EMIGRATING TO AUSTRALIA AS A SPEECH THERAPIST

Due to a lack of local Australians, there’s a high demand for South African Speech Therapists to fill vacancies and qualify for permanent residency.

emigrating to australia as a speech therapist
  • Are you a qualified speech therapist?
  • Under the age of 45 and in good health?
  • Fluent in English?

Then emigrating to Australia could be an option for you!

Continue reading to find out:

  • How to emigrate to as a speech therapist.
  • If you qualify for residency in Australia.
  • The immigration process to follow.

Let's start with the basics......

Introducing ANZSCO

ANZSCO, short for ‘Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations’, plays a very important part in your emigration journey and is the first place we're going to explore.

ANZSCO publish the Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List ( MLTSSL). This is the list of occupations that Australia needs to fill market labour gaps. In other words it is the list of occupations that may be elgible to qualify for residency in Australia.

It's an exclusive club with only 176 occupations currently listed on it. If your occupation is not one of the 176, skilled independent emigration to Australia is unfortunately not going to be an option for you.

Here's the good news - speech therapists, or speech pathologists, are on the MLTSSL . However, it’s only the first piece of the puzzle. Each occupation on the MTLSSL has a code, skill level and assessing authority associated with it.

You have to meet the various requirements attached to each of these qualifiers in order to be eligible for emigration to Australia. Let's explore these in detail...

speech therapist mltssl australia

Speech therapists appears on the Medium and Long-Term Strategic Skills List!

anzsco code speech therapistThe ANZSCO code assigned to speech therapists is 252712. This code gives us with more details as to the criteria speech therapists has to meet in order to qualify to emigrate to Australia.

The first thing we look at is the group that speech therapists fall under:

Major Group: 2 - Professionals | Sub-Major Group: 25 - Health Professionals | Minor Group: 252 - Health Therapy Professionals | Unit Group: 2527 - Audiologists and Speech Pathologists Therapists 

As you can see there are four groups showing how the code is made up – we are mostly interested in the code (252712) which is specific to speech pathologists.

speech therapist australia role descriptionThis part of the ANZSCO criteria lays out a broad description of what a speech therapist is supposed to be able to do:

Provides diagnostic assessment and management of disorders of communication and swallowing through direct intervention, education, consultancy, advocacy, or a combination of these approaches.

Speech therapists, along with most occupations in this unit group, are an occupation at Skill Level 1.

Occupations at this Skill Level must have a level of skill commensurate with a bachelor degree or higher qualification.

At least five years of relevant experience may substitute for the formal qualification. In some instances, relevant experience and/or on-the-job training may be required in addition to the formal qualification.

When applying for emigration as a speech therapist, you must be able to demonstrate or prove that you can perform the majority of the tasks below:

  • Administering and interpreting a wide range of audiometric tests to determine hearing efficiency and locate sites of detected hearing problems.
  • Interpreting audiometric test results alongside other medical, social and behavioural diagnostic data.
  • Evaluating total response pattern and acoustic tests to distinguish between organic and non-organic hearing loss.
  • Planning, directing and participating in counselling, speech reading and other rehabilitation programs.
  • Prescribing appropriate hearing aids and instructing patients in use.
  • Administering tests and observing patients to determine nature and extent of disorders.
  • Planning and conducting programs of remedial exercise to correct disorders such as stuttering and abnormal articulation.
  • Administering individual and group therapy for rehabilitation of patients with communication problems caused by defective hearing, cerebral palsy, surgery and injury.
  • Advising on treatment for children with difficulties in learning to speak.
  • Counselling and guiding language-handicapped individuals, their families, teachers and employers.

important speech therapist australiaUnless you qualified in Australia or New Zealand, your qualification means nothing at this stage.

Seeing as you’re reading this, it’s unlikely that you have qualified in either country.

That means registration or licensing is required. In other words, you can’t just arrive in Australia and start working.

