IRON Program
March 17, 2017

5 Visa Options International Nurses Should Know to Work in Australia

Nurses, with critical skills and competencies, have long been in high demand in Australia. The growing population of elderly residents in the country is putting the current healthcare services under great pressure to expand health provision in the areas of community care and maternity services.

As per the Australia’s Future Health Workforce (AFHW) – Nurses reports, the demand for nurses will exceed significantly, with proposed shortage of approximately 85,000 nurses by 2025 and 123,000 nurses by 2030.

This growing demand provides a great opportunity for overseas qualified nurses to get enhanced job prospects or move to Australia permanently as a skilled migrant.

If you are an internationally qualified nurse or midwife and considering to work in Australia, you first need to get registered with Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) and assessed by the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Council (ANMAC) to meet the required accreditation standards.

Once you become a registered nurse, you can apply for either of the visas given below to explore temporary or permanent job opportunities in Australia.

  • Employer Nomination Scheme (Subclass 186):
    If you are under 50 years of age, have three years of relevant experience and meet the skills, qualifications & English language requirement unless you are exempt, you can be considered eligible for a permanent visa under this scheme.

    This visa is designed for the Australian employers who want to fill the skill gap of their business by sponsoring an overseas skilled worker.

  • Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (Subclass 187):
    You may be eligible for this visa if you are under 50 years of age and have been nominated by an approved Australian employer to work in a regional Australia (i.e. excluding Sydney, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Newcastle, Wollongong or Melbourne)

  • Skilled Independent Visa (Subclass 189):
    If you don’t have a sponsor or prefer not to be sponsored, you can apply for this visa. However, you are required to submit an expression of Interest and receive a letter of invitation from the Department of Home Affairs to apply for this visa.

    To get eligible for this visa, you need to pass a Point Test that is evaluated on different factors including your age, English language ability, relevant work experience and occupation.

Must Read: Your Guide To Get Into A Nursing Program In Australia

  • Working Holiday Visa (Subclass 417):
    If you want to holiday and work simultaneously in the land down under, this visa allows you to stay in Australia for 12 months. In this duration, you can work as a nurse with any employer for a maximum of 3 months.

    However, you must be at least 18 and younger than 31 years of age to get eligible for this visa. Besides, you must have a passport from an eligible country and don’t have dependent child accompanying you during your stay in Australia.

  • Skill Matching Visa:
    This visa is designed to fill regional skill shortages in Australia by allowing skilled migrants to settle in the parts of country and contribute with their skills and abilities. To qualify for this visa, you are required to satisfy certain criteria for age, skills and English language proficiency.

    While the above visa options open great career pathways for experienced overseas in Australia, those who lack in specific theoretical knowledge and practical skills that are required to work as a registered nurse, can take the IRON program.

What is IRON Program?

The Initial Registration for Overseas Nurses (IRON) is a bridging program designed to provide overseas nurses with knowledge, skills and understanding to practice safely and proficiently in health care settings of Australia. Graduates with successful completion of IRON program can apply to the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) for registration

If you need any assistance for IRON program or consultation to apply for the appropriate visa, we have the right blend of skills and knowledge to best deliver your requirements.

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