All Australian visas have a requirement that the applicant meet certain health criteria.
Depending on the length and duration of your stay in Australia, you might need to undertake medical examinations to prove that you meet the health criteria, such as a general medical examination or chest x-ray. The Medical Officer will provide the results of your medical directly to the Department.
The longer the intended period of stay, the more stringent the health examinations become.
If you fail to meet the health requirement, your visa may be refused.
When might you fail the health test
You might fail to meet the health requirement if you have a disease or condition (such as tuberculosis) that is, or may be:
- A threat to public health in Australia;
- A danger to the Australian community;
- Requires, or might require health care or community services (even if you have no intention of using such services*);
- Result in a significant cost to the Australian community in the areas of health care and community services; or
- Prejudice the access of Australian citizens or permanent residents to health care or community services.
For some visas, if an applicant or members of the applicant’s family unit fails the health test then it will be “one fails, all fails”.
*Australia has a national health insurance and benefits schemes, including income support, nursing home entitlements and other allowances. Once there is an entitlement based on need, the support cannot be denied to an Australian resident or citizen. For this reason, even if you have private health insurance for your condition, you will be assessed against the standard accepted medical practice available across Australia for that condition.
In very limited circumstances, the health criteria can be waived. However, health waivers are only available for certain types of visas, including the following:
1. Temporary Work (Skilled) (subclass 457) visas.
2. Partner (Subclasses 820/300/309) visas.
3. Some Humanitarian visas.
For the full list of visas that allow for a health waiver, click here.
In order for the health criteria to be waived, it is necessary to satisfy the Department that the granting of the visa would be unlikely to result in undue costs or to prejudice access to community health services.
If you are concerned that you have circumstances which may impede your ability to meet the health criteria, or have received an invitation from the Department to comment regarding health issues that may affect the outcome your application, get professional assistance immediately.
It is important to check the decision record as Medical Officers are only human, and errors can be made by the Medical physician in forming an opinion as to an applicant’s medical condition.