How To Move To Australia as a Nurse


Originally published in 2016 this article ‘how to move to Australia as a Nurse’ has been updated for 2018

When looking at how to move to Australia as a Nurse we have to first remember that it’s a complex process but a very well trodden path.

We’ve asked the Head of our Medical Migration team to give a ‘gloves off’ walk-through of the process.

One of the most important things to explain is that these days no-one has a specific right to be able to move to any country they choose. We need to remember that Australia is full of highly skilled Nursing Professionals just like you, and that you have to compete against lots of other applicants for the right to emigrate.

The fact that Australia is so strict with their immigration policies is actually what attracts many people to the thought of making a new life in Oz. There is no ‘open door’ policy and whilst they give everyone a ‘fair go’, new Skilled Migrants are expected to integrate and adapt to the Australian way of life relatively quickly.

Chances are if you’re reading this you’re Moving to Australia as a Nurse or Midwife which is good news because the following information is just not relevant to those outside of the Medical industry.

Take our free visa assessment to check your eligibility now free visa assessment.

There is also a high probability that if you’ve found this blog then you’ve been searching quite some time for the answers to some burning migration questions. Questions such as ‘am I eligible?’, ‘how do I get registered as a nurse in Australia?’, ‘do I have to use ANMAC?’

Let’s not waste time and dive straight into the facts about emigrating to Australia as a Nurse. We’re going to need you to think about two separate but interlinked sides to the migration process. On the one side you need to make sure that you are eligible to emigrate to Australia as a Nurse.

This eligibility is confirmed once you have 60 points on the Australian Immigration Points Matrix. There are a number of contributing factors to the overall points score and the best place to calculate your overall points score is our dedicated page: Emigration Points

Your age is taken at time you are called forward for your Visa, so if you are age 44 for example, chances are that you will be 45+ before being called forward from Expression of Interest. This means you would no longer be eligible to emigrate to Australia as a Nurse because the maximum age was reduced in 2017 to 45 whereas it used to be 50 years.

Points for English Language ability: An English test is mandatory for Nurses emigrating to Australia because it is expressly laid down by the Skills Assessment authority for Nurses. There is little wriggle room here, yet on a positive note most qualified Nurses do well on this test. There is an opportunity to claim an often ‘game changing’ 20 extra points should you do well on this test; a strong motivational factor to ‘hit the books’.

Your Nursing Degree will enable you to claim 15 points. The Skills Authorities now stipulate that Nurses must be Degree qualified. Those of you with Diplomas should top up your qualifications before starting the migration process.

Most Nurses will be awarded the 189 Permanent Residency Visa although let’s not discount the benefits of the 190 Visa Class. Essentially, if you are short of 5 points in your overall calculation the 190 visa will top up your points score by a crucial 5 points.

Great, so now that you’ve got enough points to move to Australia as a Nurse, let’s walk you through the process.

Skills Assessment
You must have your Skills Assessed for Migration purposes and this process is carried out by the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Accreditation Council, known as ANMAC for short.

Contrary to popular belief ANMAC is not AHPRA and below you can find a brief explanation of each.

If you’re a Paramedic moving to Australia you will have a different Skills Assessment Authority and set of immigration procedures.

AHPRA stands for The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency. This is the national body for all Medical Professionals. There are 10 Health Boards of which Nursing is just one, and AHPRA control them all.

You may well have heard of the NMBA, The Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia. This is the specific nursing and midwifery board that sits under AHPRA (one of the 10 that AHPRA controls) and deals specifically with Nursing registrations, standards, complaints and importantly they assess the overseas qualifications of Nurses – this will be you, providing you receive a positive Skills Assessment which is administered by ANMAC.

ANMAC is responsible for your Migration Skills Assessment. If you do not have a positive Skills Assessment you will be unable to Emigrate to Australia as a Nurse or Midwife.

Your Guide to Nursing Skills Assessment
There is much information online about what paperwork is required to secure a positive Skills Assessment and most of it is either outdated or just plain wrong. Therefore we’ve taken the bold step of providing a full and complete summary of everything you will need and in what order.

Skilled migration is a formal, legal process and as such there are several steps in the process, which must be complied with for both Nursing registration purposes and Immigration.

I want to Move to Australia as a Nurse but where do I start?
As you now begin to structure your case you must collate information to evidence the ‘5 Assessment Standards’ required by ANMAC.

