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With a slight delay, the Visas for GPs Initiative requiring Health workforce certificates, has come into effect on 11 March 2019.

Trying to avoid an alleged oversupply of 7,000 medical practitioners by 2030, the Department of Health has introduced new measures to manage the growth of overseas trained doctors (OTDs) entering the country. The government states that the alleged oversupply mainly affects well serviced major capital cities and metropolitan areas, rather than rural and remote areas where GPs are in greater need.

Until today we were under the impression that the changes would mostly impact those moving to Australia. However as further details have now been released it is clear that any GPs already working in Australia on a temporary working visa (457 or 482) will also be affected if they want to apply for PR via a 186 visa.

Can I continue to work at my current practice:

Yes you can, the changes won’t impact your ability to work in your current location according to the Department of Health’s fact sheet.

How will the changes affect my ability to get PR via the 186 visa?

According to the details currently released, you will need a health workforce certificate when you apply for a 186 visa. Our understanding is that if you stay with your current employer and want to apply for a 186 you should be issued with a certificate without any issues. They don’t appear to want to upset existing employment arrangements. However, if you were planning to change employers and then apply for a 186, you will likely encounter problems if the new employer is not in a rural or regional area. Not to mention if you want to change employers at all and you are currently on a 457 or 482, you will need to be able to get a health workforce certificate for your new location – otherwise you wont be able to apply for a new nomination.
Once you have PR you will not have any further issues with regards to health workforce certificates, but you may still need to meet DWS requirement (depending on your situation). This information is not intended to be migration advice, just an update about the latest policy decisions. For migration advice we recommend speaking to migration agent.

What locations will be approved for a health workforce certificate?

Regional and rural locations should qualify for a health workforce certificate. However it is much less clear what will happen with metropolitan areas, particularly outer metro.
As the program has just started on 11 March 2019 they are still processing initial applications for health work force certificates, and probably will be for the next 5-10 days. After that we should have a relatively clear idea about what metropolitan areas will be suitable, and will share this with GPs listed on our database.

Not sure what to do next?

Please contact us for further advice on GP jobs and any changes.

Alecto Australia | +61 1800 604 332 | [email protected]