Overseas Pharmacists

Raven's can help with the placement of International Pharmacists into jobs throughout Australia. Our team of Recruitment Consultants place Pharmacists from New Zealand, the UK, Ireland, Canada and the USA into both Locum (temp) and permanent employment. Our service is free and we can assist you by providing information sources to help with organising registration, travel advice, visas, accommodation, and any other queries you may have.

All overseas trained pharmacists (with the exception of New Zealand) are required to have their qualifications assessed by the Australian Pharmacy Council (APC).

Applications from pharmacists who obtained their original qualification overseas are divided into the following groups:

  1. Pharmacists Qualified in New Zealand
  2. Pharmacists Qualified in the United Kingdom, Ireland, USA or Canada
  3. Application for registration from pharmacists originally registered in any other overseas country

Pharmacists with qualifications obtained in New Zealand will be exempt from APC requirements. Their registration is facilitated via formal Trans Tasman mutual recognition arrangements. New Zealand's educational qualifications are closely linked to Australia's through shared accreditation requirements and practice standards are similar on both sides of the Tasman. The form for this (Application for general registration under Trans-Tasman mutual recognition - ATMR-60) is available on the Pharmacy Board of Australia (PBA) website. Raven's can advise you further on this.

A modified process will be introduced for eligible holders of qualifications from the UK, Ireland, USA and Canada. This will be a shortened process which will require passing a new examination to be known as the Competency Assessment of Overseas Pharmacists (CAOP). CAOP will be offered four times a year in Australia and overseas. After successful completion of the CAOP candidates must meet the Pharmacy Board of Australia (PBA) requirements for registration. This will include a national examination of pharmacy law and ethics.

Pharmacists with qualifications obtained in other countries will continue to be assessed by the current process, which includes formal examinations, longer periods of supervised practice and a final assessment of competency.

For more information on APC assessments, refer APC - Skills assessment.

For more information on PBA registration, refer PBA - Overseas Practitioner Registration.


Anyone who does not hold an Australian or New Zealand passport will need an appropriate Visa or Work Permit to work in Australia.

Whether you plan on visiting Australia on a temporary or permanent basis, once you have made your initial arrangements for work rights and registration as a Pharmacist then Raven's will help you identify the job vacancy that best suits your circumstances.

A brief summary of the common Visas are:

Working Holiday visa (subclass 417)

The Working Holiday Visa provides an opportunity for people between the ages of 18 and 30 to holiday in Australia and to supplement their travel funds through employment. You are able to undertake any kind of employment, however are limited to work for no longer than 6 months with any one employer.

Australia has reciprocal arrangements in effect with the UK, Canada, The Republic of Ireland, The Netherlands, Japan, Republic of Korea, Malta, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) of the People's Republic of China, Finland, the Republic of Cyprus, France, Italy, Belgium, Estonia and Taiwan.

Temporary Work (Skilled) visa (subclass 457)

Employers can sponsor overseas applicants into Australia for a period of up to four years if they can't fill a vacancy from the local work force. Employees will be under contract and can only work for their sponsoring employer.

This is the most common visa for job seekers over the age of 30 or those seeking to work in Australia for a few years or while they arrange immigration. A sponsored visa also allows you to arrange to bring your spouse and dependents to Australia with you as well.

Skilled Independent visa (subclass 189)

This visa allows you to migrate to Australia if you are under 45 years of age, have good English language skills, and skills and qualifications in an occupation required in Australia.

The visa uses a points test to select visa applicants with characteristics needed in the Australian labour market. You will need to meet the applicable passmark for a visa to be granted. You must have the skills and qualifications that meet the Australian standard for an occupation on the Skilled Occupation List.

This visa allows you to live and work anywhere in Australia on a permanent basis, as well as any dependent family members included on your application.

For more information on Visas, refer Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP).