There have been many horror stories of falling at the last hurdle when you present your ID to AHPRA, so this blog gives you tips on what to expect and what to watch out for. We have tried to update this blog with the most current information available to us based on AHPRA guidance and reports from our nurses who have gone over to Australia since the COVID-19 pandemic began.
Changes Due to Covid
As a result of the pandemic, the process of presenting your ID and supporting documents to AHPRA has changed. Applicants are no longer required to present in person to the AHPRA office. Currently, applicants who hold an ‘in-principle’ approval of registration and are in Australia can verify their ID with AHPRA by either:
- Presenting in person with their employer at their intended place of employment or via audio-visual link to have their identity verified and their identity documents certified
- Arranging an appointment with their AHPRA case worker to have their identity verified via audio-visual link
Whether you go down the employer route or directly through AHPRA, you’ll need to make sure you have all the documentation prepared that is required to support your proof of identity.
What Documents do I need for Verifying my Identity?
Before you can make your appointment for the video call with the APHRA Agent to prove your identity you must provide AHPRA with all of the documents they ask for as per their Proof of Identity Requirements. If you are doing this process through your employer the documents required are the same. Your AHPRA in Principle Letter should list the documents you need to provide. Below is a list of the types of documents you should expect to be asked to produce:
- Your Passport
- Proof of Address (Australian Address) – This can sometimes be tricky. However, opening an Australian Bank account (before you arrive) can help with proof of address. Once you present yourself to open the account they will be able to print you out a statement with an Australian address. Alternatively, you could provide a utility bill or a letter from your employer.
- Visa (proof of working rights)
- Statutory Declarations – Generally, by the time you arrive to present your ID to AHPRA, both your Certificate of Current Professional Status (CCPS) and international Criminal History Check will have expired. This means you will need to complete two Statutory Declarations available on AHPRA’s website- click here for a link to the page- and get them signed by a Justice of the Peace.
- Proof of the date you arrived in Australia – For example, your entry stamp, boarding pass or itinerary documents.
You will need to make copies of all the above documents and get them certified by a person who is authorised to do so. There is a list of Authorised Persons in AHPRA’s Guide to Certifying Documents, which can be found by clicking here. We recommend that people go to a Justice of the Peace (JP) to get their documents certified. The service is free and they can also act as an authorised witness to statutory declarations, so you can get all your documentation sorted out in one place. However, with the pandemic, there have been some changes to how Justices of the Peace operate. Walk-in services are not operational, with it now being necessary to contact a JP or service desk location first before attending. To find and contact a JP in NSW you can click here to access the public register.
When you go to get your documents certified you need to make sure you bring the original and the copy with you as they will be checked against each other. AHPRA also recommend that you print off their Guide to Certifying Documents and bring it with you on the day to give to the person who is certifying your documents. This means they are clear on how each document must be certified and how statements must be worded. Making sure documents are certified correctly at the time will ensure that your application doesn’t take any longer than it should and will save you stress later on. Make sure to check that all the wording is precisely correct! Some agents may be less strict than others with regard to small details but it is better to be safe than sorry.
I Have all of my Documentation Ready to Go, what next?
If you are verifying your identity through your employer, forward all of your supporting documentation to whoever you have been liaising with within your organisation. If you are verifying your application directly through AHPRA, send your documentation to your AHPRA case worker. They will then schedule a meeting via audio-visual link. In this meeting, you will be asked to turn on your camera and to hold your passport open beside your face in order to verify that your face matches your passport photo.
Once you have completed the proof of identity stage with AHPRA it may take a bit of time to get your registration validated. The timeframe for getting your AHPRA registration through can range from a few days to several weeks.
*Please bear in mind that this current system of ID verification is relatively new and with the ever-evolving nature of the pandemic it may change again. You can refer to the AHPRA website to check the most recent COVID-19-related updates. Click here for a link to their information page on proof of identity.