Considering Migrating to Australia as a GP? Your FAQs Answered Here

There have been quite a few changes to the visa and registration process for GPs looking to move to Australia.  Here we answer your most frequent questions regarding the changes. 

Where can I work? –  In an area which is DPA, MMM2 (or MMM1 if RACGP approved) plus a Health Workforce certificate. Generally, areas, where we can find jobs, are Darwin, Canberra, Perth, Sunshine Coast, then regional cities such as Rockhampton, Busselton, Broome, Mackay.  Check out the workforce locator map here to check the geographical classification of any location in Australia

How long are the contracts – Generally 2 years – with some more rural practices may consider 12 months 

How long does the paperwork take? – Approximately 8 months from job acceptance to visa approval 

Do I have to work under supervision? Yes initially but just for 6 months if you’re substantially comparable. A period of self -reflection, peer review and clinical case analysis. No exams if substantially comparable. 

Will my earnings be affected? – No in fact, while completing the new program, you will have access to the full Medicare rebate (A1 rates) This means you bill the same as a vocationally recognised GP whilst working towards FRACGP. 

What is the Practice Experience Program (PEP) Specialist Stream? It provides a pathway for international medical graduates with overseas specialist qualifications to gain Fellowship with the RACGP. Please visit the PEP Specialist Stream webpage for more details.

Will I still get specialist registration? Yes once all Fellowship requirements have been met. 

What is WBA? – completed 3-6 months from commencing employment, provides a framework for evaluating performance and progress in practice. 

What’s does the new pathway to Fellowship look like? 

Do I need to sit exams on the new Pathway?

After satisfactorily completing all of the program requirements, substantially comparable participants will be eligible to apply for FRACGP. Partially comparable participants are eligible to enrol in the Fellowship exams after completing the WBA requirements.

If you are considering a move or just want to chat through options we have a dedicated team who will guide you through every step of the whole process. Visit our latest vacancies or contact us directly here.

Further Reading


Medical Board of Australia


Current Top GP Jobs  – Australia

Unique GP Opportunity – East Perth

GP Sunshine Coast

GP Gippsland Region, Victoria

GP Stunning Coastal town of Mackay 

COVID-19 Travel restrictions and exemptions – Australia and NZ

We hope you are all keeping safe and healthy.  The advice relating to travelling to both Australia and New Zealand has been changing, we have updated our blog to give you the most up to date information.  Our team continues to work remotely from home and continues to be here for you if you have any queries or questions, please do get in touch.


The prime minister announced that only Australian citizens/permanent residents and New Zealand citizens usually residing in Australia can travel to Australia.  However, the Commissioner of the Australian Border Force (ABF) may consider entry under an exemption.

Exemptions as determined by the Commissioner:

  • Foreign nationals travelling at the invitation of the Australian Commonwealth Government for the purpose of assisting in the COVID-19 response or whose entry would be in the national interest
  • Critical medical services, including air ambulance and delivery of supplies, that regularly arrive into Australia from international ports
  • Persons with critical skills (for example, medical specialists, engineers, marine pilots and crews) by exception
  • Diplomats accredited to Australia and currently resident in Australia and their immediate family
  • ​Case-by-case exceptions may also be granted for humanitarian or compassionate reasons.

Exemptions must be granted prior to these travellers undertaking travel to Australia. The request for an exemption through Commissioner’s Discretion must be accompanied by:

  • Passenger details: name, DOB, visa type and number, passport number, Australian residential address, Australian telephone number)
  • Case information: why this case should be considered for Commissioner discretion/exemption
  • Supporting statement: the request should be accompanied by a statement and evidence of how the individual meets one of the grounds for an exemption or excise of the Commissioner’s discretion listed above.

You can apply for an exemption using this online form. Exemptions are assessed on a case-by-case basis and must be granted prior to undertaking travel to Australia.

Along with applying for an exemption, you will need to provide evidence that your employer requires you to start immediately for the purpose of assisting in the COVID-19 response.   We can assist with this.

Please note: You need to have your visa approved prior to applying for an exemption.

Self-Isolation requirement:

All travellers arriving in Australia will be required to undertake a mandatory 14-day quarantine at designated facilities, in their port of arrival.​ Travellers will be transported directly to designated facilities after appropriate immigration, customs and enhanced health checks. This requirement applies to anyone, including Australian citizens/permanent residents and temporary residents exempt from the travel ban.