You’ll have to get formally assessed to prove to the Australian authorities that you meet Australia’s immigration criteria.

australian job interviewMost people start their emigration journey by looking for a job in Australia. This is understandable, since emigrating with a job already secured makes moving to another country much less daunting.

However, starting with the job is not the best way to go about emigrating.

You want to start with an assessment to see if you qualify for a visa and by obtaining any required licenses and registrations.

Here’s why – if you don’t know if you’re eligible to apply for a visa and are unlicensed, most Australian employers will be hesitant to extend a job offer to you.

The golden rule? Assessment first, finding a job second.

Book your free consultation here

Find out whether it is worth being assessed for emigrating to Australia as a speech therapist.

Additional requirements - A points score of at least 65

PART 1 – Age

18 – 25

25

25 – 32

30

32 – 39

25

40 – 44

15

45 – 49

0

As you can see speech therapists in the right age bracket can achieve as much as 50% of the required 65 points just by being in the right age group.

PART 2 – English language

Superior English - IELTS 8 or more in all 4 components or OET ‘A pass’

20

Proficient English - IELTS 7 or more in all 4 components or OET ‘B pass’

10

Threshold English: Competent English (IELTS 6 or more in all 4 components or certain passport holders)

0

The English language test is very important in scoring points. As you can see it can be as much as 20 points but be warned if you are not a native speaker it can be a challenge.

PART 3 – Overseas employment experience

36 months (3 years) in the last 10 years

5

60 months (5 years) in the last 10 years

10

96 months (8 years) in the last 10 years

15

Overseas means employment not in Australia and as per the table above we are looking for at least 3 years in your occupation as an speech therapist to make emigration to Australia possible.

PART 4 – Australian employment experience

Points are available if an applicant has worked in Australia in their nominated occupation or closely related skilled occupation as follows: 

 Years

Points

1 year

5

3 years

10

5 years

15

8 years

20

Note that a maximum of 20 points can be awarded for a combination of Australian and overseas work experience
.

PART 5 – Australian professional year

5 points are awarded if you have completed a professional year in Australia, in your nominated occupation as a speech therapist or closely related occupation.

PART 6 – Educational qualifications

Points are awarded for the completion of qualifications either through an Australian educational institution or an overseas qualification for which the Minister is satisfied is of a recognised standard:

Doctorate (PhD) – Australian institution or recognised overseas institution

20

Bachelor degree or higher – Australian institution or recognised overseas institution

15

Diploma – Australian institution

10

Trade certificate – Australian institution

10

Qualification or award recognised by the relevant assessing authority for the applicant’s nominated occupation

10

Applicants only receive points for their highest single qualification – it is not possible to claim points for more than one qualification under this part.

PART 7 – Australian study

Applicants who have met the two-year Australian study requirement can obtain 5 points.

PART 8 – Credentialed community language

NAATI-accredited translators and interpreters at the paraprofessional (level 2) or higher are eligible for 5 points. A list of languages is not specified, so by implication any language assessed by NAATI at the paraprofessional level or higher should be acceptable.

PART 9 – Study in a regional or low-population growth metropolitan area of Australia

Criteria are:

  • Applicant meets the 2-year Australian study requirement;

  • Studies were conducted at a campus in regional Australia or a low-population growth metropolitan area;

  • Applicant lived in in regional Australia or a low-population growth metropolitan area  during the study;

  • None of the studies was via distance education.

The relevant regional areas are all parts of Australia, excluding: greater Brisbane area, the Gold Coast, Newcastle, the Central Coast, Sydney, Wollongong, Melbourne metropolitan area, Perth and surrounding areas and the Australian Capital Territory.

.

PART 10 – Partner skill

Applicant’s spouse or defacto partner:

  • Is an applicant for the same GSM visa subclass;

  • Is not an Australian permanent resident or citizen;

  • Was under 50 at the time of invitation to apply for the visa;

  • Nominated a skilled occupation at the time of invitation to apply for the visa;

  • Had a suitable skills assessment in their occupation at time of invitation to apply for the visa; and

  • Had competent English at the time of invitation to apply for the visa.

