How Nurses Can Apply for Permanent Visa in Australia

Nursing is one of the most in-demand occupations for migration in the Australian workforce. This article goes through the best visas that registered nurses might consider applying for if they wish to become a permanent resident of Australia.

Australia is now considered one of the top 10 countries where many immigrants choose for either temporary or permanent residency, and nurses are no exception. According to some statistics, Australia will need more than 120,000 nurses by the end of 2030. Considering the number of immigrants who settle in our country every year, it’s safe to say that nursing will be in high demand during the current decade. There are now several temporary and permanent visas nurses could apply for depending on their unique situation. Some require earlier residency/work experience in Australia, while others do not. In this article, we are going to introduce the best visas that registered nurses might consider applying for if they wish to become a permanent resident of Australia.

Subclass 186, Employer Nomination Scheme Visa

Subclass 186 allows you to live and work in Australia permanently. If your application is accepted, you can sponsor your family members and bring them to Australia as well. Subclass 186 has three streams which you can try depending on your situation.

Direct Entry Stream: Registered nurses who are qualified and experienced can apply through the Direct Entry Stream.

Requirements: Eligible nurses who want to take the direct entry stream must:

  • Be sponsored by an eligible Australian employer.
  • Be under 45 unless you are recognised as an academic by an Australian University or a scientific government agency nominates you as a researcher, specialist, or scientist.
  • Have a work experience of three years in the nominated occupation.
  • Obtain a positive skills assessment.
  • Sign the Australian Values Statement
  • Show a good command of English.

Process: After making sure that you meet the requirement, your employer should nominate you. If approved, you can apply and wait for your visa to be granted, if you have submitted all the required documents.

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Temporary Residence Transition Stream: Those who hold a 457 or 482 TTS visa can apply for the Temporary Residence Transition Stream and, if accepted, live permanently in Australia.

Requirements: As an eligible nurse, you must:

  • Be under 45.
  • Be nominated by the same person who sponsored you for your previous visa.
  • Have worked for three years for your nominating employer.

Process: As a registered nurse, you can apply for this visa, but your employer should first nominate you. If accepted, you can lodge your visa application and wait for the department to make the decision on your application.

Subclass189 Skilled Independent Visa

This is a permanent visa for workers who are sponsored by an employer or a family member, and their skill is listed in the relevant Australia’s skilled occupations list. You must take a Skilled Migration Point Test and get a minimum score of 65 to qualify for subclass 189. It is advised to achieve higher a score as the competition for 189 visa is intense.

Requirements: Registered nurses who want to apply for subclass 189 must:

  • Be under 45
  • Have skills assessment
  • Have no debts to the Australian government
  • Present An Expression of Interest (EOI)
  • Demonstrate competent English
  • Pass the health and character test
  • Sign the Australian Values Statement

Process: After ensuring that you meet all the above-mentioned requirements, you should submit an EOI. Your submitted EOI will remain on Skillselect for two years. If you are qualified, you will receive an invitation to apply for the visa.

Subclass 190 skilled nominated visa:

Subclass 190 is a permanent visa that allows registered nurses to live and work in Australia. Getting subclass 190 is possible only if you are nominated by an Australian state or territory government.

Requirements: in order to qualify for this visa, you must:

  •  Receive an invitation for the subclass 190 from a state or an Australian territory
  •  Get a minimum score of 65 in your Points Test
  •  Be under 50
  • Have no debts to the Australian government
  • Pass a health and character test
  • Have a good command of the English language
  • Go through a skills assessment for nursing
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Process: The first step is to ensure that you score 65 or higher. Make sure you meet all the requirements listed above. The next step is to complete a skills assessment. Submitting an expression of interest is the next thing you should do. If you get a State or Territory nomination, you can lodge your visa.

Subclass 482 Temporary Skill Shortage visa:

In many cases, employers fail to find enough workforce for a position. Thanks to subclass 482 Temporary Skill Shortage Visa, those employers who have the standard business sponsorship can nominate workers from overseas to fill that position. This visa allows nurses to work in Australia for up to 5 years, depending on the stream the nomination and the country of passport.

Medium-term stream: The medium-term stream allows you to work in Australia for up to four years. You can also study with your own budget. Again, those holding a Hong Kong visa can extend their visa up to five years.

Requirements for subclass 482 medium-term stream: You will be qualified for this stream if you:

  • Are nominated by an eligible employer
  • Have worked as a nurse for two years or more
  • Have the required proficiency level in using English( there are exceptions)
  • Agree to work for your nominating sponsor
  • Not have any debts to the Australian government
  • Have a proper skills assessment related to nursing if needed
  • Meet the health and character requirements

Although subclass 482 is a temporary visa, it provides several pathways for permanent residency. Depending on your situation, you can try applying for:

  • Subclass 186
  • Subclass 189, 190, or 491(PR Pathway)

Subclass 491 Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa

Another option for nurses willing to work in Australia is to apply for subclass 491. This visa allows nurses to live, study, and work in the designated regional areas in Australia for five years. This is a two-step process to become a permanent resident of Australia. Nurses who get Subclass 491 can apply for subclass 191 after three years.

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Requirements: Those who want to apply for Subclass 491 skilled regional visa must:

  • Have a suitable skill assessment
  • Get a minimum score of 65 on their Points Test
  • Be nominated by a state or territory agency/ sponsored by a relative
  • Pass the health and character tests
  • Be under 45
  • Meet the required English level

Process: Check the requirements to see if you are eligible. Submit an EOI in Skill Select and wait till you receive an invitation. After that, you should provide all the required documents and apply. You will get the result within 5-9 months.

Please remember that some of the terms hold true for all visas offered by the Australian government. They include:

  • Signing the Australian values statement by which you agree to obey Australian laws and respect Australia’s way of life
  • Meeting the health and character requirements
  • Have competent English. (You might be exempt if you prove that you are a native resident of Canada, New Zealand, Irland, the US, or the UK.)

 In case you are from any other country, you must provide one of the following language certificates:

  1. IELTS: Your score in all four skills must be at least 6
  2. TOEFL: Listening 12, Speaking 18, reading 13, writing 21
  3. PTE: Your score in all four skills must be at least 50
  4. OTE: At least B for all four skills
  5. Cambridge C1 Advanced Test: Your score in all four skills must be at least 169
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