The standards are:
1. Proof of Identity
2. Proof of Language ability
3. Educational Equivalence
4. Professional Practice
5. Fitness to practice

How to do this?
Certify documentary evidence: Standard One
All evidence that you supply throughout the process must be certified. This can be undertaken at either a Solicitors or Notary office. You should take your original documents to a local Solicitor who will confirm that they have seen the originals prior to certifying copies. We suggest you have two copies made. Please note that a seal or stamp should be used by the cerifier if available.

Proof of English
IELTS is the best way of achieving this and is the most popular choice. Nurses and Midwives must do the ‘Academic’ version and achieve a score of at least 7 in reading, writing, listening and speaking.The results must be sent directly to the skills assessment body from the test centre.

Educational Equivalence – Standard Three
A transcript is a document that your training or education institution issues, to outline the subjects you have studied. The details required include information on the number of theory and clinical hours completed during your course. You may need to contact the school of nursing directly for this information. This assists the skills assessor in determining the equivalence of your course and training. It is a very important part of the verification process.

If you cannot obtain a transcript the assessment body will accept a syllabus covering course details from the period you were trained. This syllabus must come directly from the educational body and the assessment body cannot accept a syllabus you provide yourself.

What if your training Institution is closed?
In this instance you can apply to the nursing regulatory authority in your home country and ask them to post the syllabus information relating to your period of training to the skills assessment body.

Professional Practice – Standard Four
You will need a reference from the person who directly manages or supervises you. This person must be a Nurse or Midwife. References need to include:

dates of employment
areas of expertise
a competence statement with examples of day to day activities
outline of CPD to date

Your referee needs to date their original letter and include their name position and contact details. The reference must be signed by the referee and should include their current PIN number from country of registration.

Fitness to Practice – Standard Five
You will need a verification / certificate of registration letter

This is a certificate of good standing , confirms your registration, good standing and fitness to practice. It is provided by the NMC. Please telephone the Nursing and Midwifery Council and request a pack for verification purposes. They will send you a pack for signature.

You will also need your initial registration certificate (this is an A4 size certificate not your card).

At no point does the Assessment body want any original documents, only certified copies. These are never returned.

After your Positive Skills Assessment you will need to apply directly to the NMBA / AHPRA for your nursing registration and also submit tour Expression of Interest. It is important that you do not submit an Expression of Interest prior to receiving a positive Skills Assessment for Migration to Australia.

Will a Migration Agent do this for me?
Some will to varying degrees. Let’s Go! Global are the only mobility Consultants to have a dedicated Medical Migration team. Our team will work with you closely through the process. Put simply all they require is the right information from you, and they do the rest. The Medical Migration team works closely with our lovely MARA agent in Sydney in the preparation and submission of your case. If you’re looking to move to Australia as a Nurse or Midwife you will be in safe hands.

If you want to move to Australia as a Nurse feel like you would benefit from our expert assistance or simply want to check your eligibility please take our free visa assessment.

Author: George McDonald, Head of Australian Migration @ Let’s Go! Global

Move to Australia as a Nurse with the Experts.

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 7 reviews
by Grant S, Manchester on Nursing Australia
UK A&E Nurse, 189 Visa Granted

UK A&E Nurse, 189 Visa Granted thanks to Lets Go GlobalBig thank you to the whole team at Lets Go Global for their professionalism, diligence and all round commitment to my Australian Visa application. Right from taking the first online visa application through to the final granting of my visa I've felt completely looked after. Lets Go Global really do take the stress and worry out of your Australia Visa process.Thank you again and especially to Alex for being so patient with me and answering all the questions I had.

Thank you Grant, for taking the time out. Yours was certainly one of the fastest applications we've dealt with and to take only two weeks from the lodgement of expression of interest to being called forward is almost unheard of. We are delighted for you and so happy to have been part of this exciting journey.

by Sally S, Widness on Nursing Australia
Lets Go Global Medical Migration #1

Nurses moving to Australia! What can I say? There's lots of us talking a good talk in hospitals and surgeries up and down the UK. Some of us have started the process ourselves and got stuck, others are stuck relying on hearsay from colleagues. All I can say is - GET IN TOUCH WITH LETS GO GLOBAL - They have a dedicated Medical Migration team and a 100% success rate helping nurses move to Australia. I personally found it really important to be able to have a professional working on my case who knew nursing inside out and back to front. Lets Go Global really do talk your professional language and then explain their side of things in an easy to grasp and understand way. I simply don't think I could've got the positive visa result without the help of the the Medical Migration team. They took care of all the paperwork. All I had to do was provide the right information at the right time and they took care of everything else and even took care of the paperwork for my local AHPRA registration. I for one am not an easily pleased person but I have to say I was totally blown away by the dedication and professionalism of Lets Go Global. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED BY THIS A&E NURSE

Sally we are so pleased to read your comments and want to say from the whole team here at Lets Go Global that its been a pleasure representing you at this amazing time in your life.

by Pritima S on Nursing Australia
Thanks again for all of your hard work

Thanks again for all of your hard work. Like many other people have said along the way I know I couldn't have done it without your help I am so very, very grateful for everything you all did for the whole family.

