COVID-19 information for our workforce
COVID-19 information for our workforce
| By Craig Gibson

Have questions about visas and working as a nurse in Australia?

Want to make the journey down under and have a go at nursing in Australia?

Like anyone who is not an Aussie you will have to comply with local immigration laws and qualify for a visa so you can register and work here as a nurse. The good news is that we need all the nurses we can get (there’s a shortage), so if you have the right qualifications there should be nothing stopping you booking that flight!

Read on for an overview of the most common visa options for international nurses, especially if you are thinking of moving to Australia from the UK or Ireland, including the:

  • Working Holiday Visa (Subclass 417)
  • Temporary Skills Shortage (TSS) Visa (Subclass 482)
  • Permanent (temporary or permanent residency)

Visa options for nurses in Australia

There are a few options when it comes to visas, depending if you are looking at a working holiday, staying a little longer or something more permanent. 

Let's take a closer look.

Working Holiday Visa (Subclass 417)

If you are wondering if you can work as a nurse in Australia on a Working Holiday visa (WHV) or Working Holiday Maker (WHM) visa, the answer is yes! It’s the perfect option if you want to see the great land of Oz, and have an extended holiday while you get work experience and earn some $$$. 

The WHV - known by its code number 417 - allows you to:

  • Travel and work in Australia for up to 12 months. 
  • Study while you are in Australia (for a set period).

Requirements for the WHV (Subclass 417)

Like any visa there are some T&C’s that apply to a WHV - and these are some of the main requirements and limitations. 

  • If you are a UK or Irish citizen you need to be aged 18 to 35. 
  • You need to have a return ticket or at least sufficient funds for a return ticket when you arrive.
  • You must apply online from outside Australia.
  • You can’t enter the country accompanied by dependent children.

You can apply for a second Working Holiday visa if you meet certain eligibility criteria.

Let’s now look at an option for staying a little longer, the Temporary Skills Shortage (TSS) visa.

Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa (Subclass 482)

Want to test the waters before committing to a permanent move? 

Then the Temporary Skills Shortage (TSS) visa (Subclass 482) could be just the thing for a longer stay. It was developed to cover labour shortages in Australia - including registered nurses, which are currently on the government Short-Term Skilled Occupations List (STSOL). 

The difference is that you need to have a sponsoring employer (that’s us!), with a valid job offer from an Australian employer for the TSS 482 visa. This then gives you the option to stay and work in Australia for up to four years.

Requirements for the TSS (Subclass 482)

The TSS/482 visa is more flexible than the WHV in that it allows: 

  • Your spouse and children to accompany you to Australia.
  • Your spouse to have unlimited work rights while they are in Australia. 

You may also be wanting to make the move permanent, and settle in Australia forever!

Thinking Permanent (temporary or permanent residency)

If you are a nurse and want to make Oz your home (we get it!), then there are a few options open to you on the visa front. 

Currently, registered nurses are on the government’s Medium and LongTerm Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL), so you could apply to stay for up to four years, and then look to make your stay permanent.

Keen to jump on a plane and start your adventure? Be sure to check out our page dedicated to all visa options for international nurses. You can also call our international teams based in the UK and Ireland (on the numbers below), who can answer all your questions and even help make the move. You are also free to drop our team an email at: