Australian Work Visa - FAQs

Is the 457 work visa still in effect?

The 457 visa was made redundant as of the 18th March 2018?

What happens if I am the holder of a 457 visa? Can I apply for another work visa?

Anyone with a 457 visa can still continue to work in Australia until the expiry date of their 457 visa.

If your occupation is still on the immigration occupation list, you can apply for a new work visa which is the TSS visa – Subclass 482.

How long will my new visa be valid for?

Depending on your occupation, you may be eligible for a 2 year work visa (if your occupation is on the short term skilled occupation list) or you may be eligible for a 4 year visa (if your occupation is on the medium and long term strategic skills list).

Does the visa have any work experience requirements?

Yes you will need to provide evidence that you have worked in the nominated occupation, or a related field, for at least two years.

Can I work part time on the Subclass 482 visa?

The 482 visa is a full time visa and therefore requires the applicant to work on a full time basis.

Does the 482 visa have an age requirement?

No there are no age requirements for the Subclass 482 visa.

Are there age requirements that apply when applying for permanent residency?

Yes if you are applying for an Employer nomination or a Skilled visa application, the age limit at time of application is under 45 years of age.

Are there age exemptions that apply?

Yes the following age exemptions will apply for medical practitioners

  • you are applying through the Temporary Residence Transition stream and have been working for your nominating employer as the holder of a TSS or subclass 457 visa for the last three years and your earnings were at least equivalent to the Fair Work High Income Threshold for each year over that period
  • you are a medical practitioner and you meet all of the below:
    • you have been working in your nominated occupation as the holder of a TSS or subclass 457 visa for at least three years immediately before applying
    • for two of those years, you were employed in regional Australia
    • the nominated position is located in regional Australia

Where can I find more information?

You can find relatable visa information at the following link (The department of Home affairs)

English Language policy - FAQs

If you want to practice as a Medical Practitioner in Australia, you will need to meet AHPRA’s English Language policy. But what does this entail?

What is AHPRA’s English Language policy and how do I meet it?

There are 4 ways in which you can meet AHPRA’s English Language policy: 

  • 1) Primary Language Pathway:
    your primary language is English, and
    all of your primary and secondary education was taught and assessed solely in English in a recognised country, and
    your tertiary qualifications in the relevant professional discipline were taught and assessed solely in English.

  • 2) Combined Secondary and Tertiary Education Pathway:
    at least two years of your secondary education was taught and assessed solely in English in a recognised country, and
    your tertiary qualifications in the relevant professional discipline were taught and assessed solely in English in a recognised country.

  • 3) Extended Education Pathway:
    you have completed at least six years’ (FTE) continuous education taught and assessed solely in English, in any of the recognised
    countries, which includes tertiary qualifications in the relevant professional discipline.

  • 4) Test Pathway:
    you achieve the required minimum scores in one of the approved English language tests.

Which countries are recognised?

There are 7 recognised countries:

  • Australia 
  • Canada 
  • New Zealand 
  • Republic of Ireland 
  • South Africa 
  • United Kingdom 
  • United States of America.

Which tests are acceptable?

There are 6 tests you can take:

  • IELTS Academic Module
  • OET
  • PTE Academic 
  • PLAB part 1&2

What scores must I get?

IELTS Academic Module: a minimum overall score of 7 and a minimum score of 7 in each of the four components
OET: a minimum score of B in each of the four components
PTE Academic: a minimum overall score of 65 and a minimum score of 65 in each of the four communicative skills
TOEFL iBT: a minimum total score of 94 and the following minimum score in each section of the test: 24 for listening, 24 for reading, 27 for writing, and 23 for speaking.
PLAB: Pass

How long are these valid for?

Test results are valid for 2 years. Results over 2 years old will be accepted if you:

  1. have been in continuous employment as a registered health practitioner in the medical profession (which commenced within 12 months of the date of the test) in one of the recognised countries where English was the primary language of practice, and
  2. lodge your application for registration within 12 months of finishing your last period of employment

When did this policy come into effect?

July 2015

Are there any exemptions?

Yes – if you have previously been registered in Australia and have used English as your primary language within the past 5 years.

The Standard does not apply to non-practising registration or if you are a student.

There may be other exemptions depending on circumstances. Please refer to the policy for details.

English is my primary language but I’m not from one of the listed countries – am I exempt?

No, you must meet the policy via one of the pathways

Where can I find more information?

Please refer to the AHPRA website and the English Language Standard for more information: https://www.ahpra.gov.au/Registration/Registration-Standards/English-language-skills.aspx

Finance - FAQs

Why Wavelength pay on-hire Doctors as employees

We are often asked why we insist on paying our on-hire Doctors as employees, tax their wages and take out superannuation from their daily/hourly rate when they are already set up as an ABN Sole Trader. We hope the following information sheds light on this subject.

