Registered Nurse Immigration Pathways to Permanent Residency in Australia
Australia offers a range of temporary and permanent visa options for skilled nurses who have local or international qualifications, language skills and relevant work experience. Here we briefly introduce the general process of how registered nurses can migrate to Australia.
To be able to apply for a permanent residency visa, you are required to have a skills assessment. For registered nurses, the skills assessing authority is the Australian Nursing & Midwifery Accreditation Council (ANMAC), who can assess internationally qualified nurses or international students who has completed the study of nursing degree in Australia and are registered in Australia, and those with equivalent qualification and registration in New Zealand.
There are 3 main eligibility pathways as below:
- Full Skills Assessment – If you do not hold registration in Australia, but have a minimum Bachelor of nursing qualification from Canada, Hong Kong, Ireland, the United Kingdom or the United States and hold registration as a registered nurse in that same country you qualify for a full skills assessment.
- Modified Skills Assessment – If you are currently registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA), the Nursing Council of New Zealand (NCNZ) or the Midwifery Council of New Zealand (MCNZ) you qualify for a modified skills assessment.
- Modified PLUS Skills Assessment – If you are not yet registered in Australia as a Registered Nurse but hold a current letter of ‘Notice of in principle approval of registration subject to proof of identity’ from the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA), you will qualify for a Modified PLUS Skills Assessment.
Contact Ausdirect Migration today to discuss your eligibility for the Skills Assessment, as this is one of the most important steps of your immigration journey.
AUSTRALIAN REGISTRATION – Nursing and Midwifery Board (Ahpra)
To be able to apply for Skills Assessment, you must have been registered as a Registered Nurse by the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Board (NMBA) . NMBA sets policy and professional standards for the nurse occupation, and also makes decisions about nurses, midwives and students on matters of registration, endorsement, notation, and compliance.
The registration standards include the following perspectives:
- Criminal History
- English language skills
- Continuing professional development
- Recency of Practice
- Professional indemnity insurance arrangements
AUSTRALIAN VISAS FOR REGISTERED NURSES
The following are a range of visas that Registered Nurses may apply for immigration to Australia:
The visa (subclass 189) is a permanent residence visa for points-tested skilled workers who want to work and live in Australia, and would like to apply for permanent residency independently. Due to the limited places allocated to this subclass by the government and also the competition of the applicants, it is nowadays requiring the applicants to have significantly high scores in the Points to be able to receive an invitation.
The visa (subclass 190) is a permanent residence visa for points-tested skilled workers who want to work and live in Australia. The applicant needs to be nominated by an Australian state or territory government agency. In Australia, nurses are in demand in Australia and there are no sign of slowing down, especial during and post the global pandemic of Covid-19. Skilled registered nurses may be able to apply to Australian state for a nomination if the occupation is on the state occupation list.
The visa (subclass 491) is a provisional residence visa for points-tested skilled workers who want to work and live in Australia. The applicant needs to be nominated by an Australian state or territory government agency, or sponsored by an eligible relative. The holders of this visa can subsequently apply for subclass 191 Skilled Regional (Permanent) visa after required conditions have been met.
TSS visa (482 visa) is a temporary visa allowing approved business sponsor to hire overseas workers, whose nominated occupation is on the approved occupation lists. For registered nurses occupations, the visa validity period can be up to 4 years. The visa can be renewed subject to the relevant criteria being satisfied. Sponsored nurses can may further apply for 186 Employer Nomination Scheme Visa (permanent residency) when the relevant criteria have been satisfied.
The Employer Nomination Scheme visa (subclass 186) is for skilled workers who want to work in Australia and to apply for Permanent Residency through the employment opportunity. This visa involves a two-step process, firstly, nomination by an approved Australian employer and then an application under the nominated stream. It is part of the Permanent Employer Sponsored Visa program. Sponsored nurses may be able to apply for permanent residency through this option directly provided the employers are willing to support.
Skilled Migration is a very competitive process in the current climate. Contact Ausdirect Migration today to tailor the best suitable option(s) for your migration, and we will assist you in navigating every step of the process during the journey.
FAQs - How do I migrate to Australia as a Nurse?
The following are the commonly asked questions for international nurses who wish to migrate to Australia.
Do I need to have a job or a job offer to apply for Permanent Residency in Australia?
Generally speaking you don’t need to have a job or a job offer to apply for Permanent Residency in Australia. However the policies may vary each year, and it may depend on whether you are in Australia or outside of Australia, and which state and territory in Australia you are going to seek the nomination from.
The state nomination policies are changing every year to reflect the needs of the local economy development and workforce requirements. Please contact Ausdirect Migration to understand the latest policies and your eligibility to migrate to Australia as a registered nurse.
Do I have to be registered in Australia before working as a Nurse?
You must have completed your APHRA registration in order to work in Australia. The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (APHRA) works with the 15 National Boards to help protect the public by regulating Australia’s registered health practitioners. Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia as one of the National Boards is responsible for the registration for nurses.
Apart from the AHPRA registration, what else do I need to immigrate to Australia?
Having completed your registration as nurse with AHPRA is the step one of your immigration journey. On top of that, you will also have to obtain a successful Skills Assessment with AMNAC. The Skills Assessment is a process where the appointed authorities assess if the applicant’s education background and working experience can meet the Australian immigration standard. This is a process that Ausdirect Migration can assist you with.
Will I have difficulties finding a job when I arrive in Australia as a Registered Nurse?
In Australia, Registered Nurse occupation is in very high demand. When you have secured your permanent residency, you may find it very easy to find work as a Nurse. There are plenty of job opportunities to work at hospitals and medical centres or work through nursing job agencies. Registered Nurse is a highly respected occupation in Australia.