for 12 months and work as a nurse with any one employer for a maximum of six months, provided your work remains incidental to your holidays. Again, you should seek professional advice before applying for these visas or for a job on one of these visas.

Improving your Skills

Nurses who do not have the qualifications to work as a nurse in Australia can do a bridging program to improve their skills. There are some temporary visa options available for you to do this.

Training and Research Visa

For nurses to undertake a supervised, workplace-based training program in Australia. This option is good for training programs of three months or longer.

Nurses Sponsored by an Employer

Temporary Employment Visa (subclass 457)

This is usually used for Registered Nurses to work in Australia for an approved business sponsor, for up to four years. Your accompanying family members can work and study in Australia.

Employer Nomination Scheme

Overseas nurses under 50 years of age, with qualifications and work experience as a registered nurse, may be eligible for a permanent visa under this scheme. As the name suggests you require employer nomination for this visa.

Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme

Overseas nurses younger than 50 years with qualifications equivalent to an Australian diploma level qualification (two years full-time study) or higher may be eligible for a permanent visa. Under this scheme, nurses will be sponsored by an Australian employer to work and live in regional Australia. The visa conditions include a mandatory 2 year contract with your employer.

Working in Australia

Registering as a Nurse with the AHPRA - important

In the same way that you are required to register with the NMC to work as a Nurse in the UK, in Australia you are required to get AHPRA (Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency) registration. Information and guidance on registration for overseas Nurses can be found on the AHPRA website.

English Language Requirements

Nurses must now demonstrate a proficiency in English before their skills assessment or visa can be granted. In other words, you must demonstrate that you meet the English language threshold. This means that you must already have your English language test results before you lodge your application visa.

Proof of English language proficiency is required by taking either the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) or the Occupational English Test (OET).

Please download the Nursing & Midwifery "English Language Skills" guidance from the AHPRA website

Which English Language Test Should I Sit?

Generally, you will be required to sit the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) test to assess your English language ability. Occupational English Test (OET) results may also be provided as evidence of your English language ability - a .

What is IELTS?

IELTS is a test designed to assess an applicant’s English language ability. A minimum score of 7 is required in each of the four components (listening, reading, writing and speaking).

IELTS examinations are available worldwide. Information on fees, available test dates and application forms are available on the IELTS website.


What is OET?

The Occupational English Test (OET) is a language test for overseas qualified health professionals. The Test assesses English language proficiency as it is used in medical and health professions. The OET is administered by the OET Centre seven times a year and in over 40 locations around the world. An overall pass with grades A or B is required in each of the four components (listening, reading, writing and speaking).

The Test measures the language competency of health professionals who are seeking registration and the ability to practise in an English-speaking context. It is designed to ensure that language competency is assessed in a relevant professional context.


Why use a Registered Migration Agent?

Use a migration Agent to help you get to AustraliaWe advise using a Registered Migration Agent. You cannot work as a Registered Nurse in Australia without first registering with one of the National Boards. Previously Nurses were registered in individual states.

We will shortly be adding the details of a number of migration agents that work with Iqualis.

a Registered Migration Agent can assist you in the Australian nursing registration process, as well as provide professional advice and assistance in your visa application – even if you have had no previous work experience.

Migration can be costly and time consuming; a Registered Migration Agent will ensure that the process meets legislative requirements at the time of application and can walk you through the process from start to finish.

YOU need 4 things:

  1. Australian Registration

  2. Australian VISA

  3. Australian job

  4. Settlement into Australia

Australian Employment

Registering your details with Iqualis means that they can match your details with available jobs. Being AHPRA registered means that you avoid the 4-6 weeks delay in the AHPRA registration process. This puts you in a stronger position to apply for jobs.

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