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Health Workforce Certificates were introduced with the new Visas for GPs program earlier this year. However, they have been a source of confusion as they are not currently linked to DPA (area of need) locations creating anomalies in the system.

Why do you need a Health Workforce Certificate?

The Visas for GPs program was introduced to assist in reducing the number of Overseas Trained Doctors from entering Australia and to provide a control measure which would direct the distribution of OTDs.

If you are looking to sponsor a visa for an OTD, the only way you are eligible to do this is if you are granted a Health Workforce Certificate through their online application form. The following visas are affected:

  • Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS, subclass 482) visa
  • Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS, subclass 186) visa
  • Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS, subclass 187) visa

At the time of introduction for this program, many clinics applied to determine if they would be eligible to sponsor a visa, however many who were in MMM1 areas were rejected even if they have DPA/DWS status.

Who is likely to be granted a Health Workforce Certificate?

As mentioned, if you are a DPA location, you are not guaranteed a Health Workforce Certificate. Before recruiting for Australian GP jobs (doctors who require a visa nomination), you should check if you are eligible. So far, the trend seems to be only clinics located in a MMM2 or higher area are granted a Health Workforce Certificate.

Why should consider reapplying if you were previously rejected?

We have been informed by sources that the eligibility criteria are being changed as the Rural Workforce Agencies work alongside clinics to solve problems with the system

These rules are likely to change shortly, therefore we urge any clinics to reapply in a few weeks’ time to determine if they can now sponsor OTDs. We believe the Rural Workforce Agencies are trying to identify any anomalies, such as DPA areas, as part of the future changes to the system. We would encourage those who believe they should be granted a Health Workforce Certificate to talk to their Rural Workforce Agency and make them aware of your anomaly.

For more information please contact the Visas for GPs program, the Rural Workforce Agencies are actively engaging with clinics to assist in providing solutions.