Medical Laboratory Scientists’ pathways to PR

In this pandemic, health and medical professionals are given priority for state sponsorships and EOI applications.  One of the occupations thriving in this current environment is Medical Laboratory Scientists.  In the recent EOI invitations, many Medical Laboratory Scientists were invited to apply for their Permanent Residency (PR) visas under the General Skilled Migration (GSM) stream.  Also, in this financial year, the Department of Home Affairs’ PR visa quota for this occupation is 1,536 (source: SkillSelect Occupation ceilings).

In this article, I will discuss key eligibility requirements, skills assessment criteria, and the PR visa options for Medical Laboratory Scientists.

Eligibility requirements

For PR visa GSM stream, the first item to look at is if the nominated occupation is in the appropriate skills list.  Medical Laboratory Scientist is enlisted under the Medium to Long-term Strategic Skills Occupation List (MLTSSL) issued by the Department of Home Affairs.  Visa applicants whose occupation is on this list have the greatest number of PR visa (GSM stream) options that they can access.

The second item to consider is the Medical Laboratory Scientists’ ability to satisfy the migration points requirement.  To be eligible to apply for any PR visa (GSM), the potential visa applicant should have at least 65 migration points.   This is calculated based on the applicant’s age (maximum of 44 years old), education level, English language capability, work experience duration, relationship status, English or skills level of the applicant’s partner/spouse, and more.

The third item to look at is the applicant’s ability to satisfy all the PR visa (GSM) criteria.  This includes providing evidence of the claimed migration points, health and character requirements, and having a positive skills assessment as a Medical Laboratory Scientist.  The skills assessment criteria will be discussed below.

Skills assessment criteria

The assigned assessing body for Medical Laboratory Scientists is the Australian Institute of Medical Laboratory Scientists (AIMS).  To get a positive skills assessment from AIMS, the applicant should have the following:

  1. Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in Medical Laboratory Science.

AIMS’ minimum requirements for this qualification include core units in Chemistry,

Statistics, Cell and Tissue Biology (including Anatomy and Physiology), Biochemistry

Microbiology, Molecular Biology and Genetics and at least two units from the following professional disciplines:

  • Pathophysiology (general/systemic pathology with emphasis on the relation between disease process and laboratory diagnostic techniques)

  • Immunopathology

  • Chemical Pathology

  • Haematology (including Haemostasis)

  • Transfusion Science

  • Anatomical Pathology/Histopathology (including where possible, Cytopathology)

  • Molecular Pathology/Genomic Pathology

  • Medical Microbiology
    AIMS has a

AIMS’ list of accredited courses in Australia can be found on this link below:

  1. At least two years full-time work experience in diagnostic medical laboratory in the last five years from the application lodgement date.

  2. Have at least 7.0 score in IELTS or 65 in PTE Academic or B in OET or 95 in TOEFL in each band.

  3. Have at least 50% score in each areas of the AIMS Professional Examination.  This is a short answer written exam covering the following:

    • Chemical Pathology, 22 marks

    • Haematology, 22 marks

    • Medical Microbiology, 22 marks

    • Transfusion Science, 22 marks

    • Anatomical Pathology, 12 marks

To find out more information about this exam, visit


PR visa (GSM) options

Since Medical Laboratory Scientists are listed under the MLTSSL, applicants may choose the following PR visa subclasses under the GSM stream:

  1. Skilled Independent 189 visa.  This is the best visa to apply for (if you are eligible for it) because you do not need to get a state sponsorship to apply for this visa and when you become a 189 visa holder, you can choose to live in any part of Australia.  However, it can be difficult to get an invitation for this visa if your total migration points is below 90 points.

  2. Skilled Nominated 190 visa.  You will need to get an approved state sponsorship to apply for this visa and when you become a 190 visa holder, you should stay in the state that sponsored you for at least two years before you can move to other states(only if you intend to do this).  State sponsorship rules vary per state.

  3. Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) 491 visa.  To be eligible for this visa, you should either have an approved state sponsorship or have a relative living in a designated regional area who is willing to sponsor you.  This suits an applicant who is willing to migrate in a designated regional area in Australia.

This is a provisional PR visa.  To get a full PR visa, you should apply for the 191 visa after holding a 491 visa for three years (living and working in a designated regional area with a salary of at least $53,900 per year).

In summary, these eligibility requirements, skills assessment criteria and visa options look straight forward but they are general information and are not meant to be taken as migration advice.  If you want to get specific advice based on your unique circumstance, it is best to engage a Registered Migration Agent or an Immigration Lawyer.