Skilled workers, such as nurses, are valued in Australia, so the country offers many ways for nurses to secure visas. Actually, nurses are in such high demand here, due to the current shortage of doctors and nurses, their visa applications take priority over those of others.
One option is to be sponsored by an Australian family. This is ideal if you already have friends or colleagues in the country. If you yourself have family in Australia, they may be able to sponsor you. The relative in question must be an ‘eligible’ resident, or one nominated by a state or territory government. If you do have a relative in the country, please have them check the residency requirements to ensure they are eligible.
However, if you do not have family or friends in the country, you can find an employer or business to sponsor you. This will allow you and your family members to work in the country for up to four years. If you are a registered nurse under the age of 50, you may be eligible for a permanent visa with employer sponsorship.
If you are student between the ages of 18 and 30, going into the field of nursing, you can come to Australia for six months. Note that you must work during your vacation (and this vocation should be the sole purpose of your holiday) and you can only work for up to six months for one employer. Make sure to seek employment before you apply for this student visa. Note that your nursing courses must be registered with the Commonwealth in order to secure this visa. This can be easily done via the Commonwealth’s Overseas Studies’ Register.
Skilled nurses may also apply for a visa as an independent. This type of visa would be considered a skilled migrant visa. In order to qualify, you will need to take and pass a points test as well as meet a range of basic requirements. Nurses will also have to pass a health exam, which will include, but is not limited to, a chest x-ray.
If you feel that you are not qualified, yet, to pass these exams, there are still a wide range of visa opportunities available to you. One temporary option is to seek a ‘training and research’ visa. This visa allows student nurses to work in a supervised training environment, for at least three months. The training program will help you become a skilled nurse, allowing you to qualify for a more permanent visa.
Or, apply for the visitor visa, which is perfect for nurses who want to come to Australia to pre-register for their visa and work while awaiting approval. You will have to complete a course and then apply for a temporary skilled visa.
Visa application costs range by the type of visa you are applying for, so check the country’s website for more information.
Remember, as a nurse, your visa application will receive priority processing, so make sure your papers are in order as there are many nursing jobs to be had in Australia.