International medical graduates

International Medical Graduates (IMGs) can enter Australia on a temporary or a permanent basis to fill positions in the medical workforce that cannot be readily filled by a suitably qualified Australian doctor. 

This policy is known as Area of Need.

Read about Area of Need declarations.

Immigrating to Australia

In most cases, overseas doctors must be sponsored, usually by their employer in Australia, to work in an Area of Need. 

Overseas doctors must meet normal immigration requirements with respect to good health and provide local police clearances for all countries in which they have lived for more than one year during the last ten years.

For more information on immigration and registration go to the following websites:

If you are an IMG and you have queries or concerns about your rights and responsibilities under the 457 visa scheme, contact the Department of Immigration on 131 881.

If you need any help with translating or interpreting contact the Translating and Interpreting Service on 131 450.

Application process

To work in the Northern Territory as an IMGyou need to take the following steps:

  1. Registration with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA). Go to the AHPRA website.
  2. English language testing is mandatory for any overseas trained doctor who is registering with the Northern Territory Medical Board. Go to the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) website.
  3. Successful completion of the Australian Medical Council (AMC) examination and assessment process. Go to the AMC website.
  4. Successful application for a job.
  5. Application for the relevant visa with is compulsory if you are not a permanent resident or Australian citizen.
  6. Application for a Medicare Provider Number with the Health Insurance Commission. Once you are employed, your employer will assist with this process.


IMGs will need the following documentation to apply:

  • a current passport with appropriate working visa
  • an original or certified copy of medical degree
    • if the degree is not in English, a certified copy of an official translation is required
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • references - the names and addresses of three reputable people who can recommend your character and work performance
  • results of the International English Language Tests (IELTS) 

If your name is different from what is recorded in the documentation supplied, please provide supporting documentation identifying the change of name.

Last updated: 07 December 2019

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