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Moving our family to Australia with a degree in adult nursing.

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Hi, my partner and I have decided we would like to relocate to Perth once I have qualified as an RN. I have recently came off maternity and due to recommence my 3rd year in September, therefore should be qualified come June 2021. I understand you are expected to have at least 1 years experience as qualified within your field of nursing before applying for a visa, so I'd be looking to send off my letter of interest around about July 2022 with hope of being invited to apply for a 189 visa.

My main question is how successful have people been in being accepted for this and how have they found the whole experience of applying? 

After quite a bit of research it seems quite a difficult process. My understanding is you must right a letter of interest and wait for an invite. Then do a skills test and an English test, then finally when you have this evidence you can apply for the visa but must have at least 70 points (although they state 65) to be considered, is that right? And also at which point do you apply to AHPRA to transfer your registration? 

As you can imagine we are all very excited at the idea but also want to have a clear understanding of just what we have to do in order to make this dream happen. 😊 


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Hi Karra,

Before you can put in an application for a visa  you will need to get a skills assessment from ANMAC. https://www.anmac.org.au/skilled-migration-services

Do check the lists regularly, I know a little while ago, nursing on the skills list for WA was under review.  Someone whose recently been through the process will be able to tell you what it entails but my understanding is you put in an application and then have to wait to be invited to put in an EOI.  Whilst there will be a minimum amount of points required, it is a competition with people with the highest points generally being invited first - irrespective of when they applied.

You don't transfer your registration - you are applying to be registered with AHPRA.  You will be given a registration in principle letter after which you have to present to an AHPRA office in person within 3 months to complete your registration.  https://www.nursingmidwiferyboard.gov.au/Registration-and-Endorsement/International.aspx

It's been a long time since I went through the process, but do check if the English test is required for registration or skills assessment - a lot of people do it to gain extra points, in which case it needs to be done prior to your application in order to claim points for it.

I just want PIO to be a happy place where people are nice to each other and unicorns poop rainbows

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You are right, the process is nowhere near as easy as it used to be.   I think most Brits grow up knowing about the "Ten Pound Poms" and have relatives or friends who migrated, so there's a perception that Australia welcomes migrants with open arms.   Times have changed.   Australia now has a plentiful local workforce and is just as strict as any other country about letting foreigners in.   

It's a competitive process.   Although you can apply with 65 points, only the applicants with the highest points win. The rest just languish in the queue  until they expire, and lose their money. In recent times, no one with less than 85 points has won a 189 visa.   Points are less important if you go for a 190 or 491 visa (which ties you to a specific state), so they would be a more sensible strategy for you.

However, there's more bad news. Every year, they take occupations off the Skilled List.   If your occupation isn't on the list, you can't migrate.  Unfortunately, nursing is one of the occupations that's under review in some states. And if it's under review now, what are the chances of it still being on the list in two years' time?  The rules change so frequently that two years is a long time in migration terms, even in normal times.  Now, with the world in an uproar, no one can predict what they might be like in two years' time.

The bottom line is, put your Australian dream on the backburner and get on with enjoying life, because there's nothing you can do about it right now.  In early 2022, book an initial consultation with a migration agent (it should be free - don't book with anyone who wants to charge you for it), to find out what the current regulations are and what your chances are, and go from there.


Scot by birth, emigrated 1985 | Aussie husband applied UK spouse visa Jan 2015, granted March 2015, moved to UK May 2015 | Returned to Oz June 2016

"The stranger who comes home does not make himself at home but makes home itself strange." -- Rainer Maria Rilke

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