PART 11 – State or Territory nomination

One way of gaining extra points as a speech therapist seeking to emigrate to Australia is to look at state or territory nomination. Whilst this commits you to living in a certain state for or territory for 2 years it can mean those vital extra points are earned.

If you are able to look at the 190 visa option the following factors apply in order to gain 5 additional points.

  • The applicant has been invited to apply for the visa by a State or Territory government; and

  • The nomination has not been withdrawn by the State or Territory government.

If you are able to look at the 489 visa option the following factors apply in order to gain 10 additional points.

  • The applicant has been invited to apply for the visa by a State or Territory government; and

  • The nomination has  not been withdrawn by the State or Territory government.

  • The applicant has been sponsored by a relative usually resident in a designated area; and

  • The sponsorship has been accepted by the Minister.

The assessment of your occupation

speech pathology australiaSpeech Pathology Australia (SPA) is recognized as the national professional standards organization for speech therapists in Australia. The Association is also recognized by the Australian Government and the Department of Education and Training as the assessing authority for speech pathologists intending to apply for skilled migration to Australia.

There are two types of applications you may make. These are:

1. Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA) Application

You may use the MRA Application if you hold certification from or have membership of one of the associations listed below:

  • American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) – Certificate of Clinical Competence – Speech-Language Pathology (CCC-SLP)
  • Speech Language and Audiology Canada (SAC) – Clinically Certified Speech-Language Pathologist (S-LP(C))
  • Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists (RCSLT) – Certified Member (Cert MRCSLT)
  • Irish Association of Speech and Language Therapists (IASLT) – Full Member
  • New Zealand Speech-Language Therapists’ Association (NZSLTA) – Full Member (with the exception of those who graduated before 1993, who are not eligible to apply under this agreement).

2. Overseas Qualification Competency Assessment Application

If you are not eligible to submit a MRA Application and have the evidence to demonstrate your competence as a speech pathologist, you should complete the Overseas Qualification Competency Assessment.

You must be eligible for Certified Practising membership of Speech Pathology Australia to work in most organisations in Australia. To be eligible for Certified Practising membership, you must demonstrate that you:

  • Meet the Competency Based Occupations Standards for practice;
  • Are competent in the use of English in the Australia context; and
  • Have worked as a speech pathologist for at least 100 hours in the previous five years.

english language skills speech therapist australiaA comprehensive knowledge of English is essential to the practice of speech therapy in Australia. This is why you have to meet certain English language requirements.

Native speakers of English, born and educated in the UK, Ireland, Canada, USA, New Zealand or South Africa may apply for exemption from the OET/IELTS/TOEFL-iBT English language test.

If your first language is not English, you’ll have to meet the following requirements:

  • B pass or higher in each section of the Occupational English Test; or
  • Score of Band 7 in each section of the academic module of the International English Language Testing System (IELTS); or
  • Scores in the TOEFL-iBT of at least 24 in Listening, 24 in Reading, 27 in Writing and 23 in Speaking; or
  • A score of at least 65 in the four communicative skills (listening, reading, writing and speaking) of the PTE academic.

Should you fail to achieve the required standard in one of these examinations, you must re-sit the entire exam. The Board of Examiners does not permit re-sit of sub-sections of any English exam.

importantBefore you go through the assessment process you need to be aware that it is costly. You should always first be formally assessed by a licensed immigration agent (such as ourselves) and receive a recommendation that:

  • Is clear in its recommendations;
  • Confirms you can meet all the requirements;
  • Outlines all the costs;
  • Is in writing, with a defined step-by-step process.

Getting it wrong could cost you a lot of money as well as jeopardise your application.

More about the basic requirements

health requirementsAll applicants for permanent and provisional visas must be assessed against Australia's health requirements. This includes the:

  • Main applicant;
  • Spouse; and
  • Any other members of the family unit

Additionally, in certain cases, family members who are not included in the visa application (non-migrating family members) will also be assessed against the health requirement.

