Visas for GPs program
A program to improve the distribution of our health workforce. Under this program, employers who are sponsoring a visa for an International Medical Graduate (IMG) must apply for a Health Workforce Certificate.
Directing doctors to areas of greatest need
Together with the Better Distribution of Medical Practitioners initiative, the Visas for GPs Program will:
- ensure IMGs work in communities needing more primary health care services, such as regional, rural and remote areas
- make it easier for people in regional, rural and remote areas to access doctors
- create more training and employment opportunities for Australian medical graduates
Requirements for employers and international medical graduates
Under the Visas for GPs Program, you must apply for a Health Workforce Certificate. Attach the certificate to your nomination form for these employer-sponsored visas:
- Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) (subclass 482)
- Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) (subclass 494) visa
- Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) (subclass 186)
- Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS) (subclass 187)
This applies to employers of doctors who need a visa to work in Australia as:
- General Practitioner (ANZSCO 253111)
- Resident Medical Officer (ANZSCO 253112)
- Medical Practitioner not elsewhere classified (ANZSCO 253999)
Health Workforce Certificates are issued for positions in areas needing more primary health care services.
The Rural Workforce Agency will expedite certificates for:
- IMGs who are already working in Australia and are continuing in the same job
- international students graduating from Australian medical schools
- positions at an Aboriginal Medical Service
- hospital-based positions
Read more information on the Visas for GPs website.
Who is involved in the Visas for GPs Program?
The Australian Government manages the Visas for GPs Program through:
the Department of Health — Visas for GPs Program policy and procedures
Rural Workforce Agencies — assess and process applications for Health Workforce Certificates
the Department of Home Affairs — manages employer-sponsored nomination and visa applications.
How to apply for a Health Workforce Certificate
To apply for a Health Workforce Certificate, complete and submit the Health Workforce Certificate online form.
Hospital-based employers apply with the hospital online application form.
HR Plus Tasmania will issue your Health Workforce Certificate as a PDF attachment in an email.
HR Plus Tasmania will contact you if your application is declined or they need more information from you.
Visit the Department of Home Affairs website for instructions on attaching your Health Workforce Certificate to your nomination form.
Why is the Visas for GPs Program important?
GPs numbers in Australia grew at 3 times the rate of our population over the last 10 years. Without managing this growth, Australia could have an oversupply of around 7,000 doctors by 2030.
This growth has mostly been in cities where we are meeting the primary health care needs of the population. The Visas for GPs Program encourages IMGs to work in communities needing more primary health care services.
In May 2019, the Australian Government announced the Better Distribution of Medical Practitioners initiative. This initiative builds on the Visas for GPs Program.
- Visas for GPs Program Guidelines
- Visas for GPs fact sheet
- Health Workforce Certificate review process.
For more information on employing IMGs visit DoctorConnect.