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UK GPs moving to Australia: Last chance to avoid new changes

10 May 2019 | UK/Ireland GPs | 4 minutes read

UK GPs moving to Australia: Last chance to avoid new changes

The RACGP has announced new changes that will force all overseas GPs to work in regional and rural areas and delay their eligibility for permanent residency. The changes will be effective 1 September, but any applications received by early July will be eligible to gain entry under the current system – including gaining Specialist Registration on arrival.

These changes came hard on the heels of new visa restrictions introduced on 12 March which are also designed to force overseas trained doctors to work outside metropolitan areas. Our team has worked hard to scope out that last metropolitan options that will allow UK GPs to get skilled visas.

What has changed?

From the 1st of September 2019 the RACGPs assessment program will change considerably, the Specialist Recognition Program and the provision of FAEG will be removed and replaced with the RACGP’s Practice Experience Program (PEP) – Specialist Stream. There are a number of significant changes – however we believe the most challenging is that overseas trained GPs will be forced to work in rural areas (MMM2+ Modified Monash Model). There will also be a 12 month period of supervision and UK GPs will no longer receive Specialist Registration which will reduce access to Permanent Residency visas.

In addition, the Australian Government has significantly increased the eligibility requirements for Permanent Residency visas.  The only good news is that GPs under the PEP-specialist stream will have access to full Medicare rebates even though they will be non-Specialists.

When would I need to move?

If you want to come to Australia under the current system, you would need to start your RACGP application now, and have the full application submitted by early July to meet the September deadline. As part of this you will need to have a job offer and we recommend that you secure a position asap so there are no issues with your application.

Your RACGP application will take 6-8 weeks to be processed and then you will need to make the move within 6 months from the date your FAEG is granted. So ideally you would plan to be in the country no later than the end of March 2020.

Alecto Australia has a highly experienced Registration advisor who can guide you through this process.

What options are there if I still want to come to Australia?

Between this change and the requirement to get a Health Workforce Certificate in order to get a temporary working visa, it is becoming increasingly difficult to relocate to Australia.  Our team has worked hard to scope out some great metropolitan job opportunities that are still available for GPs who want to take action before the latest changes are implemented.

The best locations that are available now are:


Queensland’s buzzing riverside capital city is wedged between the ocean and rugged national parks. Brisbane is a cosmopolitan hub for arts, culture and dining but still retains a close connection with nature and a classic laid-back Queensland attitude.

  • 70% of billings, experienced supportive owner, 30mins to Brisbane – See job here


A modern city with lots of amenities, close to the coast and popular skiing areas in winter, and only 3 hours’ drive from Sydney. There are several jobs available:

  • 65% of billings at a mixed billing practice, 10mins from Canberra CBD. – See job here
  • 65% of billings with a minimum guarantee, at a mixed billing practice. – See job here


A large regional centre 2 hours drive from Melbourne. Good access to ski fields and popular hiking areas.

  • 65% of billings, focus on teaching & education, mixed billing.
    See job here


A large coastal town 2 hours drive south of Perth, and 30 mins from the Margaret River Wine region. 

  • 60-65% of billings, mixed billing practice, amazing beaches – See job here


Extending from Melbourne’s eastern suburbs to the New South Wales border, Gippsland offers a variety of natural attractions like nowhere else in Victoria. It boasts fabulous beaches, rainforests, snowfields, hiking and riding trails and much more.

  • 60-65% of billings, mixed billing practice, amazing beaches – See job here

If you are interested in moving to any of the locations listed above – please contact us asap on

Please also let us know if you are interested in new locations that become available so that we can give you an update.

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