Psychologist Pathway to PR

For psychologists who want to migrate to Australia, we have outlined the procedures involved in applying for a permanent residency visa in Australia. This summary is applicable to

  • Clinical Psychologists (ANZSCO 272311)
  • Educational Psychologists (ANZSCO 272312)
  • Organisational Psychologists (ANZSCO 272313)
  • Psychologists (nec) (ANZSCO 272399)

Requirements

  1. Complete a qualification in the relevant field.
  2. Apply for skills assessment.
  3. Upon receiving a successful outcome by the skill assessing authority, you can proceed to apply for a visa in Australia.
Skills Assessment – Australian Psychological Society

To be able to apply for a permanent residency visa, you are required to have a skills assessment. For psychologists, the skills assessing authority is the Australian Psychological Society (APS). Below we will summarise the requirement of APS.

To be eligible for a skills assessment under APS, you must have completed six years of study in psychology that is comparable to Australia and meet the English language proficiency. You must receive a minimum overall score of IELTS 7 in each of the four components (listening, reading, writing and speaking). For APS, you can take the IETLS from two test sittings provided that the two tests occur within six months and you meet other conditions (e.g. no score in any component of the test is below IELTS 6.5).

Alternatively, you may be eligible for a skills assessment if you hold an unconditional general registration as a psychologist in Australia.

You can also have your work experience assessed. To have your employment assessed you must meet the following:

  • Attained a positive skills assessment outcome from APS
  • Worked for at least 20 hours per week for each employment
  • In the past 10 years, you fulfill at least one of the following:
    • You have worked as a general registered psychologist for at least 1 year in Australia
    • You have worked as a registered psychologist for at least 3 years where there is a state/national registration for psychologists (e.g. Canada, New Zealand, South Africa, USA)
    • Since attaining the highest qualification in psychology, you have worked in a psychological role for at least 3 years where there is no state/national registration
    • Since attaining a research-only postgraduate degree in Psychology (PhD), you have worked in an academic role at a recognised tertiary/research institute for at least one year in Australia or 3 years overseas.
Registration

In some cases, you may only be eligible for a visa, if you have a registration. The authoritative body for registration is the Psychology Board of Australia. Details of the registration can be found here.

Potential PR Pathway

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

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 psychologist 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.

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.