Visa & Licensing Requirements for Australia

There are two kinds of registration available, registration without conditions and registration with conditions.  For either, you will need to prove that you have an adequate command of English, are of good standing and have the physical and mental competence to practice medicine.

Australian Medical Council (AMC) approves General Medical Council accredited medical schools as competent for registration in Australia.
    You need to obtain an AMC certificate of advanced standing by completing the competent authority pathway application. This certificate acknowledges that a     GMC accredited medical school assessed you as medically competent. Form P1 will be emailed to you and must be completed and posted to the AMC along        with additional documentation that requires certification by a notary public. A certificate of advanced standing will be issued and should be sent directly            from the AMC to the MBA.

Medical Board of Australia (MBA), the equivalent of the GMC, approves and registers medical practitioners.

    The Australian Health Practitioners Regulatory Agency (AHPRA) manages the registration process for the MBA.
    Applicants must apply to the MBA for limited registration using the ALPS-30 form. Applicants will have to complete 12 months of supervised practice in            Australia before general registration with the board. A GMC Certificate of Good Standing is required to support this application. Hospital medical recruitment     staff can act as your agent for registration (and visa applications) and will organise a supervisor and prepare a supervised practice plan. Registration is            completed on visiting your local AHPRA office in Australia.

Registration without conditions

Full registration enables doctors to practice unsupervised or independently and is granted to graduates of Australian and New Zealand medical schools, after completing the approved period of pre-registration training, or to overseas graduates who have completed the Australian Medical Council (AMC) examinations and a period of approved training. The AMC examinations consist of one MCQ exam and a Clinical examination.

Registration with conditions

Limited registration is available to overseas medical graduates who will be temporarily in Australia to work in one of the following areas:
postgraduate (occupational) training, supervised training, teaching or research, public interest or areas of need or who are overseas trained specialists.

The types of conditions vary depending on the category of registration and the individual doctor. Areas of need include positions or locations where there is a shortage of particular doctors or where positions have remained unfilled despite recruitment efforts to fill them which could be in either public and private sector posts. The State or Territory governments determine Areas of Need. 

Further information should be sought from the Australian Medical Board located in the area in which you wish to work. Doctors with Limited registration are subject to supervision by an appropriately qualified Australian medical practitioner. Registration with conditions is granted for a specific post and therefore doctors working under conditional (Limited) registration must reapply for registration if they wish to change jobs.

Doctors with specialist qualifications

Doctors with specialist qualifications should apply to the appropriate Australian Specialist Medical College to have their specialist training and qualifications assessed to determine equivalence. This procedure is administered by the AMC, but the assessment is carried out by the Specialist Medical Colleges. Once a Specialist qualification is recognised by the College, you should contact the Australian Medical Board in the State or territory in which you are intending to practice to obtain conditional (Limited) registration in a Specialist field of practice. As part of this process, you will need to obtain a position and sponsor.

There are two types of specialist recognition: recognition by an Australian Specialist Medical College of a specialist qualification as equivalent to that of an Australian trained specialist and recognition as a specialist by Medicare Australia for billing purposes.


In order to apply for a visa you must first find a post and provide evidence that you are eligible for registration with the Australian Medical Board. 
Alternative temporary immigration routes are the Occupational Trainee visa or where eligible a Working Holiday visa. Most visas require a sponsor (employer) prior to making application to the Medical Board of Australia for registration.

According to the Department of Immigration and Citizenship the preferred temporary visa pathway for doctors is the Temporary Business (Long Stay) visa (Subclass 457) which has a streamlined application process. You will be given a transaction reference number which can be used to arrange a compulsory health examination. 

All doctors holding registration in Australia can obtain a Medicare Prescriber number from Medicare Australia, enabling them to prescribe pharmaceuticals, order diagnostic tests and refer patients to other doctors.  Since 1997, overseas doctors have had access to Medicare Provider numbers restricted, with the restrictions being different for temporary and permanent residents. Generally Overseas Trained Doctors are unable to obtain a Medicare provider number unless they work in an approved District of Workforce Shortage.


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