But with that hurdle safely negotiated, Sterjovski can now join from Turkish club Genclerbirligi for an undisclosed fee.
Rams manager Paul Jewell said: "I am delighted with the decision, although we always felt we had a strong case.
"Mile is an international player with Champions League and World Cup experience. He will make a fantastic addition to the squad."
Sterjovski, who can play as a right winger or striker and has signed an 18-month deal with the Rams, first came to prominence with Sydney United in his homeland before gaining wider recognition during spells with Lille and Basel.
He has 33 caps for the Socceroos but did not play enough games over the last 12 months to guarantee a work permit under Home Office regulations.