It has yet to be determined how long the travel restrictions will last, we will keep up to date with developments and advise on any changes as soon as we have them.

As the above is all subject to change, we recommend referring to the Australian Department of Home Affairs website for the most up to date information.


The New Zealand border is currently closed to most travellers. New Zealand citizens and permanent resident visa holders can travel to New Zealand.   Immigration New Zealand will consider exemptions to travel.

Consideration will only be made for people with exceptional circumstances who have a critical purpose for travelling to New Zealand.

You must have a critical purpose for travelling to New Zealand, and:

  • meet health and character requirements for temporary entry
  • be a bona fide applicant
  • meet the funds or sponsorship requirements for visitors
  • meet onward travel requirements.

You can use this link provides further information on the above criteria.  You can use the filters to display country specific tips, to assist you with your application

Critical purposes for travelling to New Zealand

Essential health workers

A health care worker is a current or new employee where the employee holds a key clinical or non-clinical position working as a Medical Doctor in

  • a District Health Board
  • New Zealand Blood Service
  • hospice or palliative care
  • a primary care practice such as urgent care or a medical or healthcare centre
  • aged residential care, respite or continuing care facility.

Consideration will be given as to whether the person holds the necessary qualifications and registration (if required) to work in New Zealand.

Partners and dependent children of essential health workers who will accompany them may also be included in the request.

You can apply for an exemption here. You can make a request if you already have a New Zealand visa, if you have submitted an application for a visa, or if you do not have a visa.

Once your application has been submitted, an immigration officer will assess your request and if they are satisfied that you are eligible to travel to New Zealand they will contact you with information about what to do.  As they are dealing with high numbers of requests for assistance they are currently aiming to respond within two working days, however, this timeframe may be longer depending on enquiry volumes and the complexity of requests received.

Before submitting a request, please consider the availability of flights to New Zealand and travel restrictions for any country you may need to transit on the way to New Zealand.

Self-Isolation requirement:

If you arrived in New Zealand from any country in the last 14 days, you should self-isolate for 14 days from the date you departed the last country you visited.

For further up-to-date information – please see here

We appreciate this is a difficult time with everything being so uncertain.  Our team is here to help, so please do contact us if you have any specific questions or queries.  We are in this together!


COVID-19: A Message from Transition Medical

I think we can all agree that it has been a surprising and ever-changing week. We can only imagine that it is a stressful and challenging time for those on the frontline NHS. You would be forgiven for not placing your overseas move as your number one concern at a moment like this. We hope that you, your families and loved ones are well and that disruptions to your personal life have been kept to a minimum.

As you may be aware the authorities in Australia and New Zealand have implemented a travel ban placed on all non-residents and non-Australian citizens coming to Australia, effective from 9 pm on Friday.

We do however understand that these life-changing events may allow you to pause and reflect on what you want to be doing in your career. We will continue to offer our full recruitment service and support as we always have done and are happy to answer any questions you may have regarding the current situation.

As many companies are currently, our small team at Transition Medical are working remotely. We have operated remote teams since being established meaning that our operations are somewhat resilient to the unprecedented impact of the coronavirus. You will notice no difference from the service you receive from us.

We continue to work with outstanding practices in stunning locations across both Australia and New Zealand, within fantastic locations. The medical registration and visa process to allow you to work in Australia continues to take up to 9 months, New Zealand approx 3 months to complete by which point the pandemic will have hopefully passed.

We look forward to continuing to support you.

Hear what other GPs have to say about our GP relocation service

We have recently received some wonderful feedback from a Dutch GP we’ve helped secure their new role in New Zealand. Dr Lex is currently working as a GP on NZ’s north island and has sent in a few words and a great photo. When we asked for feedback and if and how we could improve our service he responded with this…

‘Walk me through the airport and carry my bags 🙂 – no you guys were the best, I could not think of anything. You responded always, were always available when I called and came up with great ideas with me asking such as applying for a work to residence visa. Thanks Emma, Kirsty and the whole team!

We wish Lex and his family all their best for their new life down under. It was a pleasure to help them find a great new role and life in New Zealand.

If you would like to find out more about what life is like in New Zealand as a GP please do get in touch

Why you should move to Queensland

If it’s hot weather, endless sunshine and white beaches with crystal clear water that you are looking for, then Queensland is the place for you. 

Queensland covers the continent’s northeast, with the coastline stretching nearly 7,000km. Its offshore Great Barrier Reef, the world’s largest coral reef system, hosts thousands of marine species. The city of Cairns is a gateway to the reef and tropical Daintree Rainforest. The capital, Brisbane, is flanked by the surfing beaches of the Gold and Sunshine Coasts.

