Potential Visa Changes for Doctors

There was an article in The Times yesterday (2 Nov 16) stating that Australia is tightening its rules on foreign medical staff applying for jobs.

This news seems to have recently hit the UK press after it was published in the Australian mainstream papers back in August. We picked up on these articles written in Australia when we had posted a blog piece about this topic.

The recent article in the Times states that the Australian government is to remove 15 medical roles from the skilled occupation list. This is being discussed by the Department of Health and some senior Medical Professionals are supportive of the idea. This hasn’t however been confirmed and GPs and other medical specialties are still able to put in an application for a visa.

The Department of Health have argued that with the number of international trained doctors currently working in the system plus the increasing number of locally trained graduates, additional medical practitioners are no longer required from overseas.  If the motion is passed by the Australian government this would mean the likely removal of GPs from the Skilled Shortage list.

What is important to remember here is that has not happened yet and is likely to be reviewed in July 2017.
There are two types of skilled shortage list:

Skilled Occupation List (SOL) – this is what is being discussed here and is used as part of the Australian points system for immigration. To be eligible to apply for skilled migration (i.e. Permanent independent visas) you must nominate an occupation from this list.

Consolidated Sponsored Occupation List (CSOL) – If you are applying for skilled migration via nomination by an employer, state or territory then this list is used.

The majority of the GPs we work with are sponsored by a practice using the Consolidated list SCOL which is not going to be affected by the potential changes. If you are seriously planning on making a long term move to Australia, then these potential changes are to be taken seriously as may affect your eligibility to apply for a permanent visa however GPs will still be able to apply for a visa sponsored by the practice.

If you think this might affect your future, it might be worth considering this sooner than later and giving us a call to discuss it in more detail.