Visas for GPs Program

IMPORTANT UPDATE: Visas for GPs Program will end on 16 September 2023. Health Workforce Certificates (HWC) will no longer be a requirement for International Medical Graduates (IMGs) applying for their visa. You can still apply for HWC until 5 September 2023, and HWECs (Exemptions) will be welcomed until 13 September 2023. Read more here.

The Australian Government established the Visas for GPs Program to address the shortage of GPs in rural and remote areas. 

In collaboration with the Better Distribution of Medical Practitioners, this program ensures IMGs work in communities that are lacking in primary healthcare services and makes it easier for people in regional, rural and remote areas to access doctors. 

Under this program, facilities wanting to hire IMGs must apply for a Health Workforce Certificate (HWC). This certificate must be attached to the visa nomination for the IMG requiring an employer sponsored visa. 

Who needs one?

Health Workforce Certificates are expedited for hospital positions, international students graduating from Australian medical schools, and positions at Aboriginal Medical Service and AMDS.

If you are an employer hiring an overseas trained General Practitioner, Resident Medical Officer or Medical Practitioner who requires one of the following visas, you will need a HWC.

  • Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) (subclass 482)
  • Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) (subclass 494) visa
  • Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) (subclass 186)
  • Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS) (subclass 187)

How do I apply for one?

In applying for a Health Workforce Certificate you are required to fill up and send an online form. There are different forms for each type:

If your application is approved, you will be issued a HWC as a PDF attachment to an email. If it is declined or if they need more information, you will be contacted directly.

How much does it cost?

There is no cost for the application and the certificate.

How long will it take?

Processing is around 10 days.

How do I dispute the outcome and how long will it take?

If you don’t agree with the outcome, you can respond to their decision by email requesting they reconsider, including any additional relevant information that might help your case. [Please note that you must request within 30 days from the date of notification.

If you are disputing a decision, be aware that these are passed to the Department of Health and Aged Care to be reviewed by a committee.

Note: The information presented above has been gathered from the Department of Health and Aged Care website and has been updated as of 2023-08-24.

We Can Help You

Our team offers General Practitioners assistance with finding jobs and a career pathway, and Medical Facilities to find a new Medical Practitioner. We also help with the full application process with AHPRA, RACGP, ACRRM, Department of Health, Medicare including 19AA & 19AB. If we can help, please contact us at

People Medical Consulting are a team of professionals with a passion for guiding those specialising in the Medical industry to find their career pathway and settle into Australia. Working with both Australian trained and Overseas trained professionals, we have extensive experience in Recruitment of General Practitioners and Document Assistance for those requiring support with RACGP, AHPRA, 19AA and 19AB Medicare Exemptions.

Information from this blog has been taken directly from:

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