Australia: Economy slow but overseas nurses still in demand

19 August 2009

According to Australia's Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC), while there has been a significant drop in temporary skilled overseas immigration due to the global economic slowdown, nurses are still in demand.

Temporary immigration applications under the Subclass 457 visa program for registered nurses rose by 18 percent, the only occupation to see an increase in applications. Applications as a whole dropped 11 percent in 2008-09 over the previous year.

"The Subclass 457 visa program is a demand driven scheme that has responded to the slowing economy and reduced demand in the Australian labor market," Immigration Minister Chris Evans said.

"The Rudd Government's priority is to provide training and job opportunities for Australians but there will continue to be demand for skills in some sectors, such as healthcare, so there will still be a need for employers to access skilled overseas workers to fill gaps on a temporary basis," he added.

There has always been significant demand for skilled migrants in the health sector. While many come temporarily under the Subclass 457 visa, others immigrate to Australia permanently under the General Skilled Migration program. One advantage of the General Skilled Migration Program is that you do not need a job offer.