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Australia – Numerous visa schemes help to ease nursing shortage

03 April 2013

Staffing agencies are increasingly fielding enquiries from overseas healthcare and medical practitioners and, in some cases, promoting Australia as a destination following moves to fill labour shortfalls.

One such agency is medical recruitment agency, Ochre Recruitment, which has offices across Australia, and is actively promoting Australia and New Zealand as attractive destinations for overseas workers following the streamlining of visa applications for medical workers.

It is understood nurse applications are being processed faster than usual to deal with current skills shortages.

"This is news because there are excellent medical career opportunities in Australia," a medical recruitment official said in a media statement about the schemes. "The increased need for medical workers in some areas of Australia is acute."

Staffing agencies are now able to promote a number of differnt schemes, which include: Medical Practitioner Visas; Employer Nomination Scheme; Labour Agreements; Skilled Regional Sponsored Migration; Skill Matching Visa; Business Visa; Skilled Independent Visa; the Working Holiday Visa Maker Scheme.

For nursing positions, applicants are checked by the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Council (ANMC). The Medical Practitioner Visa is available to radiologists, doctors or specialists in a medical field and is good for four years for any candidates sponsored by an Australian employer.

Meanwhile the Employer Nomination Scheme and the Labour Agreement Scheme allow employers to hire nurses to work permanently if they meet certain minimum criteria while the Skilled Regional Sponsor Migration Scheme allows people who are willing to work in low population areas to be recruited.

A Skills Matching Visa Scheme is also available to medical workers with special skills and is offered by a state or territory government or business, while the Business Visa Scheme is available to medical workers sponsored by a business.

The Skilled Independent Visa Scheme is available to unsponsored medical workers who score sufficient points on a test. There is also a Working Holiday Visa Maker Scheme that is available to medical workers aged 18 to 30 who want to take a working holiday in Australia.

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