Overseas Practitioners

To work as a health practitioner in Australia, you need to apply for and be registered with the relevant national board. You may also need to apply for a visa issued by the Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection (Australian Immigration Department).

These two application processes are entirely separate and success in one does not automatically guarantee success in the other.

More information on visa applications, including skills assessments and assessing authorities is available on the Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection website.

Internationally qualified applicants must meet the registration standards of their health profession which includes the English language skills registration standard and the Criminal history registration standard.

Additional requirements also apply to the following professions:

Outline of Criminal history standard

An international criminal history check will be required in circumstances where an applicant declares that they have resided in a country, other than Australia, for a period exceeding 6 months when aged 18 years or more, or if they have declared a criminal history in a jurisdiction outside of Australia.

The applicant will be required to apply and pay the cost for their international criminal history report, for all countries identified, directly to an AHPRA approved supplier before applying for registration.

For further information, please refer to the International criminal history checks page.

Outline of English language skills standard

Internationally qualified applicants who did not complete their secondary education in English must demonstrate that they have the necessary English language skills for registration purposes. For specific requirements for the nursing and midwifery professions refer to Nursing and midwifery frequently asked questions English language skills (190 KB,PDF).

This requires:

  • a minimum score of 7 in each component of the IELTS academic module, OET or specified alternatives
  • test results to be obtained within two years prior to registration application. 


National Boards (with the exception of the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia) may grant an exemption from the requirements where the applicant provides evidence that they:

  • completed secondary education that was taught and assessed in English in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Republic of Ireland, South Africa, United Kingdom or United States of America and
  • hold tertiary qualifications in the relevant professional discipline that was taught and assessed in English in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Republic of Ireland, South Africa, United Kingdom or United States of America.

Registration standards

More information is available in the following registration standards:

Profession  Web page 
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Practice  Registration Standards 
Chinese Medicine Registration Standards 
Chiropractic Registration Standards 
Dental Registration Standards 
Medical Registration Standards 
Medical Radiation Practice Registration Standards 
Nursing and Midwifery Registration Standards 
Occupational Therapy Registration Standards 
Optometry Registration Standards 
Osteopathy  Registration Standards 
Paramedicine Registration Standards
Pharmacy Registration Standards
Physiotherapy Registration Standards 
Podiatry Registration Standards 
Psychology Registration Standards 
Page reviewed 7/03/2019