Registered Nurse Pathway to PR

For registered nurses who want to migrate to Australia, we have outlined the procedures involved in applying for a permanent residency visa in Australia.


  1. Complete a qualification and training in the relevant field.
  2. Apply for skills assessment upon registration.
  3. Upon receiving a successful outcome from the skills assessing authority, you can proceed to apply for a visa in Australia.


Skills Assessment – Medical Board of Australia

To be able to apply for a permanent residency visa, you are required to have a skills assessment. For registered nurses, the skills assessing authority is the Australian Nursing & Midwifery Accreditation Council (ANMAC).  ANMAC can assess internationally qualified nurses or international students studying nursing in Australia and who have completed their course and are registered in Australia or New Zealand.

Full Skills Assessment

You would have to do a full skills assessment if you do not have a registration in Australia, but you have at minimum a Bachelor of Nursing degree from Canada, Hong Kong, Ireland, UK or USA , and you also hold a registration in the same country. If you are an enrolled nurse, you are not qualified to do the skill assessment under this stream.

Modified Skills Assessment

The modified skills assessment is for nurses who are registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA) or the Nursing Council of New Zealand (NCNZ).

If you have a registration, opt for this option when you are applying for your skills assessment.

Modified Plus Skills Assessment

This stream is available to nurses who holds a ‘Notice of in principle approval of registration subject to proof of identity’ from the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA).

If you are not registered in Australia but you the above notice, you should apply for a skills assessment under the Modified Plus Skills Assessment pathway.

Registration – Nursing and Midwifery Board

One of NMDA mandate is to act as the registration body for nurses. To register as a nurse, there are mandatory registration requirements that must be met. They include registration standards for:

  • Criminal History
  • English Language Competency
  • Continuing Professional Development
  • Professional indemnity insurance arrangements
  • Recency of practice
Study Nursing in Australia to PR Pathway

Nursing is becoming a popular course as Australia is in need to registered nurses in different clinical areas to support the health system post pandemic. Registered nurses have also been given priority in obtaining work visas, skilled visa with pathway to Australian permanent residency.

This article will detail the steps to prepare for Australian permanent residency application if you study nursing in Australia.

Advantages of studying nursing
Specialised clinical areas

After graduation, you can choose to work in the below areas

Steps to prepare for Permanent residency application

After you graduate from a nursing course, you can start preparing for your permanent residency. There are a few steps involved, and you should plan for each step carefully to ultimately achieve your goal.

Potential PR Pathway

Nurses are generally on the medium and long-term strategic skills list. This means there are more potential PR visas that you can apply for.

Skilled visas:

Points will be given to you based on the following:

Subclass 189 – Skilled Independent Visa

This visa allows you to live, work and study in Australia permanently. It is a points tested visa. The minimum score to apply is 65 points. However, based on the previous round of invitation, you would need to achieve a score of at least 90 points to increase your chance of obtaining an invitation.

Subclass 190 – Skilled Nominated Visa

Similar to the Subclass 189 visa, this visa allows you to live, work and study in Australia permanently too. It is also a points tested visa. The minimum points to be eligible to apply is 65 points. For the subclass 190 visa, you must have a state who is willing to nominate you. States have their own occupation list. If registered nurse is on the state occupation list and you meet all the state’s eligibility criteria, you can apply to the state to nominate you.

Subclass 491 – Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) Visa

Although this visa is not permanent. It can lead to a permanent visa (Subclass 191 – Skilled Regional Visa). The Subclass 491 visa allows you to live, work and study in a designated regional area of Australia. It is also a points tested visa. The minimum points to be eligible to apply is 65 points. Another criterion of this visa is that you are nominated by a state or sponsored by an eligible relative. To be nominated by the state, you must check the state’s occupation list and meet all the state’s requirements. To be sponsored by your eligible relative, your relative must be a usual resident in a designated regional area of Australia.

Employer Sponsored Visas:

Subclass 494 – Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional Visa)

You can apply for subclass 494 if you have a regional employer who is willing to sponsor you. To be eligible for this visa, you must have at least 3 years of working experience in your nominated occupation and have a relevant skills assessment. With this visa, there is a requirement that you must work for the employer who is sponsoring you.

Subclass 191 -Permanent Residence Skilled Regional Visa

This visa will come into effect on 16 November 2022. It is for people who holds a Subclass 491 visa or Subclass 494 visa who have lived, worked or studied in the designated regional area for at least 3 years with a taxable income at or above $53,900. This visa will allow you to live work and study in Australia permanently.

Subclass 186 – Employer Nomination Scheme Visa

If you have an employer who is willing to sponsor you, you may be eligible for a Subclass 186 visa. This visa is permanent and will allow you to live, work and study in Australia indefinitely. To be eligible for this visa, you need to have at least 3 years of working experience in your nominated occupation and a positive skills assessment. Alternatively, if you are a holder of a Subclass 457 or TSS visa, you can apply for Subclass 186 after working for your employer for at least 3 years.