emigrating to australia as a veterinarian
  • Are you a qualified veterinarian?
  • Under the age of 45?
  • Fluent in English?

Then emigrating to Australia could be an option for you! Keep reading to find out:

  • How do I emigrate as a veterinarian?
  • Do I meet the requirements?
  • What's the process I should follow?

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

Introducing ANZSCO

ANZSCO is short for ‘Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations’.

ANZSCO publishes the skill shortage lists and thus plays an important role in your emigration.

One of these lists is the Medium and Long-Term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL). Only 176 occupations are on this list at the moment. If your occupation is not on the list, then skilled independent migration to Australia is unfortunately not going to happen for you.

anzsco search emigrating australia

Here's the good news - veterinarians are on the MLTSSL

Veterinarian is an eligible occupation! Not so fast though. Each occupation on the MTLSSL has a code, skill level and assessing authority assigned to it. You have to meet various requirements attached to each of these qualifiers in order to be eligible for migration to Australia.

Let’s look at each of these in detail, shall we?

The ANZSCO code

veterinarian australia anzsco codeThe ANZSCO code assigned to veterinarians is 234711. This code carries gives us more details as to the criteria veterinarians must meet in order to qualify for emigration to Australia.

The first thing we look at is the group that veterinarians fall under. In this case:

Major Group: 2 - Professionals | Sub-Major Group: 23 - Design, Engineering, Science and Transport Professionals | Minor Group: 234 - Natural and Physical Science Professionals | Unit Group: 2347 - Veterinarians.

As you can see there are four groups showing how the code is made up – we are mostly interested in the code (234711) which is specific to veterinarians.

This part of the ANZSCO criteria lays out a broad description of what a veterinarian is supposed to be able to do:

Diagnose, treats and prevents animal diseases, ailments and injuries.

veterinarian australia skill levelVeterinarians, 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.

A veterinarian emigrating to Australia is also expected to have experience in certain tasks associated with being a veterinarian. 


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

  • Treating animals medically and surgically, and administering and prescribing drugs, analgesics, and general and local anaesthetics.
  • Determining the presence and nature of abnormal conditions by physical examination, laboratory testing and through diagnostic imaging techniques including radiography and ultrasound. 
  • Performing surgery, dressing wounds and setting bones. 
  • Rendering obstetric services to animals. 
  • Participating in programs designed to prevent the occurrence and spread of animal diseases.
  • Inoculating animals against, and testing for, infectious diseases and notifying authorities of outbreaks of infectious animal diseases. 
  • Performing autopsies to determine cause of death. 
  • Advising clients on health nutrition and feeding, hygiene, breeding and care of animals. 
  • Providing professional services to commercial firms producing biological and pharmaceutical products. 
  • Specialising in the treatment of a particular animal group or in a particular specialty area such as cardiology, chiropractic, dermatology or critical care.

veterinarian australia importantUnless you qualified in Australia or New Zealand, you'll have to register with the relevant professional bodies and acquire the necessary licensing in order to be able to work in Australia.

In other words, you can't just go to Australia and start working. You’ll have to be formally assessed to prove to the Australian authorities that you meet Australia’s immigration criteria.

veterinarian australia job adviceMany people start their emigration journey by looking for a job in Australia. This is understandable, since emigrating with a job already secured makes emigrating less daunting.

However, this is not the way to do.

When you start with the job search, you’ll be applying as an ‘unqualified’ applicant – someone who is not licensed to perform the job you are applying for. Unfortunately, most employers will be put off by this.

Rule number 1? Start your emigration by getting your qualification assessed and get licensed before applying for jobs.

Want to know if you're eligible to emigrate to Australia as a veterinarian?

Useful links

Additional requirements - A points score of at least 65

PART 1 – Age

18 – 25


25 – 32


32 – 39


40 – 44


45 – 49


As you can see a veterinarian who fits into the 25 to 32 age bracket can achieve as much as 50% of the required 65 points.

PART 2 – English language

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


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


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


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


60 months (5 years) in the last 10 years


96 months (8 years) in the last 10 years


Overseas means employment not in Australia and as per the table above we are looking for at least 3 years in your occupation as a veterinarian 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:



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 veterinarian 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


Bachelor degree or higher – Australian institution or recognised overseas institution


Diploma – Australian institution


Trade certificate – Australian institution


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


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 the age of 45 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 veterinarian 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.