Places to Explore 

If you are striving for a better work-life balance Queensland delivers this in abundance, beyond the golden beaches and up close encounters with wildlife, there are miles of trails to explore in the remote areas of country away from the coast. Queensland offers plenty of unique experiences meaning you will never get bored of exploring the stunning scenery.  

Along with the better-known beaches, if you prefer your travel with a side of authentic, Burleigh beach is an amazing hidden gem perfect for surfing and watching the sunset.  Or if you prefer swimming in the sea, Currumbin Creek is a great spot for a calm swim away from the rolling waves. 

If you’re into wildlife the Currumbin wildlife sanctuary is a great way to see local animals from Lorikeets, Tasmanian Devils, snakes and reptiles.  

Hervey Bay along the Fraser Coast is known as the whale watching capital of Australia, here you may be lucky enough to spot humpback whales on their migration from Antarctica to the great barrier reef. 

The Sunshine Coast has got to be one of the most beautiful spots along the East Coast of Australia starting 100km north of Brisbane on the Pacific Ocean coastline in Queensland. It spans over such a wide area and isn’t too populated which means that you will  always find a bit of serenity wherever you go.  

Four out of the top 10 beaches in Queensland are located on the sunshine coast, rated for their family-friendliness and safety (chosen by Surf Life Saving Queensland)  but it’s not only golden sands and rolling whitewash that offer you a water wonderland on the Sunshine Coast; there are plenty of waterways and rivers to float your boat too! We currently have a vacancy based in this beautiful hotspot which won’t hang around, click here to find out more.

Cost of Living 

Queensland offers good value for the cost of living. The general living costs are lower than some of the larger cities such as Melbourne and Sydney.  The average house prices in Queensland for a 3-bedroom house is $350,000 AUD 


There is plenty of choice for primary and secondary education with over 1,250 state schools.  There are 13 colleges and 9 universities, the oldest and most popular University in the State is the University of Queensland which is regularly ranked among the top 100 universities in the world. 

GPs in Australia 

To work as a GP in Queensland, you would need to hold your MRCGP qualification (or comparable). We have many practices offering great positions with the potential to earn up to and over $300K AUD. 

Our current vacancies in Queensland



New Zealand Medical Licencing Process Explained

To work as a GP in New Zealand you need to be registered with the Medical Council of New Zealand (MCNZ). The registration process is reasonably straight forward, and usually, doctors who have qualified and worked in countries with comparable health systems are not required to sit any exams to gain registration with the MCNZ. Once an application is submitted it should take around 20 days to process.

There are two main routes for GP’s applying for provisional general registration, which are the Competent Authority and Comparable Health pathways. Transition Medical will guide you through which route would be most suitable based on your qualifications.

Competent Authority Pathway

The Medical Council recognises the Irish Medical Council and the UK’s General Medical Council as competent authorities. To apply you must hold a primary medical degree from a university medical school in the UK or Ireland, have completed your internship in the UK or Ireland and meet the fitness to practice requirements.

Comparable Health Pathway

You can apply for this pathway if you have a primary medical degree from a university medical school listed in the World Directory of Medical Schools (see here); have worked in a comparable health system(s) for a minimum of 30 hours per week for at least 33 of the last 48 months; have proposed employment in New Zealand in the same or similar area of medicine, at a similar level of responsibility to the work you have done in the last 48 months, and hold a full or general registration in at least one comparable health system which contributes to this time in clinical practice.

If English is not your first language you may first need to sit and pass International English Language tests. Transitional Medical will be able to guide based on your individual circumstances.

Once the MCNZ have assessed your application and determined that you are eligible for the scope of practice that you have applied for, they will email a letter of eligibility for registration and an invitation to complete the process by attending a registration interview once you arrive in NZ. At this stage, we can also apply for your visa. Transition Medical has a specialist emigration team who will guide you through your visa application.

The registration interview allows you to complete registration formalities and apply for your practicing certificate. Once this is completed you will receive your practicing certificate and be ready to start your new role.

All doctors, regardless of seniority, are required to work under supervision for 6-12 months to become familiar with NZ practice and culture. This is an excellent way to integrate and familiarise yourself with practicing in New Zealand. During the supervised period, you will be registered within a provisional general scope of practice, once you complete your period of supervision and complete certain requirements you will be registered within the general scope.

