British people love to complain about the weather – and with good cause. Even though the recent summer was glorious by UK standards, winter will often come too quickly and may seem to drag on forever. It's little wonder that people seek an alternative and consider moving to a warmer climate and Australia is often in the cross-hairs. Sadly, it can be very difficult to get a visa to work "down under," unless you happen to be a general practitioner. If you are a GP, how can recent changes in immigration policy help you to break free and head for some sun?
The Australian government has introduced a new system to issue visas for GPs who want to work in Australia, and this came into force in the spring. This is essentially an answer to a temporary skills shortage, and you can use your experience and ability to help meet this demand.
GPs are considered to be in high demand, and consequently, this particular visa may be granted for up to four years at a time. If the skills shortage continues and the rules remain as they are now, then the visa can also be renewed when you are in the country, allowing you to stay in Australia from then on. To make it even better, you are allowed to apply for permanent residency when you are working in accordance with the rules, so this could be exactly what you want -- to escape the drudgery of the British winter for the long term.
Rules and Eligibility
To be eligible for this type of visa, you need to show that you have the required experience and skill level and that you have been working as a GP or in a related field for at least a couple of years. You do need to demonstrate that you are applying on a temporary basis, however, so that you qualify in terms of intent.
The agency in Australia has to show that they cannot fill the position using local labour and that they have advertised extensively to try and do so. While most of the positions must be advertised and filled on a full-time basis, some GPs may be allowed to work as a self-employed contractor, if that would be more attractive.
It is worth looking into the details here and getting in touch with a local general practitioner jobs agency to set the ball in motion. You've worked long and hard to achieve the qualification, so it's time for you and your family to take advantage.