Employing an international medical graduate

Read about what to consider when recruiting an international medical graduate to a medical practice. Learn how to find the right person and the restrictions they have for billing patients under Medicare.

Medicare billing restrictions

Medicare billing restrictions apply to international medical graduates. The restrictions are set out in Australia’s Health Insurance Act 1973 (the Act).

Section 19AA of the Act details restrictions on non-vocationally recognised doctors.

Section 19AB of the Act has special conditions for international medical graduates who meet the requirements of 19AA.

As an employer of an international medical graduate under 19AB, you will need to arrange supervision for them.

An international medical graduate who is a specialist must also be recognised as a specialist by Medicare.

Help with recruiting an international medical graduate

Contact your local Rural Workforce Agency for help with recruiting an international medical graduate.

Employing the right person

To make sure you’re employing the right person for the job, check:

  • their registration pathway
  • their visa
  • their residency status
  • whether they are vocationally recognised.

Getting a Health Workforce Certificate

International medical graduates are subject to immigration requirements for temporary or permanent entry visas.

If you nominate for an employer-sponsored visa, you must also apply for a Health Workforce Certificate through the Visas for GPs initiative.

Medical registration

The international medical graduate you employ must be eligible for registration with the Medical Board of Australia.

They must be offered a job before they can have their skills assessed for a registration pathway. This will determine eligibility for medical registration.

It is your responsibility to judge whether the candidate will meet the registration requirements.

The 2 most common registration categories for international medical graduates are:

International medical graduates are not eligible for general registration until they have:

  • met the eligibility criteria for the competent authority pathway
  • completed 12 months of supervised practice.

Before registration is approved, the international medical graduates may also have to sit for a Pre-Employment Structured Clinical Interview.

Supervising an international medical graduate

All international medical graduates with provisional or limited registration must be supervised.

You will need to meet the Medical Board of Australia’s requirements for supervising an international medical graduate, including completing an online education and assessment module.

Date last updated:

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