Visas for General Practitioners

Visas for General Practitioners

The Visas for GPs initiative was announced in the 2018-19 Budget as part of the Government’s Stronger Rural Health Strategy—a 10 year plan to meet health workforce needs across regional, rural and remote Australia. The Visas for GPs initiative is intended to allow the Government to better manage the growth and distribution of the national medical workforce.

From 11 March 2019, a Health Workforce Certificate (HWC) will be required for an employer to nominate a position for the ENS visa (subclass 186), RSMS visa (subclass 187), and TSS visa (subclass 482) in the following occupations:

  • General Practitioner (ANZSCO 253111),
  • Medical Practitioners not elsewhere classified (nec) (ANZSCO 253999), and
  • Resident Medical Officer (ANZSCO 253112).

An HWC is a letter issued by a Rural Workforce Agency confirming the genuine need to fill a primary healthcare position at a given location in Australia by an overseas doctor in the above occupations.

Under this initiative, the number of doctors entering the primary healthcare workforce through the skilled migration program will be reduced by about 200 doctors a year, over a period of four years. This initiative will direct doctors into areas that have lower access to services such as rural, remote and regional areas of Australia.

Importantly, the Department of Home Affairs has warned that nomination applications for doctors that do not contain the HWC will be subject to processing delays and the nomination cannot be approved.

For advice regarding submitting a nomination which requires an HWC, please do not hesitate to contact us at for Australian immigration assistance.



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