Visa changes for GPs – You can still work in Australia!

Visa changes for GPs – You can still work in Australia!

On 11th March there were changes made to visas for GPs looking to live and work in Australia.

Previously, GPs could be sponsored to work in any DWS location. The recently introduced change means that, in addition to having DWS, a recruiting practice must now also have a Health Workforce Certificate (HWC) approved in order to sponsor a General Practitioner. The surgeries we work with have been applying for these and although not all have had their outcomes back, the results so far have been mixed with some practices in metropolitan areas being approved and others rejected (often not that far from each other).

We will continue to work with our clients and map out who is eligible however if a surgery doesn’t get an HWC this doesn’t mean that the door has closed and a doctor can’t work there. If a GP wants to work with a practice or in an area that isn’t eligible for an HWC they do have another option, rather than the traditional 482 sponsored visa they can apply for the 189 visa.

The skilled-independent-189 visa does not require to be supported by a HWC. This is a points tested PR visa, there are certain criteria that you have to meet. Our in house Qualified Immigration Adviser, Gemma Evans can assist you in applying for the 189 visa. As Gemma is part of Head Medical rather than an external agency all paperwork is completed in-house, this makes the process easier to manage as we can communicate internally and the doctor doesn’t have different organisations to liaise with.

Not all eligible locations are remote. We have some great vacancies with HWC’s in Carramar and Rockingham (both 30 minutes North and South of Perth CBD respectively), Richmond and Brighton (25 minutes to Hobart) and as a great example of regional cities Geelong is home to some of the best schools in Australia, and Cairns in Queensland has a university and an internationally connected airport and a range of public and private hospitals.

Some current job opportunities:

Sarah Spencer who is recruiting for some of these positions is Australian and has lived and worked in Tasmania and in various locations across the country. She has also travelled extensively and is a fount of knowledge on all things Australian.

“As a parent, you want the best for your kids and that’s never truer than when thinking about your child’s education. When you are considering a move to Australia, you may not be aware that regional Australia is home to some of the best schools in the country. You won’t find the concentration of options that you have in a capital city but you’ll find plenty of quality choices across all levels of schooling.

Primary and secondary schooling, both government and private, is readily available across every region. And there are also options for tertiary education, with many top universities and colleges having regional campuses.

And whether you are a family making the move to regional Australia or a couple or single you will find the community spirit is palpable, the sense of belonging strong and because life’s a little more relaxed, you’ll have more time to spend on the things that really matter.  Sports clubs, festivals, events, restaurants, nightlife, theatres, galleries, shopping –Regional Australia takes its lead from the capital cities through the variety and breadth of what is on offer (usually without the city price tag).”

To find out more about changes to visa processes and GP job opportunities across Australia, contact Vicki McLaren from our International GP team on +44 (0)131 240 5263 or email

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