More about the assessment of your occupation

veterinarian australia assessing authorityIf you are emigrating to Australia and seeking recognition as a qualified veterinarian for employment purposes, the Australian Veterinary Boards Council Inc (AVBC) will carry out your skills assessment.

On behalf of the Australian Government, the AVBC will assess your skills as ‘Suitable’ or ‘Not Suitable’ for your nominated occupation against the requirements it has established.

If you intend to work as a veterinarian in Australia you must be registered with the veterinary registration board of the state or territory in which you are working. To be eligible to apply for registration you must either:

  • Have obtained an AVBC accredited veterinary qualification in Australia or New Zealand; or
  • Be eligible to apply for registration without further examination; or
  • Have successfully completed the National Veterinary Examination.

veterinarian australia english requirementsA comprehensive knowledge of English is essential to the practice of veterinary science 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.

If you can answer ‘yes’ to all of the following, you are ready to apply for a skills assessment:

  • Is your qualification on the list of qualifications generally recognised?
  • Do you meet the English requirements?
  • Have you registered with an Australian state or territory registration board?
  • Have you gathered all relevant documents and certified copies as listed on the checklist?
  • Have you decided whether or not you need an assessment of further veterinary qualifications or professional employment experience? If so, have you gathered the relevant documents?

veterinarian australia word of warningYou should never go ahead with an occupational assessment without knowing if you qualify to live and work in Australia.

This means being formally assessed by a licensed immigration agent, such as ourselves, and getting a written report that: 

  •  Makes clear recommendations;
  • Confirms you meet all the requirements;
  • Outlines all the costs; and
  • Provides a defined step-by-step process.

Getting your occupation assessed without knowing if you're eligible for emigration could cost you a lot of money and jeopardise your visa application.

More about the basic requirements

veterinarian australia health requirementsAustralia wants to maintain its excellent health standards and therefore most visa applicants have to meet certain health requirements.

The health requirements apply to permanent and provisional visa applicants which includes: 

  • The main applicant;
  • The Spouse; and
  • Any members of the family unit.  

In certain circumstances, family members who are not applying for the visa (non-migrating family members) will be assessed against the health requirement.

The Department of Home Affairs or the migration medical services provider will evaluate your health examination reports and decide if you 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.

veterinarian australia english language requirementsAs a veterinarian seeking to emigrate to Australia you will need to have the minimum level of 7 in IELTS or equivalent.

Please note: Your immigration agent should advise you on which test will suit you best, for example Pearsons or IELTS.

As covered earlier, you must achieve a points score of at least 65 in your assessment.  

Your emigration as a veterinarian

There is no standard answer to the question “What should I do to emigrate?”

Each person is unique and so is their circumstances. Your particular situation will thus determine what is necessary for you to do to emigrate.

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 secret to getting it right is a tailored emigration plan as we explain below...

You need a tailored emigration plan

Let’s look at two scenarios.

Scenario 1: Let’s assume you’re a native Afrikaans speaker. You’re English is okay, but the thought of having to sit an English language exam makes you nervous. Especially because you have to achieve a minimum points score in four different areas!

Scenario 2: Your English is superb and of no concern.

In the first scenario, our advice would be to tick off the English test before spending money on a skills assessment.

However, in the second scenario we’d give you the go-ahead for a skills assessment right away.

The point we’re trying to demonstrate is that each person’s situation is unique. This fact makes a tailored emigration plan a vital piece of your emigration journey. Such an emigration plan must detail the processes and costs at each step – based on your unique circumstances. 

This is how Intergate Emigration can help you

Our team of licensed advisors can assess your eligibility to work in Australia - so that you know for sure if you can go ahead with your immigration.

If you meet the requirements to work in Australia as a veterinarian, our licensed advisors will discuss your visa options with you, work out a personalised immigration plan, and share the costs and process involved. 

If you choose to work with us, our advisors and our admin department will work with you to submit a complete visa application.

Ready? Click 'GET STARTED' below to get in touch with our team. 

Get your visa application right the first time with the assistance of our advisors