Directing doctors to areas of greatest need

The Visas for GPs Program and the Better Distribution of Medical Practitioners initiative:

  • 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 of international medical graduates

Under the Visas for GPs Program:

  •  non-hospital employers must apply for a Health Workforce Certificate
  •  hospital employers must apply for either
    • a Health Workforce Exemption Certificate for the TSS and Provisional visas
    • a Health Workforce Certificate for the permanent ENS and RSMS visas. 

Attach the certificate to your visa nomination form for IMGs requiring one of these employer-sponsored visas:

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 non-hospital based positions in areas needing more primary health care services.

The Rural Workforce Agency will expedite the processing of Health Workforce Exemption Certificates and Health Workforce Certificates for:

  • IMGs who are already working in Australia and are continuing
    • in the same position and location
    • with the same employer  they have had for at least the 12 previous months
  • international students graduating from Australian medical schools
  • hospital-based positions
  • positions at an Aboriginal Medical Service
  • positions at an Approved Medical Deputising Service (AMDS) in a 3GA program.

Read more information on the Visas for GPs website.

Who works with us on 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 and Health Workforce Exemption Certificates

  • the Department of Home Affairs — manages employer-sponsored nomination and visa applications.

Apply for a Health Workforce Certificate or a Health Workforce Exemption Certificate

To apply for a Health Workforce Certificate for a non-hospital based position, complete and submit the Health Workforce Certificate online form.

Hospital employers apply with:

HR Plus Tasmania will issue your Health Workforce Certificate or Health Workforce Exemption Certificate as a PDF attachment in an email.

HR Plus Tasmania will contact you if your application is not successful or they need more information from you.

Visit the Department of Home Affairs website for instructions on attaching your Health Workforce Certificate or Health Workforce Exemption Certificate to your nomination form.

Why is the Visas for GPs Program important?

The Visas for GPs Program manages growth in Australia’s medical workforce. The program regulates the number of IMGs entering Australia through the skilled migration program to work in the primary health care sector.

The Visas for GPs Program aims to redirect IMGs to areas where they are most needed. This is usually in regional, rural and remote areas, where sometimes there is no access to a GP.

Resources

For more information on employing IMGs visit DoctorConnect.

HR Plus Tasmania contact

HR Plus Tasmania provides advice on the Visas for GPs Program and assesses and processes applications for Health Workforce Certificates and Health Workforce Exemption Certificates.

Visas for GPs Program advice line (free call):
Visas for GPs Program enquiries
visasforgps [at] hrplustas.com.au

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Visas for GPs Program
Last updated: 
10 December 2020
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