The 10 Year Moratorium

Understanding the 10-year moratorium

The 10-year moratorium is Australian legislation that affects where international medical graduates (IMGs) also referred to as overseas trained doctors (OTDs), can train and practice as a GP.
You could be affected if you are

  • An IMG who did not obtain your primary qualification in Australian or New Zealand and were not registered as a medical practitioner prior to January 1997.
  • An overseas trained doctor who obtained primary medical qualification in Australia, but were not a permanent Australian resident or citizen when starting your study.

Under the moratorium, these doctors will only be issued a Medicare provider number if they work in areas deemed to be a district of workforce shortage (DWS) for a period of ten years. A DWS location is a district that has less access to general practice medical services than the national average. Should you wish to gather further information regarding which areas in Australia are considered to be DWS, you can search the maps on Note, these areas are frequently updated.

As recently as 1 July, 2010, IMGs subject to the 10-year moratorium have been able to reduce their moratorium time requirements depending on where they work. The more remote the area in which they work, the greater the reduction in the time restriction period.

RA Classification

RA Category

Scaling % discount

Restriction period reduced to:

RA 1

Major cities


10 years

RA 2

Inner Regional


9 years

RA 3

Outer Regional


7 years

RA 4



6 years

RA 5

Very Remote


5 years


When does the 10-year moratorium period begin?

If you are subject to the 10-year moratorium, the 10-year restriction will commence from the date of your first medical registration in an Australian state or territory. More information on this can also be found on the Doctor Connect website.