Visas for Overseas Trained Doctors

From March 2019, Overseas Trained Doctors wanting to practice in Australia are required to obtain a Health Workforce Certificate in order to qualify for a visa. The new requirement is part of the Australian Government’s Visas for GPs initiative which aims to direct incoming doctors to rural, remote and regional areas of Australia where access to primary healthcare is more limited than urban areas.

Ochre Health was born in the Australian bush – in the Outback town of Bourke in NSW. Today we are the leading provider of healthcare to Australia’s rural and regional communities. While eligibility for a Health Workforce Certificate is judged on an individual basis rather than using existing classifications, 80% of our medical centres operate in locations defined as rural, remote or regional “areas of need”.

Ochre Health runs medical centres located in the following areas currently classified as Distribution Priority Areas (DPA) and/or with Modified Monash Model (MMM) categorisation 3-7 based on primary healthcare needs:





1. Kingsthorpe QLD YES 2
2. Oakey QLD YES 5
3. Maleny QLD YES 5
4. Wyalla QLD YES 2
5. Barham NSW YES 5
6. Bathurst NSW YES 3
7. Boggabri NSW YES 3
8. Cooma NSW YES 4
9. Deniliquin NSW YES 4
10. Grafton NSW NO 3
11. Lithgow NSW NO 4
12. Parkes NSW NO 4
13. Tea Gardens NSW YES 5
14. Bruce ACT YES 1
15. Casey ACT YES 1
16. Kippax ACT YES 1
17. Cohuna VIC YES 5
18. Lancefield VIC YES 5
19. Bridport TAS YES 5
20. Flinders Island TAS YES 7
21. King Island TAS YES 7
22. Queenstown TAS YES 6
23. Rosebery TAS YES 6
24. Scottsdale TAS YES 5
25. St Helens TAS YES 5
26. Strahan TAS YES 6
27. Zeehan TAS YES 6

Key points on the new system for Overseas Trained Doctors:

  • Health Workforce Certificates (HWCs) are linked to a particular position rather than an individual doctor or a location. Medical practices need an HWC to be granted for each overseas trained doctor they are looking to recruit.
  • In addition to obtaining an HWC, Overseas Trained Doctors still need to satisfy Sections 19AAand 19AB of the Health Insurance Act.
  • An HWC can be issued for an eligible position as long as a nominated Overseas Trained Doctor is included in the application. The certificate lasts for 3 months during which time the practice must lodge the visa application. If the application is not made within the timeframe, a new HWC application is required.
  • Expedited HWC applications (for rural or remote areas defined by MMM categories 3-7, Aboriginal Medical Service, or existing doctors seeking an extension to existing working arrangements) will be processed in two working days.
  • Standard applications will be processed in five to ten working days.
  • There is no cost for the application process.
  • Overseas trained doctors already practicing in Australia on 457 or 482/TSS visas that are looking to move to a new position in a different location will need an HWC, even if they do not have an HWC for position in which they are currently working.



Please select the practice you'd like to book.