New Visa “Certificate” for GPs to be introduced on Monday March 11th

The new visa regulation for overseas trained GPs is now due to be implemented from Monday 11th March 2019.

The requirement for a visa sponsor (ie the GP clinic in Australia) to arrange a “certificate” as a condition of being able to get a visa is directly targeted at UK, Irish and NZ-trained GPs.

The aim is to reduce the number of these GPs coming into the “well-serviced major capital cities and metropolitan areas”, directing them instead to “rural, remote and regional areas where there is greater need”.

The aim is to reduce the number of OTD GPs by 200 per year. Bearing in mind that over the period January 2010 to November 2016, the RACGP registered approximately 1800 UK, Irish and NZ GPs – an average of 257 per year – this new system is aiming to reduce the number of GPs going to Australia by over 75%. (source for number of GPs going to Australia: RACGP External Consultation Paper on the proposed 2017 Specialist Pathway Registration Changes. (Copy available on request))

It remains to be seen how this plays out in practice – will the impact be as major as it looks at first reading or will the pressure to find GPs to work in suburban areas (where there is still considerable demand and there are a large number of practices who are very keen to recruit), mean that the implementation is watered down. We will post updates as soon as we hear.

In the meantime, if you have a job in Australia (or you want one), there is still time (just) for the clinic to arrange sponsorship prior to the March 11th deadline.

Also, as far as we can see, this measure does not impact on GPs who are going to Australia as the partner of visa holder (ie if your partner has a (non GP) job for which his / her employer is sponsoring a visa, then you can work freely in Australia – and you are not restricted by this requirement

This link is to the document on the Department of Health website: Visas for GPs initiative – March 2019




I recently moved to Perth in Western Australia to start work as a General Practitioner. It was a daunting prospect initially, when searching for suitable posts, especially without having been to Australia before. The formal registration process appeared challenging and time-consuming to start with. However, during the process, I found Monique and Paul to be very supportive, providing reliable and accurate information when needed. I would highly recommend using their valuable insight to those contemplating the move in the near future.
Dr Arya