Do you want to move to Australia to work as a nurse? This article is intended to provide you with an up to date explanation of the requirement and steps you need to take.

Step 1 – Do your qualifications and experience meet the requirements of the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia?

In order to be allowed to work as a nurse, and before you will be able be considered for a migration to Australia based on the fact that you are a nurse, you will need to meet the registration requirements of the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia and the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA).
There are five criteria that are used in assessing your application for registration

Criterion one – you must establish your identify.  you will need to provide a range of ‘proof of identity’ documents.

Criterion two – you must meet english language proficiency standards.  You must complete the International English Language Testing System (PTE Academic, IELTS or others) examination with a minimum score of PTE 65 or IELTS 7 in each of the four components – listening, reading, writing and speaking.  Or, you must complete an overall pass in the Occupation English Test (OET) with grades A or B only in each of the four components.

Criterion three – you must meet the current Australian nursing and midwifery education standards  If you are qualified as a nurse in one of the following countries with a degree or a diploma* as well as further education, and you are registered as a first level nurse in one of these countries you will be deemed to have the equivalent qualification as a nurse qualified in Australia:

  • United Kingdom
  • The Republic of Ireland
  • The United States of America
  • Canada
  • New Zealand
  • Hong Kong
  • Singapore

*If you only have a diploma from one of the countries listed above you will require an assessment of your further education or experience to determine if you are deemed to be equivalent to a nurse qualified in Australia. (There is a list of these available – contact EMR)

Nurses from countries not listed above will require individual assessment to determine whether their qualifications and experience will be recognised by the Board. Otherwise you will need to retrain, which can be either offshore or within Australia.

Criterion four – you must provide evidence of having practised as a nurse or midwife within a defined period of time prior to submitting the application. (So its important to be working in a related field)

Criterion five – you must demonstrate that you are fit to practice in Australia. (Charater test, police clearance)

You must prove that there has been no previous proven disciplinary proceedings against you, that there are no restrictions on you arising from mental incapacity, that there are no restrictions on you arising from physical incapacity, that you have no criminal history which would preclude you from working as a nurse or midwife in Australia.

What do I do if I don’t meet AHPRA’s requirements?

If you don’t meet the requirements because your qualifications or experience are not recognised, you might want to consider pursuing an ‘Occupational Trainee Visa’ or a ‘Business Short Stay Visa – subclass 456’ to allow you to undertake a bridging program to improve your skills.  More information is available via the following links:

Step 2 – Submit your application for Registration with AHPRA

If you think you meet the criteria in step 1, then submit your application for registration to the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia.  Click here to view and download the form.

Step 3 – Get a VISA

Once you are registered with AHPRA as a nurse you then need a VISA to be allowed to live and work in Australia.  There are a number of VISA’s available:
If you are able to secure sponsorship by an employer, one of the following VISA types will be appropriate:

If you are not sponsored by an employer, you can pursue a VISA under the General Skilled Migration (GSM) provisions of the Department of Immigration and Citizenship.  Click here for more VISA options under the GSM

If you want to come to Australia for a working holiday, and you are aged between 18 and 30

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Contact EMR Migration for your visa requirements