Skip to content
registered GPs australia
International GPs: How can I become registered in Australia?

International healthcare professionals of all kinds, including GPs, must first be registered in Australia by AHPRA (Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency) before they can work.

In the 18 months to June 30, 2023, more than 25,000 qualified healthcare professionals were registered in Australia.

They included dentists, chiropractors, physiotherapists, optometrists, podiatrists and psychologists among others.

More than half were nurses or midwives while 5683 or more than 22 per cent were doctors.

But what does it mean to be registered in Australia and how do you go about it?

What is Registration?

Attaining registration to work as a GP or any other healthcare professional in Australia means that you have been evaluated and passed three basic tests.

Qualified: This test asks you to show you hold an approved or substantially equivalent qualification to work as a GP in your country of origin.

Alternatively, you may need to complete an exam or assessment to partner your relevant qualification.

For some professions, you may also be required to have your practice supervised.

Meet registration standards: These are basic standards you are required to meet regarding your professional history and include

  • your ability to speak English
  • providing evidence of the last practice where you worked
  • proving you have professional indemnity insurance
  • showing you intend to continue your professional development as a GP

Suitability:  This takes a closer look at your personal history and requires you to show

  • proof of identity
  • that you are fit and proper to assume the role
  • that you are safe and competent
  • that you are of good standing

All supporting documents must be certified and translated if not in English.

To complete your registration, you will also need to present in person upon arrival in Australia.

Checklist when applying for registration

Applying for registration can be time consuming but will take even longer if you have not met the following requirements.

Certificates – you will need to provide a Certificate of Good Standing or a Certificate of Registration Status from the authority from every jurisdiction in which you are currently or have been registered as a GP. 

These certificates must be sent directly from those registration authorities to AHPRA and be dated within three months of your application for registration being received.

Assessment of Qualifications – there are four assessment pathways for International Medical Graduates (IMGs) whose medical qualifications were gained from a medical school outside Australia or New Zealand. 

Most GPs who have completed the requirements of an MBA designated competent authority will be eligible to apply under the Competent Authority pathway. Others include The Standard pathway, The Specialist pathway and The Short Term Training In A Medical Specialty pathway.

All require assessment before applying for registration. Specialist qualifications are assessed by an approved specialist medical college.

Visa application – Bear in mind that it is now recommended to hold off on applying for your visa until until you have in principle approval from AHPRA. The visa process may take several months so it is important to begin the registration process well before you start the visa application.

Your visa options will include a permanent residency visa, a temporary skilled migrant visa or a sponsored work visa.

AHPRA provides a handy checklist detailing everything you need for a smooth and successful registration.

How to apply for registration

Once you are sure you have all the necessary documents required, you may pay the fees and apply for registration online.

You can expect your application to be reviewed within 7-14 days.

You will be notified if you are missing any required information.

It may take up to six weeks for your application to be processed.

If you have agreed upon a start work date with your employer, you should include this information with your application.

If registration is granted, you and your authorised agent will both be notified by email.

What’s the next step?

Once you have been registered in Australia by AHPRA, you can apply to Medicare for a provider number and the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) for a prescriber number.

Medicare provider numberServices Australia advises that the time it takes to receive your number following lodgement varies from days to weeks depending on the time of year.

This unique number will allow you to use Medicare to claim, bill, refer or request their services.

You cannot use Medicare without this number and you cannot use the number of another professional.

Anyone registered in more than one profession or location will need to apply for multiple Medicare provider numbers.

PBS number – this allows you to prescribe medication under the PBS. It is not location specific but you will need multiple numbers if you provide health services across multiple professions.

Get help!

It pays to work with the right recruiter in Australia.

When you work with a specialist GP recruitment agency like HRA, you have experts in your corner who understand every step of the process and can help you overcome all of the hurdles on the way to becoming a registered GP in Australia.

At AHA, we work with Australian medical clinics who do an incredible job of working closely with their new GP hires to ensure they navigate through the administrative processes with minimal stress and mess.

Contact HRA today

If you are working overseas but interested in working as a GP in Australia, it’s a great time to make an initial enquiry.

Health Recruitment Australia is a recruitment agency focussed specifically on matching overseas doctors of all ages with the right clinics in Australia.

There is currently a significant shortage of GPs in Australia, with multiple opportunities for doctors keen to make the move.

The financial rewards and quality of life in Australia is what is drawing so many overseas healthcare professionals to Australian shores with conditions far superior to what they are used to in the UK, Ireland and throughout Asia.

Why not start with an informal, no-obligation discussion with the experienced team at Health Recruitment Australia? Contact us.

Enquire now, and we’ll be
in touch shortly!


Enquire now, and we’ll be
in touch shortly!