Thank you Pritima, we're glad everything worked out as expected. be sure to keep us posted on any major developments.

by Sarah Mc. on Nursing Australia
The Nursing Australia Experts

What can I say? Lets Go Global are in my opinion quite simply the Nursing Australia Experts. Ever since I filled out the online assessment and was contacted by Alex I felt ultimately reassured and put at ease by the professionalism of the Lets Go Global Medical Migration team. Honest, reliable, friendly and always had the time to explain things to me especially through mu skills assessment.

  • If you're a Nurse emigrating to Australia I highly recommend the Medical Migration team at Lets Go Global

    Lets Go Global Review Response:
    Hello Sarah, it was always a pleasure hearing from you and we are delighted that you took the time out to write such glowing words. It was a pleasure working with you these past eight months and its been a real privilege to be part of this exciting journey with you.

    We always go the extra mile in terms of client service and our Medical Migration team understand that certain parts of your application such as Skills Assessment can be a little overwhelming for clients at times.

    by Jessica C on Nursing Australia

    Thank you so much to the whole Medical Migration team at Lets Go Global. Our Permanent Visas were finally granted overnight and we are all absolutely delighted with the outcome.

    I honestly had no idea the process was going to be so in depth and complicated before we started. Not that it would have put us off, Australia has been a lifelong dream and now its become real thanks to the support, dedication and all round brilliance of Alex who we felt supported by on every stage of this journey.

    Thank you again, we couldn't have done this without you

    Lets Go Global Medical Migration Reply:

    Thank you Jenny for your kind words, we are absolutely delighted for you and I know Alex was very happy with your 189 Visas being granted so quickly and with the minimum of fuss.

    We do need to say here that you worked incredibly efficiently in sourcing and providing the right information and your dedication certainly helped make the whole process more efficient.

    Thank you again and we wish you all the very best in Australia
    Lets Go Global Medical Migration

    by Claire Collier on Nursing Australia
    Using Lets Go Global was the best decision we ever made

    100% the very best decision we've ever made was deciding to use Alex at Lets Go Global for our Australian Permanent Skilled Working Visas.Right from the start he was so helpful up until the day we actually received our visas. I have to say we don't think we would have been able to have done it without his help, assistance and overall dedication to our case. Alex always had time for us to answer questions we had or to help us with any queries and he also kept in touch with us even if there was no real news or developments to report on.If you're reading this review and wondering if to use Lets Go Global or not do yourself the biggest favour and get the ball rolling with them.Using Lets Go Global was the best decision we ever made.

    Lets Go Global Medical Migration Response:

    Claire we are truly delighted to read your review and have passed your comments onto Alex who I know will also be thrilled to read them.

    We're so pleased with the successful outcome.

    by James C on Nursing Australia
    Amazing Life Changing Service

    Today is one of the happiest days of our life. We can't thank you enough for your amazing service and we're so glad we found you. Out of everyone we spoke to we chose Alex James because he gave us the best and most honest consultation. No hard sale tactics or pressure he just told us the facts as he saw them. He explained all about the other costs and charges that we could expect such as Skills Assessment fees to ANMAC, registration fees to AHPRA, Police Checks, Medicals and of course the Australian Government fees which for a family of four like us were a big financial commitment. Needless to say our trust in Alex and the Lets Go Global Medical Migration team was repayed many many times over and we felt absolute reassurance throughout the migration process. From initially looking at how to move to Australia as a Nurse to getting our visas has been just over a year and we're so pleased we finally did it. You have an amazing life changing service.

    Lets Go Global Medical Migration Reply:

    Thank you James for taking the time out to write such kind words. We are all absolutely delighted with the successful outcome of your 189 Permanent Residency Visa and look forward to hearing from you and Claire once you're settled in Sydney. Well done once again and that you for placing your trust and faith in us.

    Kind regards
    Lets Go Global Medical Migration