Read More

GP Recruitment New Zealand – How are you supported into practice?

Your New Zealand GP visa questions answered 

What is life like for a GP in New Zealand?

GP Medical Registration Australia – Transition Medical 

GP – Perth – 50 minutes drive from the city centre

Work with like-minded, team-orientated doctors in this friendly practice under an hours drive from Perth. 

· 70% of billings

· Full-time position; part-time will be considered

· Monday to Friday hours with a share in the Sat am

· Excellent income potential and plenty of support

The Practice

This is a 6 GP, GP owned practice in the outer metro suburbs of Perth looking for an additional GP to join the team to meet patient demand. The practice is very busy with an excellent reputation in the area, it is a friendly, team-orientated practice with a focus on excellent patient care.

The practice has 4 consult rooms with the 6 GPs working a variety of full and part-time hours. The opening hours of the practice are Monday – Friday from 8am – 6pm and a Saturday morning from 8am – 1pm. There are other UK trained doctors working in the practice so plenty of support provided to settle in.

There is a treatment room and full-time nursing support. They offer skin cancer services to patients and visiting allied health specialists and pathology close by.

The Location

The practice is in a town in the main shopping centre, there is a supermarket close by and takeaway outlets and pharmacy.

Perth is the thriving capital of Western Australia and the state’s largest city. It is a laid back, very liveable city with wonderful weather and a relaxed feel. With a population of almost 1.7 million, it is the 4th largest city in Australia.

The city runs alongside the Indian Ocean on the west coast and the distance from north to south is about 100km meaning many of the suburbs are based along the beautiful coastline with easy access to the stunning beaches. The Swan River providing lots of water activities runs through the city and has Darling Ranges for stunning scenery, walking and bike trails, to the west.

This job will not be around for long so please get in touch to discuss further. 

RACGP Changes – Practice Experince Pathway (PEP)- Specialist stream

If you are GP looking to move to Australia and practise, it can be overwhelming and confusing to understand the new registration and visa processes put in place at the end of last year.

In this blog, we hope to clarify and explain the changes and what that means for you working as a GP.


There have been some changes put in place at the end of last year which means overseas trained doctors need to meet the new requirements to be able to practise.

One of the key changes is the pathway for medical registration through the RACGP. The new pathway is called the Practice Experience Pathway (PEP).

Under the PEP you will still undertake a comparability assessment but will then apply for limited registration while working towards Fellowship under peer review, the length of which is determined by your comparability outcome. The additional assessment requirements include

1. Completion of the RACGP core modules and units including a self-reflective activity
2. Colleague and patient feedback using a Colleague Feedback Evaluation Tool (CFET) and Doctors’ Interpersonal Skills Questionnaire (DISQ), collectively known as multisource feedback (MSF).
3. A clinical assessment visit which will involve a medical educator observing you in practice during four consultations (direct observation) and a clinical case analysis. The clinical case analysis involves the assessor selecting patients seen by you in the preceding week with oral questioning about aspects of the case. You will be provided with feedback on your performance.
4. Supervisor reports at the end of the work based assessment.

The additional requirements are not onerous, in fact, they aim to support professional development and transition to Australian general practice, while enabling you to receive feedback on your progress to fellowship.

Work Location

To enter the PEP, you must have accepted a job for a position located in Modified Monash Model (MMM) 1-7.

The Modified Monash Model is a geographical classification system that uses population data to classify areas on a scale of MM 1 (major city) to MM 7 (very remote). To work in an MM1 area it must also be classified as a PEP Priority GP Catchment area. All locations from MM2 – MM7 are automatically accepted by the RACGP and we are in the process of clarifying with the Department of Health which areas are deemed to be Priority catchment areas.
What this means is that the number of jobs available in some inner and outer metropolitan areas has subsequently reduced, however, there are still pockets of MM1 areas around most of the Metropolitan cities which we have secured GP jobs for. See some of our GP vacancies below:

GP – Wheatbelt region – 2 hours north of Perth

GP – Gippsland region, Victoria – 1.5hours from central Melbourne

GP – Unique Opportunity East Perth

DPA Classification

As an overseas trained GP, you also need to work at a practice that is in an approved location classified as a Distribution Priority Area (DPA). The DPA system identifies areas where people don’t have enough access to doctors, part of an initiative from the Australian government to get more GPs into rural areas and to better reflect the healthcare needs of an area.

