Female health practitioner smiling

Many healthcare professions are often in short supply within the Australian labour market. Take for example the Nursing profession, which has never budged from the Australian occupation lists. As a registered Nurse in Australia it is highly likely you will find employment easily and in many regional areas many care providers are willing to offer sponsorship.

Most Australian skilled visas require the applicant to obtain what is called a suitable skills assessment. This assessment is carried out by a Department of Home Affairs (DOHA) specified assessed assessing authority. A suitable skills assessment is where the assessing authority has examined your skills and has deemed you suitable to perform the occupation that you have nominated to a standard that is expected to be beneficial to the Australian labour market. Skilled visas include:

  • Skilled Independent visa (subclass 189)
  • Skilled Nominated visa (subclass 190)
  • Skilled Regional visa (subclass 489) State Sponsored stream
  • Skilled Regional visa (subclass 489) Relative Sponsored stream
  • Temporary Graduate visa (subclass 485)
  • Temporary Skill Shortage visa (subclass 482) short term
  • Temporary Skill Shortage visa (subclass 482) Long term
  • Employer Nominated Scheme (ENS) visa (subclass 186)
  • Regional Skilled Migration Scheme (RSMS) visa (subclass 187)

Which ANZSCO code do I nominate?

For most healthcare professionals, the approved assessing authority would be the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Accreditation Council (ANMAC). Currently there are 19 occupations that are eligible for a skilled visa that require a skills assessment from ANMAC! These are:

  • Nursing clinical director [134212]
  • Midwife [254111]
  • Nurse educator [254211]
  • Nurse researcher [254212]
  • Nurse manager [254311]
  • Nurse practitioner [254411]
  • Registered nurse (aged care) [254412]
  • Registered nurse (child and family health) [254413]
  • Registered nurse (community health) [254414]
  • Registered nurse (critical care and emergency) [254415]
  • Registered nurse (developmental disability) [254416]
  • Registered nurse (disability and rehabilitation) [254417]
  • Registered nurse (medical) [254418]
  • Registered nurse (medical practice) [254421]
  • Registered nurse (mental health) [254422]
  • Registered nurse (perioperative) [254423]
  • Registered nurse (surgical) [254424]
  • Registered nurse (paediatrics) [254425]
  • Registered nurses (nec) [254499]
  • Enrolled Nurse [411411]

To find out what the differences in the above positions are so as to best understand which nursing occupation to nominate, visit the ANZSCO directory for role descriptors.

Find: ANZSCO directory

Not much experience? If you are newly qualified nurse or midwife with no professional experience, you should apply under:

  • Midwife [254111]
  • Registered nurses (nec) [254499]
  • Enrolled Nurse [411411]

Which visa can I apply for?

What about finding out which visa(s) each occupation is eligible for? Easy. We recently compiled a comprehensive guide to Australia’s latest occupation lists (updated March 2019) where you will be able to find, based on your nominated occupation, which:

  • Skilled visa you are eligible to apply for
  • If you require a skills assessment
  • Assessing authority you need a suitable skills assessment from
  • Caveats apply to you

Read: The AILS Complete Occupation List Guide

Modified skills assessment

We have not covered the Modified PLUS or Full skills assessment they offer for in most cases in Australia this is the main one used.

You can obtain this assessment this if you are currently registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA), the Nursing Council of New Zealand (NCNZ) or the Midwifery Council of New Zealand (MCNZ).

Application requirements:

  • Verification of registrations/certificates of good standing should be provided from every country or jurisdiction where you have held registration
  • Proof of Identity
    • Copy of passport biodata
    • Passport sized photo (taken within the last 6 months)
    • Change of name document (if required)
  • Qualification: Graduation certificate(s) from all (tertiary) nursing qualifications
  • English test results (see below)
  • Work experience: You need to submit a professional reference which represents a minimum of 3 months, full time equivalent, and paid work as a nurse or midwife unless if you are a recent graduate (less than 12 months) and your only qualification is from Australia or New Zealand, you are not required to have a relevant work experience.

Registering as a Nurse or Midwife

You can only work as a Nurse or Midwife in Australia if you are registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA)

Find: Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA)

If the option is available to you and you have time, registering with the NMBA first means that you can take the least steps and move directly to getting your modified skills assessment (least documents required).

