AHPRA advises that the standard timeframe for the assessment of a complete application from overseas, is 4-6 weeks. However…

Don’t forget to take into account the following factors which can significantly add time to the entire process.

The time it takes you to gather your documentation

Gathering your documentation can be one of the lengthiest parts of the process. Many people underestimate the time involved gathering, requesting, and then waiting for documentation to be provided from third parties (such as your university, employers or school!).

When you download the AHPRA application form AGOS-40 you will notice little paperclip symbols throughout. These are all the questions where you will need to attach supporting documentation. A few of these may not apply to you and your circumstances, but most will need documents to be attached or arranged.

To give you an idea, some of the documentation that you will need to provide is listed below;

    • Proof of identity
    • Academic qualification
    • Certificate of Registration Status or Certificate of Good Standing
    • A Statement of Service from your employer(s) covering the past five years
    • A signed and dated curriculum vitae that describes your full practice history
    • An International Criminal History Check

If you are not able to demonstrate English language competency, or if you have been known by another name, there are also additional documents that you will need to provide.

Make sure you also allow enough time to organise and receive all the other documentation that is required from third parties. Remember, your application timeline doesn’t just depend on AHPRAs processing times, but also those of the other institutions and employers that need to process your requests.

It’s also important to note that occasionally throughout the form, AHPRA stipulates that the supporting documentation must come straight from the source. For example, if you have been registered outside Australia, you must arrange for original Certificates of Good Standing or Certificates of Registration Status to be forwarded directly from the registration authority to your chosen AHPRA state or territory office. If you know where you are going to fly into, then you can choose that state’s office – otherwise just log onto www.ahpra.gov.au/About-AHPRA/Contact-Us and choose an office to provide to third parties and also to send your application to as well. It’s not a big deal which office you choose, as long as all your documentation gets sent to the same office. If you apply to one office, you can still present in person and pick up your registration at another office. It is simply just where your application get processed.

In regards to the proof of identity requirements, as an applicant from overseas, you have two options here. You can provide proof of identity documents in full, to satisfy each category, as shown on the AHPRA application form, at section C. However, as an overseas applicant, applying from outside Australia – you also have another option here, and that is to meet the minimum identity requirements. As outlined in this AHPRA Proof of Identity Requirements, with the minimum identity requirements method, all you need to provide is certified copy of your passport. If you have ever been known by another name, you must provide supporting documentation for that as well.

Make sure you also allow enough time to organise and receive all the other documentation that is required from third parties. Remember, your application timeline doesn’t just depend on AHPRAs processing times, but also those of the other institutions and employers that need to process your requests.

It’s also important to note that occasionally throughout the form, AHPRA stipulates that the supporting documentation must come straight from the source. For example, if you have been registered outside Australia, you must arrange for original Certificates of Good Standing or Certificates of Registration Status to be forwarded directly from the registration authority to your chosen AHPRA state or territory office. If you know where you are going to fly into, then you can choose that state’s office – otherwise just log onto www.ahpra.gov.au/About-AHPRA/Contact-Us and choose an office to provide to third parties and also to send your application to as well. It’s not a big deal which office you choose, as long as all your documentation gets sent to the same office. If you apply to one office, you can still present in person and pick up your registration at another office. It is simply just where your application get processed.

Documents must be certified in accordance with AHPRA guidelines

Once you have gathered all your supporting documentation, the next step is to get it all certified. Refer to the back page of your application form, under Information and Definitions, for more information on Certifying Documents. It will save you a lot of time, effort, and potentially money, if you get all your documents in order and certified at the same time. For obvious reasons, AHPRA is very strict with how documents need to be certified. They stipulate that outside Australia, only the following people are authorised to certify documents; Justice of the Peace, a Notary public, an Australian Consular Officer or Australian Diplomatic Officer (within the meaning of the Consular Fees Act 1955), or an Employee of the Commonwealth or the Australian Trade Commission who works outside Australia.

It’s also important to note that you will need to physically visit the Authorised Officer, as they need to certify your documents in the presence of the applicant (you), witness your signature, and also ensure that your photographic documentation is a true likeness of you.

The time it will take for your application to arrive at an AHPRA office

When your application is ready, and you have double checked it, and triple checked it, don’t forget to take into account the time it takes for your parcel to travel to the other side of the world!

Whether your application is complete

When AHPRA receives your application, the first thing they do is internally review it for completeness. If all information and required supporting documentation has been provided, then your application will progress and be assessed against the registration standards.

However, if it is not complete, you need to take into account;

  • the time it will take them to notify you
  • the time it will take for you to source the missing information/documentation
  • the time it will take you to then get the paperwork sent away and certified
  • the time it will take to post it to the otherside of the world, and
  • the time it will take for your AHPRA case officer to finish the application they are working on and then get back to processing yours…

Anyway, I’m sure you get the picture… make sure your application is complete before you send it away!

AHPRA processing times

Like any organisation, AHPRA also has its busy periods when it might take longer for a case officer to be assigned your application. Between October and January there is a significant increase in graduate applications from newly qualified Australian nurses. This influx might have an impact on the speed at which your application is assigned and processed.

Occasionally, delays are also experienced if AHPRA is awaiting the results of your International Criminal History Check from an approved vendor. Obviously, more complicated applications will take longer to review and process.

Summary

So, as you can see, the question of how long will AHPRA take to process my application is not black and white. It depends on a variety of factors as outlined in this article, one of which is your ability to provide a complete application.

Once a complete application has been received by AHPRA – as a general rule, they advise that the standard timeframe for the assessment of a complete application from overseas, is 4-6 weeks.