Australian Doctor Visa questions answered

Australia Doctor Visa Temporary and PR Visa Options Explained

An important question and consideration when you’re planning to move abroad is which Australia Doctor visa to apply for and if you are planning a permanent move, which PR option is right for you.

Our immigration advisers have put together some information below to help guide you. Please do get in touch to discuss your specific circumstances.

What are my GP Visa options?

As a General Practitioner (GP) you are eligible to move to Australia on either a temporary visa or on a permanent basis as your occupation is currently on the Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL). Common to all pathways is the requirement that applicants meet the Skill, Health and Character requirements. In the case of GPs, the Skill requirement is evidenced by successful registration with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA). To be able to hold AHPRA registration, you first need to have signed an agreement with a practice in Australia and completed your RACGP PEP comparability assessment.

Permanent Residency Applications

There are several visa pathways to achieving the objective of Permanent Residency (PR). In this short article, we’ll be explaining the pathways in a straightforward way to help you choose the most appropriate option.

In simple terms, there are 2 primary pathways to Permanent Residency which we’ll discuss today. The Skilled Independent visa (sub class 189) which is a points-tested stream and the Employer Sponsored pathway (subclass 186).

The Temporary Resident Visa (Temporary Skill Shortage Visa Subclass 482) 

This is the most common visa to relocate to Australia as a GP. This 482 visa can be granted for up to 4 years.

From a practical perspective GPs can enter Australia much faster by applying for the 482, rather than by applying from the UK for the permanent visa (186). At the time of writing, 90% of applications are assessed in 11 weeks. Current GPs going through the process, we see visa approval in as little as 6 – 8 weeks.

Under the 482-visa, as a GP you can either be employed on a full-time employment contract or you can be an independent sub-contractor and provide your services to the employer on an hourly / weekly pay rate or profit share arrangement. The majority of our GP Jobs are independent contractor agreements offering a percentage of weekly billings.

The 482 visa provides temporary residency status. As the holder of a 482 visa you are free to travel to and from Australia, your family can accompany you and your spouse is free to work or study without restriction. If you have been living in the UK prior to your move, you will be entitled to Medicare health services once enrolled. Until this time when you arrive in Australia, you will need to hold Private health cover.

Direct Entry Pathway (186 Visa only)

This visa allows skilled workers, who are nominated by their employer, work and live in Australia permanently. At time of writing, he processing time for 90% of visas is 54 weeks. Our Immigration Advisor suggests that it may be around 6 months for a UK doctor to gain approval. A recent UK trained GP had her 186 visa approval in 10 weeks.

Many of our GP practices are happy to provide this sponsorship to allow you to work in Australia on a permanent basis. You should be under 45 to apply for this visa, however there are exemptions to this if you meet this if you have previously held a 482 visa, have been working for the nominating employer for the previous 3 years and can meet the income threshold.

Skilled Independent visa (subclass 189)

This is a points-based option for skilled workers. For this application, you need to submit an expression of interest. The eligibility criteria area; you must have a relevant occupation and complete a suitable skills assessment for this. The Skill requirement will again be evidenced by successful registration with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA).

You will be required to meet the points test pass mark of 65 and be under 45 years old at the time you are invited to apply. In order to gain enough points, most GPs are required to sit an IELTS English language test.

Further Reading:

PR 189 Skilled Independent Visa

PR 186 Employer Sponsored Visa

For further information or to discuss your circumstances directly please get in touch with one of the team here at Transition Medical. Richard, our Specialist Immigration Advisor and Lawyer is on hand to help.

Further Reading on our blog

Australian Education system

Find out more about working as a GP in Australia

Benefits of working as a GP in Australia