The Department of Health has introduced a ‘Visas for GPs initiative’ which we expect will commence on 11 March 2019.

What this means is that from that date, employers wanting to sponsor an overseas doctor will need to obtain a Health Workforce Certificate before lodging a nomination application for either a Subclass 482 Temporary Skills Shortage Visa, Subclass 186 Employer Nomination Scheme, or Subclass 187 Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme visa.

The occupations impacted by this change are:

  • General Practitioner ANZSCO 253111
  • Resident Medical Officer ANZSCO 253112
  • Medical Practitioner not elsewhere classified ANZSCO 253999.

The purpose of the ‘Visas for GPs initiative’ is to direct doctors into areas that have lower access to services such as those in rural, remote and regional areas of Australia, and prevent an oversupply in other areas. The requirement to obtain a Health Workforce Certificate assists the Federal Government achieve this by issuing a certificate only to those employers that can demonstrate a genuine need to fill a position with an overseas doctor.

The Health Workforce Certificate will need to be uploaded to any nomination application lodged after 11 March 2019. We urge all employers submitting their own applications to double check that all of the required documents are provided with the nomination application at the time of lodgement. As you know, the Skilling Australia Fund has limited refund provisions and failing to upload the required documents could lead to a refusal and a loss of the application charges.

More information about this initiative, the application process and criteria can be found here.