What this means, in reality, is that GPs are not as easily able to work close to the major State capitals such as Sydney, Melbourne, etc however we do still have a number of vacancies close to these areas and in regional cities such as Mackay and Rockhampton.
Health Workforce Certificate

Lastly if you require a subclass 482 visa, the location must also be eligible for a Health Workforce Certificate which confirms the genuine need to fill a primary healthcare position. The practice will apply for this for each doctor they employ. To allow the practice to sponsor a GP, they must be granted a health workforce certificate.

All the changes may seem daunting and I’m sure you will have heard lots of rumors regarding what is now possible. Many doctors have called us concerned that they will now have to work in a rural area. Although there have been quite a few changes, we are fully up to speed with what this means for you as a GP. It certainly doesn’t now mean that you have to work in a rural area, we still have positions available in areas such as Perth, Canberra and the Sunshine Coast. All of which are fantastic places to live and offer real benefits for you professionally with excellent schooling and leisure facilities for your family.

There are also some real benefits and opportunities working in regional and rural areas; having more autonomy, broadening your skill base and building relationships within the community, we would invite you to get in touch to discuss your options.

Some of our Regional opportunities available.

GP – Hervey Bay  – Beautiful Queensland Coast

GP – 3 hours from Sydney

GP – Work in tropical paradise on Queensland’s Coast 

Further Reading

DWS Changes – Australia

Possible changes to where GP’s can work in Australia


RACGP New Pathway – Practice Experience Pathway – Transition Medical

From 1 September 2019, The Practice Experience Program (PEP) Specialist Stream replaces the Specialist Recognition Program (SRP). Here we’ll give you a summary of the new pathway and what is means for you as a UK trained GP.

The PEP Specialist Stream is a 3GA workforce program that provides structured education and peer support for specialist international medical graduates (SIMGs) with a specialist qualification, working towards Fellowship of the RACGP (FRACGP). The purpose for the change is to ensure a robust and more uniform approach to the assessment of IMGs. Under the new PEP pathway, overseas trained specialist GPs will no longer be able to apply for reciprocal RACGP fellowship – Fellowship ad eundem gradum before commencing work in Australia.

Overseas trained GPs will apply for a provisional registration (if you hold a competent authority qualification) or limited registration with The Medical Board in Australia (AHPRA) whilst working towards Fellowship. The benefits of the new program include Australian Government co-funded program support; capacity to bill for services under the highest value Medicare Benefits Schedule item; access to a suite of comprehensive educational resources as well as peer support and feedback while transitioning into Australian general practice.

Once you have received your comparability outcome and wish to enter the PEP you must have a job offer in a practice located in MM1-7. Substantially comparable applicants can work in areas MMM1-7 (PEP Priority GP catchment area, a new subclass which further information is still pending from the Department of Health). Partially comparable applicants can work in MMM2-7. The application process remains relatively similar to the SRP pathway which we will guide you through step by step.

As an overseas-trained doctor, you will need to work in a Distribution Priority Area (DPA) in order to access Medicare benefits and if you require sponsored visa then the practice must also be eligible for a Health Workforce Certificate.

For further information on your current circumstances and how the new changes will affect you please do get in touch with one of our team.

Further Reading

New DPA Legislation Changes

7 Benefits of Working in Rural Australia

Health Workforce Certificates Explained

DWS Changes – Australia

The previous District of Workforce legislation for overseas trained GPs has been replaced by Distribution Priority Areas. The Distribution Priority Area (DPA) classification identifies areas in Australia with a shortage of medical practitioners.
The DPA regions came into effect on the 1st July 2019 in an effort to better identify areas of doctor shortage.

As a guide, DPA areas are automatically given to areas which are

Other locations can be classified as DPA if they meet a specific benchmark that determines the level of health services in an area. This benchmark also considers gender & age demographics and the socio-economic status of patients. The average level of health services under MM2 is the benchmark for international medical graduates. Generally the DPA classification doesn’t apply to inner city areas of the state capitals such as Sydney, Perth, Melbourne etc.

For further information on the individual areas to search see the Department of Health map

Although the DPA areas are a good indicator of where you can work as a GP in Australia, if you need practice sponsorship for your visa then the Practice must also be able to apply for a Health Workforce certificate. This is location specific and must be applied for on an individual application basis.

If you are considering a GP job in Australia at the moment then please do get in touch with one of our team to discuss further.

Further Reading

New PEP Registration pathway

Visas for GPs Initiative – Health workforce certificates