Me and my partner Lottie began the process of moving to Australia in October 2022 where we began the Australian Physio Council accreditation process, including passing our written exams in March before being granted the in principle APHRA registration in May 2023. We were in constant contact with Rosie and Jon from Healthcare Abroad throughout the entire process who were on hand to guide us through each step where required. After much deliberation on suitable locations, we settled on Melbourne which would ease us into the Australian weather rather than heading straight up north! Plus, there is an abundance of sport in Melbourne which made the decision even easier. I had my first interview for a position within a private practice towards the end of May, and Lottie had an interview with an aged care/community physiotherapy provider. A week later we were both offered and accepted our first job in Australia! 

Throughout June and July we began organising our initial Working Holiday Visa, accommodation, and starting the process of Medicare, bank accounts and our tax file number. We were very lucky to secure an apartment in St Kilda a few weeks prior to moving over in August, saving us time and stress when we arrived in Melbourne. 

We landed in Melbourne on August 8th and had one month to travel, explore, and sort the finer details of starting our new life in Australia. After confirming our APHRA general registration we started work in the September! So far, working in Australia has been brilliant! The team has been super supportive in transitioning to a new country and trying to build a patient caseload at the same time. I see a great mix of sports injuries, post-operative rehabilitation, spinal injuries, with a sprinkling of neurological and paediatric conditions. Navigating the multiple claims providers and Workcover agreements can be a minefield, however, I received support from my new team whenever it was needed. Also, Jon was always on hand to answer any work-related questions if I had any! 

Melbourne has been amazing so far! We have travelled throughout Victoria to places including the Mornington Peninsula, Great Ocean Road, The Grampians, and Wilsons Prom (Home to Australia’s best beach!). We have also flown out from Melbourne to see what the East Coast has to offer! Sport is never ending in Melbourne! We have watched the A-League and NRL at AAMI Park, the AFL at the ‘G, the Australian Open at Rod Laver Arena, and the Australian Grand Prix at Albert Park. The local food markets are a must visit, especially the European Food Market at the Queen Vic. Melbourne’s coffee scene is also unbeatable! 

We began our application for our 190 Skilled visa in October and opted for this over the 189 visas as we were aware that Victoria was prioritising healthcare workers currently. 

Firstly, the Skills Assessment from the APC. This is like your original APC application regarding documentation, however, now you need evidence from all previous and current employers, for all the years that you wish to claim for your skilled work either overseas or in Australia. The APC requires payslips, job contracts, position descriptions and a signed reference template for each employer. This can be a tedious task if you don’t have all the documents! Luckily my previous employers back in the UK were extremely helpful in filling out and signing the required forms and assisting with job contracts and payslips if needed. I submitted my skills assessment in October and received a positive outcome in mid-December. 

Next, we completed the English exam with the PTE. This is not a compulsory component, however, completing secondary and tertiary education in the UK and having a British passport only scores you as competent English for visa purposes. Demonstrating that you have superior English can bolster your points total when you come to apply for the points tested visa. This exam tested your speaking, listening, reading, and writing skills and lasted for 2 hours. The exam was not difficult, but I would recommend revising the night before at least as the exam components are slightly confusing. After completing the exam, we received our results the very next day. 

Once we had our skills assessment and our English exam result, we were able to complete the Expression of Interest (EoI) to the state of Victoria, and via the government skills select website. Do not forget to express your interest to the state as this was on a separate website (Live In Melbourne), otherwise they won’t know that you want them to sponsor you! I completed my EoI on the 2nd January which was then accepted on the 24th January. Lottie submitted hers on the 23rd January and was accepted the very next day in the same round! 

I applied for the 190 skilled visa on 11th February 2024 and I was immediately asked to provide further information (S56 Letter). This was for an International Police Check and a medical examination. The medical examination was inevitable as it is a required component for the visa, and you can only book your exam when your visa agent sends you the details to book. However, I uploaded my international police check that was used for my APHRA application which wasn’t an approved company for the visa requirements. The medical and police check was both completed just over one-month later and uploaded to my Immi account on March 17th. On April 10th 2024 my Skilled Nominated 190 Visa was approved and I now have Permanent Residency! 

A huge thank you to both Jon and Rosie at Healthcare Abroad for all their help throughout the entire process, allowing Lottie and I to begin our life down under!

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