Originally published in 2016 this article ‘how to move to Australia as a Nurse’ has been updated for 2019
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 move to Australia as a Nurse in 2019.
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.
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 move to Australia as a Nurse and get registered?’or ‘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.
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 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’.
If you really are struggling with the idea of taking an English test the other option is to secure an AHPRA Letter of Determination first and then apply for a modified skills assessment.
However, the AHPRA application is just as detailed as the full ANMAC skills assessment and AHPRA don’t work to any specific timeframe or service level agreement. Additionally, once your Letter of Determination has been issued and presuming you want to finalize your AHPRA Nursing registration, there are only three months in which to present at an AHPRA office in person, in Australia.
Our recommendation is always to take the traditional route in terms of this English test.
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 to Move to Australia as a Nurse
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.
Update September 2018: Theory & Practice Hours
ANMAC is now requiring a detailed statement of theory and practice hours. This can be included on the academic transcript although from many countries such as the USA, Canada and the UK this information is not included by default. Don’t worry though, each case if unique and different and your dedicated medical migration consultant will work with you to secure your 100% decision ready bundle.
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 help me Move to Australia as a Nurse?
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.
Move to Australia as a Nurse with the Experts.
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Thanks for the information I found it very helpful. I've taken the online assessment and I look forward to hearing from you.
Thank you Petra for talking the time to write
Thank you to Lets Go Global for sorting our 189 Nursing Australia visas. You have been very patient and professional.
So happy with my outcome thank you so much to Alex and the team at Lets Go for getting our visas granted. It was the best Christmas present I could ever have wished for.
You are very welcome Rebecca, we're thrilled we could play a small part in this life changing event.
Recently there are some changes with the migration (such as english standard), are nurses affected?
Hi, nurses have always been required to have an english component to their applications, especially at Skills Assessment stage (ANMAC) and Nursing Registration (AHPRA).
I need your guidance to move to Australia.
Good page lots of good and helpful content thank you. I have a quick question though do I have to top up my diploma before making my application?
Dear Helen, thank you for reaching out and for your very kind words. In answer to your question yes, you will need to top up your Nursing Diploma first.
This information is a great help to me. Thank you
Very useful information given
Full on 5* thank you for being so helpful. All I can say to others thinking about using the medical migration guys at Lets Go Global is that what you think you know now you don't know. I thought I knew everything about the process and I got a bit frustrated at times but I came to understand that its just a long and complicated process that I couldn't hurry up so thank you for being patient with me I can highly recommend your website for its great information and at the end of the day you got me exactly where I wanted to be, the beautiful Gold Coast of Australia.
Thank you Peter, for your kind words
Thank you for the very detailed information. When did the points score increase because when I last checked it was 60 points for a 189. I'm only showing 60 points for a 189 what can I do? A&E Nurse for four years.
In July 2018 the overall points score increased from 60 to 65 Points.
IELTS (or other English Test) can boost your points score by up to 20 points. Also consider the 190 or 489 routes which boost your overall points score by 5 and 10 points respectively.
I was recommended the services of Lets Go Global medical migration by a very dear friend of mine who had used their services herself and had successfully moved to Australia. I found them to be professional, polite, direct and they got the job done.
Hi and thank you, although we'd like to reach out and see what we could have done better to secure a full five stars.
Thank you so much for your information and assistance. My employer sponsored visa was granted today after securing priority processing TSS. Our new life down under starts in a couple of weeks.If you are looking for a good migration agent I can definitely recommend Lets Go Global for not only their dedication but also their honesty which is so very important I found. They tell it like it is with no sugar coating. I grew to find this was the very best way to be when going thorough the process of a nurse emigrating to Australia.
Hello dear,this is really to request your guidance am anurse with bachelors in General nursing sciences with more experience Iwould like to work and stay in Australia kindly guide me so that Ican start the process,
Thank you so much for helping with the visa process. I had no idea how much information was going to be required especially when AMNAC started asking for further details on the components of my course. It took a while yet we got there in the end I we are all so happy right now. I can't thank you enough from the depths of my heart.
My Visa was granted this morning I'm so happy. Thank you! I really couldn't have done it without you and I'm so grateful for you being so patient with me.
What more can I say. Great team, great service, super communication and got the result we needed within 6 months. Definitely recommended 5* service.
Thank you Fleur, it was definitely a swift immigration project from start to finish and we've been finding that UK qualified nurses are still zipping through the process.
Dear Alex and Lets Go Global.I want to take the time out to write this letter formally expressing my heartfelt thanks for the way you've dealt so effectively and efficiently with my Nursing Australia application. From the very start I felt 100% reassured and looked after. As you can probably tell its been a very stressful time for my partner, Gerry and myself. I know you warned us that it was stressful right at the start but we had no idea about the mental roller caster journey we were about to take.Thank you for keeping the faith with us and replying to our emails out of hours and on weekends. We both work shifts in A&E and it was a great relief being able to communicate out of hours.We're both very impressed by your service and support and we were discussing just last night that we consider you friends given that we've been through so much together.Thank you once again for arranging our 189 Australia Visas and giving us the opportunity to build a new life together in our adopted home.
Dear Beni, it's always a genuine pleasure to read such kind, kind words. Reviews such as this are both motivating and rewarding. Thank you so much for sharing and we look forward to hearing your news as you guys settle into your new lives.
Big hugs to the Lets Go Global team for all the hard work and effort they put into my application. Right from the start I knew it was going to be stressful but Alex and the team made things seem lot easier although I'm sure I became a real pain by the end of the process. Sorry! and thanks again for everything you did for us. Husband and twins still getting their heads around the fact our visas were approved and we are finally headed to Perth with me about to start a new job, in a new healthcare system, in a new country on the other side of the World. Thank you for getting our visas done and for the interviews you lined up.Living the dream!
Thank you Zara and big hugs back at you from everyone here. We can't wait to hear how the twins settle into their new lives down under.
I'm a community nurse and just moved to Australia through LetsGo-global in January. I was worried about getting a job in Australia but I should not have been. After my skills assessment came back Alex handled my application for AHPRA registration so I could be work ready as soon as I could be. I presented to AHPRA as soon as I arrived and had interviews lined up. My first offer came in the first week. I was even offered more positions, so I had a choice. I've started work and the transition has been so much easier than I thought. Alex really handled everything including putting me in contact with work agencies which was incredibly effective. Could not recommend LetsGo-Global more highly, they have been great.
Hi Michelle, yes nurses with great skills like yours are in high demand in Australia, I was sure you would be snapped up quickly. Well done.
My Permanent Residency visa for Australia has come through. Took about 9 months from the time I started with Let's-Go Global on this process. It all happened quite quickly and Alex knew so much about the nursing process and is even helping with my Australian registration. I'll be arriving and finalising my AHPRA registration that Alex helped time perfectly for my arrival into Australia and then to work :). My daughter is very excited about starting school in Australia and we have been able to get approval for a house to rent already .... and it has a pool! My mum is already planning her first holiday out to stay with us. Great result all round and a smooth process. Australia, here we come.
A Pool ! Fantastic. Have a great trip over Melissa and keep us posted on your Australian adventures. You were an absolute pleasure to work with.
Thank you Lets Go Global and Alex in particular for answering all my questions and being very patient with me. I was very concerned because even though I know I am eligible to emigrate to Australia as a Nurse my husband has a disability which means he is unable to work due to his condition. I always knew deep down this was going to be a problem and many agents had told me not to worry that all would be fine but after speaking with Alex at length he explained the difficulties and complexities in the case. I am very grateful for his honesty because now we can look at other options.
Thank you for taking the time to write your feedback. We pride ourselves in our transparency. Good luck for the future.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
Lets Go Global Medical Migration