Educational equivalence

When assessing an applicant for a skills assessment, ANMAC is looking to see if your qualifications meet current Australian nursing and midwifery educational standard.

As you can see from the application requirements detailed above, all applicants, regardless of skills assessment type, must provide a graduation certificate and basic transcript from their educational institute. Applicants for full skills assessments must provide a transcript that breaks down the number of hours completed in both the theoretical and practical components of the course.

Professional practice

Professional references are not required if you are a recent graduate and your only qualification is from Australia or New Zealand.

If you are not a recent graduate or your only qualification is from Australia or New Zealand, you will need to have a professional reference that shows that you have completed at least 3 months of full time equivalent, paid work as a Nurse or Midwife in the 5 years prior to the date of application.

It is through professional references that ANMAC will assess if you have the skills relevant to the occupation that you have nominated and are able to perform the roles and responsibilities to the skill level that is required and detailed in ANZSCO.

Payslips, tax certificates and service and human resource statements are not acceptable in lieu of professional references.

Professional references

These are the criteria that your professional references must meet.

  • On an official letterhead
  • Be written by a direct supervisor who is a nurse or a midwife
  • Be dates
  • Contain an original signature
  • Include contact information for each referee, being the:
    • Official hospital email address
    • Contact telephone number for the organisation (no mobile numbers)

Find: ANMAC’s profession reference template

Work experience points on the GSM points test

If you are after General Skilled Migration (GSM) visa such as the:

  • Skilled Independent visa (subclass 189)
  • Skilled Nominated visa (subclass 190)
  • Skilled Regional visa (subclass 489)

You may be able to claim skilled employment points to help boost your points score but your work experience must first have been assessed by ANMAC.

Work experience will be reported on your skill assessment results if it:

·       Is for a minimum of 12 months, full time equivalent, paid Australian work experience, or

·       Is for a minimum of 36 months, full time equivalent, paid international work experience

English proficiency

ANMAC requires all its applicants to meet an English language proficiency requirement. Unlike the English requirement by the DOHA for visas, being a citizen of United States of America, Canada, United Kingdom, the Republic of Ireland or New Zealand does not get you an exemption.

There are specific English tests that ANMAC accepts. Each test comprises of 4 components being listening, reading, writing and speaking. You must submit test results that the minimum requirements for the test type. Test results must not be more than 2 years old.

IELTS Academic

  • One test: Minimum overall score of 7 across all components and a minimum score in each component of 7.
  • Combining scores from 2 tests taken within a 6 month period:
    • A minimum overall score of 7 in both test
    • No score in any component in either test is below 6.5.

 OET for Nurses:

  • One test: Minimum score of B in each component
  • Combining scores from 2 tests taken within a 6 month period:
    • All the 4 components must have been tested in both tests
    • No score in any component in either test is below C.

 PTE Academic:

  • One test: Minimum overall score of 65 across all components and a minimum score in each component of 65.
  • Combining scores from 2 tests taken within a 6 month period:
    • Minimum overall score in both tests of 65
    • No score in any component in either test is below 58.

 TOEFL iBT:

  • One test:
    • Minimum total score of 94
    • Minimum score of 24 in listening
    • Minimum score of 24 in reading
    • Minimum score of 27 in writing
    • Minimum score of 23 in speaking
  • Combining scores from 2 tests taken within a 6 month period:
    • Minimum total score of 94
    • No score in the listening component of either test is 20
    • No score in the reading component of either test is 19
    • No score in the writing component of either test is 24
    • No score in the speaking component of either test is 20

Read: English Proficiency Tests

Read: We Review English Tests! IELTS General

Read: We Review English Tests! PTE Academic

Read: We Review English Tests! TOEFL iBT

** This English requirement is needed for your RN registration and please refer to the https://www.nursingmidwiferyboard.gov.au/Registration-Standards/English-language-skills.aspx for other English exemption.

ANMAC fees

The fees for a skills assessment are pretty hefty. It is important to get it right the first time!

  • Modified assessment: $340
  • Modified PLUS assessment $340
  • Full skills assessment $515

Again, you will notice that if you are first registered with NMBA your life is a whole lot easier. If you wish to be assessed for work experience points, that is a fee of $120.

Want to secure your future in Australia? Need some help in your ANMAC application or for your visa? Call +61 2 8054 2537, 0434 890 199 or book online today. Our migration specialists are ready to help.

Amy Kim