I am an ABN Sole Trader. Why does Wavelength tax my daily or hourly rate?

The decision to tax your wages comes from the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) as a statutory legal requirement for all on-hire agencies operating in Australia. Wavelength is therefore following its lawful obligation as a labour hire company.

The Australian Taxation Office website clearly defines our position as a labour-hire company and our requirement to withhold PAYG tax from payments to individual workers, including both contractors and employees.

The arrangement is shown below:


Labour-hire can be called different names, including:

  • on-hire
  • employment agent/agency
  • contract management
  • recruitment services
  • group training organisations (where your business is referred to as the host employer).

Regardless of how the activity is described, if you supply the workers to another business, you must withhold from payments you make to individual workers.

Another on-hire agency pays my invoice as a ABN Sole Trader, why can’t Wavelength?

Unfortunately we hear this often. If they are a labour-hire agency on-hiring your services and not taxing your wages, they are most likely breaching tax law either knowingly or unknowingly. It is every business owner’s responsibility to ensure they and their staff remain compliant and pay necessary taxes. Ignorance of taxation law is not an excuse to not apply tax where due. In the event of an audit or inquiry from the ATO to your business or the labour hire company, the potential fines, tax recovery and interest can quite literally ruin your day, your year, or even years if the incorrect tax application is longstanding.

Amount to withhold
It is important to remember that you need to withhold tax from individual workers under a labour-hire arrangement whether they are an employee or independent contractor.

I am set up as a Company or Trust, therefore I want to be paid via Invoice with NO PAYG Tax or Superannuation deducted from my daily or hourly rate.

If you have this arrangement operating, either as a company (Pty Ltd or Ltd) or trust – then you can be paid via invoice. We will not deduct PAYG tax nor superannuation. The previous ATO link outlines the payment arrangement for this scenario too, specifically –

Where you provide labour-hire workers who are operating as companies, partnerships or trusts, you do not have to withhold amounts from payments you make to them, unless they do not provide you with their ABN.

I don’t want to pay PAYG tax… How can I avoid this?

We understand that no one wants their wages taxed, however if you are an on-hired worker from an on-hire agency there is no avoiding it. Wavelength goes to great lengths to ensure we remain compliant. We invest heavily in internal training and audits and in no circumstance will we compromise doing the right thing to save a few bucks. If you are involved either directly or indirectly in an audit and the labour hire company finds out they have not taxed you correctly, they have legal grounds to pursue you for the return of overpaid wages. This is a situation everyone should try to avoid. We are available to answer questions regarding how payroll applies to you as an individual worker, and we also suggest making contact with your Accountant. It’s their job to know your business, understand your personal and professional financial needs and to advise you regarding tax savings strategies.

How do I get paid?

There are a number of factors that determine how Locum Doctors are paid. The available option(s) are nominated by the Client and are based on their on-hire practices. Once the Client has provided Wavelength with the option(s) available for this assignment, the
Doctor is advised. If more than one option is available, the Doctor selects which one is most appropriate.
The available options are:

  • PAYG Employee of Wavelength
  • Pty Ltd Contractor of Wavelength
  • ABN Sole Trader, (only available if) paid direct by Client
  • PAYG Employee of Client

If a Locum Doctor is hired to work for a Client who does not provide payroll services and requires Wavelength to provide this service, then the only options available are as a PAYG Employee or a Pty Ltd Contractor of Wavelength. Wavelength is not permitted by law to on-hire ABN Sole Traders. Wavelength’s PAYG Employees are paid wages and taxed at the time of payment, and Superannuation (if applicable) is paid as per legislation requirements.

Wages are paid fortnightly and payslips will be emailed to the Locum Doctor once processed. Wavelength’s Pty Ltd Contractors are required to submit a Tax Invoice (as well as timesheets) and are also paid fortnightly. If you have worked previously as an ABN Sole Trader for a Client, this is no guarantee that your next assignment will be under the same payment arrangement.

How do I pay tax?

All doctors working in Australia require a Tax File Number (TFN). New Zealand doctors coming to work in Australia
must apply for a Tax File Number. Here are some useful points to remember:

  • You can only apply for a TFN after you have arrived in Australia
  • TFN’s can take up to 28 days to be approved
  • You may be taxed at a higher emergency rate by your employer until your TFN is approved

How do I pay tax as a contractor?

All doctors working as a contractor must set up an Australian Business Number (ABN).

  • It is possible to apply for an ABN before your TFN is approved.