Originally published in 2016 this article ‘how to move to Australia as a Nurse’ has been updated for 2017 and 2018
A Move to Australia as a Nurse is 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.
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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. One the one side you need to make sure that you are eligible to emigrate Down Under.
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.
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.
Where to 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 NMC 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).
Please, 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 feel like you would benefit from our expert assistance please take our free visa assessment.
Author: George McDonald, Head of Australian Migration @ Let’s Go! Global
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