Emigrating to Australia as an Optometrist | Intergate Emigration

EMIGRATING TO AUSTRALIA AS AN OPTOMETRIST

emigrating to australia as an optometrist
  • Are you a qualified optometrist?
  • Under the age of 45?
  • Fluent in English?
  • In good health?

Then living and working in Australia could be an option for you! Continue reading to find out:

  • How to emigrate to Australia as an optometrist.
  • The requirements to meet.
  • The immigration process to follow.

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

Introducing ANZSCO

ANZSCO is the Australia and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations. It’s a skills-based classification system used to classify all occupations and jobs in the Australian and New Zealand labour market.

Here’s why ANZSCO is critical to your immigration – ANZSCO publish the Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL).

What is the MLTSSL?

The MLTSSL is the list of occupations where there is a shortage of professionals in Australia to fill all the gaps in the job market. Seeing as these occupations are important for Australia’s to do well as a country, the government has approved hiring talent from overseas.

In other words -  if your occupation appears on the MLTSSL, you are in a good position to immigrate to Australia.

Here's the good news

Optometrists are on the MLTSSL! Don’t start to celebrate just yet though.

Appearing on the MLTSSL is only the first step as each occupation has a code assigned to it, a skill level and also an assessing authority. You have to meet all the requirements associated with these different parts of the process to qualify for skilled immigration.

The ANZSCO criteria

The ANZSCO code assigned to optometrists is 25141. This code gives us more details as to the criteria optometrists have to meet in order to qualify to emigrate to Australia.

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

Major Group: 2 - Professionals | Sub-Major Group: 25 - Health Professionals | Minor Group: 251 – Health Diagnostic and Promotion Professionals | Unit Group: 2514 - Optometrists and Orthoptists

As you can see there are four groups showing how the code is made up – we are mostly interested in the code (232212) which is specific to surveyors.

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

Performs eye examinations and vision tests to determine the presence of visual, ocular and other abnormalities, ocular diseases and systemic diseases with ocular manifestations, and prescribes lenses, other optical aids, therapy and medication to correct and manage vision problems and eye diseases. Registration or licensing is required.

Suveyors are an occupation at Skill Level 1, which means a level of skill equal to 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 surveyor, you must be able to demonstrate or prove that you can perform the majority of the tasks below:

  • Examining patients' eyes and setting tests to determine the nature and extent of vision problems and abnormalities
  • Assessing ocular health and visual function by measuring visual acuity and refractive error, and testing the function of visual pathways, visual fields, eye movements, freedom of vision and intraocular pressure, and performing other tests using special eye test equipment
  • Detecting, diagnosing and managing eye disease, referring patients to, and receiving referrals from other health providers, and prescribing medications for the treatment of eye disease
  • Diagnosing eye movement disorders and defects of binocular function
  • Prescribing lenses, contact lenses and low vision aids, and checking suitability and comfort
  • Prescribing exercises to coordinate movement and focusing of eyes
  • Managing programs for eye movement disorders, and instructing and counselling patients in the use of corrective techniques and eye exercises
  • Advising on visual health matters such as contact lens care, vision care for the elderly, optics, visual ergonomics, and occupational and industrial eye safety
  • Conducting preventative screening programs
  • Conducting rehabilitation programs for the visually impaired

Your first course of action should always be an immigration assessment to see if you have the necessary skills, qualifications and experience to live and work in Australia.

Why do we say this? It’s simple – if you don’t meet the requirements, you won’t be able to apply for skilled migration.

When you proceed with an application without knowing your eligibility or thinking you qualify if you don’t, you’re setting yourself up for failure.

Many people mistakenly think that finding a job is the first step when immigrating.

In fact, the first step should always be an immigration assessment to see if you’re eligible for a work visa.

Our reasoning is two-fold. Firstly, as you may be able to guess, you won’t be able to immigrate without qualifying for a visa. Secondly, it enables you to job hunt with confidence if you are eligible for a work visa. Employers are much more likely to extend job offers if they know that you can work in Australia. .

The golden rule? Do an assessment, then find a job.

Book your free consultation here

Find out whether it is worth being assessed for emigrating to Australia as an optometrist.

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, optometrists 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're 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 optometrist 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 an optometrist 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 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 an optometrist 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

The Optometry Council of Australia and New Zealand (OCANZ) is the authorised assessing authority to assess your qualifications and skills if you want to emigrate to Australia as an optometrist. 

OCANZ was established in 1996 with support of the optometrists registration boards in Australia and New Zealand, the Heads of the Optometry Schools, Optometry Australia and the New Zealand Association of Optometrists. All are represented on OCANZ.

OCANZ will assess your qualifications and experience to help determine your eligibility for skilled immigration to Australia. This is done by means of a Competency in Optometry Examination which consists of two parts:

  • Written exams.
  • Clinical exams.

Should you pass the assessment, you'll receive a positive skills assessment. This will allow you to apply for skilled migration.

It is important to know that skills assessments are costly and should thus only be done once you have had an immigration eligibility assessment done.

This means a formal assessment and a written report that does all of the following:

  • Make clear recommendations.
  • Confirms that you meet all the requirements.
    Outlines all the costs.
  • Includes a step-by-step process for the way forward.

Neglecting to do the eligibility assessment first could jeopardise your visa application and cost you a lot of money.

More about the basic requirements

All applicants for permanent and provisional visas must meet Australia’s health requirements to ensure a successful immigration. This includes the:

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

The Department of Home Affairs or the migration medical services provider will evaluate the completed health exam reports to decide if applicants meet Australia’s health requirements.

Please note: In certain cases, non-migrating family members will also be assessed against the health requirements.

Everyone who wants to enter Australia must be of good character and will be assessed against Australia's 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.

In order to immigrate to Australia, you must score an IELTS 7 in all four components of your test - reading, writing, listening, and speaking.

The IELTS is not the only English test available though. Your immigration agent should advise you on which English language test would be best for you.

Emigrating to Australia as a surveyor will only be possible if you achieve a points score of at least 65. 

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

When you first start exploring the idea of emigration to Australia it’s natural to talk to friends or family who’ve already done it. While you’ll get a lot of good advice, it's likely that you’ll also get a lot of contradicting advice.

There is good reason for this – everyone’s emigration journey is different. That’s because each person you know who’s emigrated did it in their specific occupation and according to their unique set of circumstances.

For example - the dentist you know didn’t have to meet the same requirements as the entrepreneur. Another example would be your single friend’s emigration versus your neighbour’s emigration who moved their entire family.

This is why it’s critical to start your emigration with an immigration assessment. Such an assessment will reveal if you are eligible for immigration to Australia as well as the immigration pathways open to you together with the criteria to meet.

With these pieces of the puzzle in hand, you’ll then be able to map your emigration and set yourself up for success from the start.

This is how Intergate Emigration can help

Intergate Emigration offers everyone a free and non-obligatory initial immigration assessment. If this initial assessment shows you are eligible for immigration, you can choose to proceed with a formal assessment. This is an in-depth process during which you’ll complete a questionnaire and provide supporting documentation. 

At the end of the formal assessment you’ll get a written report highlighting your emigration route and options as well as requirements and all the costs.

Ready to kick off the process? Simply book your free consultation below.

Book your free consultation here

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

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