The Department of Home Affairs or the migration medical services provider will evaluate your completed health exam reports and decide whether or not you, and any other family members, meet Australia's health requirements.

Everyone who wants to enter Australia must be of good character and will be assessed against the character requirements. As part of your visa application, you might be required to provide a police clearance certificate or other evidence to satisfy the character requirements.

  • You will not pass the character test if:

    • you have a substantial criminal record, meaning you have been sentenced to 12 months or more in prison, or multiple sentences that add up to more than 12 months in prison. A suspended sentence is considered a prison sentence.

    • you have been convicted of escaping from immigration detention, or convicted for an offence that you committed:

      • while you were in immigration detention,

      • during an escape from immigration detention,

      • after an escape, but before you were taken into immigration detention again.

  • You are or have been a member of a group or organisation, or had or have an association with a person, group or organisation that the Minister for Immigration reasonably suspects of involvement in criminal conduct

  • The Minister for Immigration reasonably suspects that you have been involved in people smuggling, people trafficking, genocide, a war crime, a crime against humanity, a crime involving torture or slavery, or a crime that is of serious international concern, whether or not you have been convicted of such an offence

  • Your past and present criminal or general conduct shows that you are not of good character

  • There is a risk that while you are in Australia you would:

    • engage in criminal conduct,

    • harass, molest, intimidate or stalk another person,

    • vilify a segment of the Australian community,

    • incite discord in the Australian community or in a part of it,

    • be a danger to the Australian community or a part of it.

  • You have been convicted of, or found guilty or had a charge proven for one or more sexually based offences involving a child,

  • You are subject to an adverse security assessment by the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation

  • You are subject to an Interpol notice, from which it is reasonable to infer that you a direct or indirect risk to the Australian community, or a segment of the Australian community.

english language test emigrating australia speech therapistSpeech therapists looking to emigrate to Australia must achieve a minimum level of 7 in an IELTS or its equivalent.

Please note: Your immigration agent should advise you on which English language test would be best for you.

points test score emigrating australia speech therapistEmigrating to Australia as a speech therapist will only be possible if you achieve a points score of at least 65. 

Your emigration as a speech therapist

There is no single right way to approach emigration.

Why do we say this? Because each person who applies for emigration is unique and so is their personal circumstances. No two applications are ever exactly the same.

The worst mistake you can make is assuming you know all the parts of your visa application or all the requirements to meet. Getting it wrong could mean wasting a lot of money and quite possibly a failed application too. 

The key to getting it right, based on your circumstances, is a tailored emigration plan. Continue reading to find out more...

You need a tailored emigration plan

Let's assume you’re a native Afrikaans speaker - your English is okay. However, you have not been in a test environment for a number of years. It might thus be a daunting prospect to have to do an English Language exam and having to achieve a minimum points score in not one, but four areas.

In this case our advice would be to tick off the English test before spending money on a skills assessment.

On the other hand, your English could be superb and of no concern. Then the skills assessment can be done straight away.

Or, another alternative, maybe emigration is simply too expensive for you to pursue at all?

The point we’re trying to make is that each person’s situation is unique. This fact makes it necessary to obtain a tailored emigration plan that clearly outlines the process and costs associated with each step - based on your unique situation.

Here's how you should start your emigration...

start emigration speech therapist australiaThe first step in your emigration process should always be a free initial consultation to determine if you meet the basic criteria for emigration to Australia.

A consultation will also give you the chance to see how the licensed immigration agent you’ve chosen interacts with you. You can then decide whether or not you feel comfortable working with this agent.

If the signs are good, DO NOT make the mistake of going ahead with a visa application until you've undergone a formal assessment. This is an in-depth process during which you’ll be asked to complete a questionnaire and provide supporting documents.

The result of a formal assessment is a written report highlighting your emigration route and options as well as the immigration criteria and all the costs.

Book your free consultation here

Find out more about emigrating to Australia as a speech therapist and see if you should get a formal assessment done.

TOP