All visa applicants need to meet the health requirement to enter and/or remain in Australia.
Depending on the visa applied for (i.e. temporary or permanent), country of citizenship/residence and length of time requested for the visa, the health requirement can range from a declaration on the application form to a chest x-ray, medical examination, Hepatitis B and C and HIV test.
The purpose of the health requirement can be summarised as follows:
- Ensure that the Australian community is protected from health threats
- Control public expenditure in health care and community services
- Ensure that Australian citizens and permanent residents can access health care and other services that in short supply
Who must meet the Health Requirement?
Every member of a family unit who is applying for a visa must meet the health requirement. For permanent visas, the Department follows a very strict rule of “one fails, all fail”, meaning that if one member of the family unit fails the medicals, everyone else is refused a visa.
When is the best time to complete the medicals?
Medical examinations are valid for 12 months. Therefore, depending on the visa subclass you are applying for and the processing periods associated with that particular visa, your agent will advise when will be the best time to undergo the medical examinations.
It is common practice to undertake them after the visa has been lodged.
How do I book my health examinations?
After your visa has been lodged, your agent will be sending you an eMedical Questionnaire (Health Declaration) for completion and signing to be able to download a Medical referral letter you require to make a booking.
If you are in Australia, you will need to contact Bupa Visa Medical Services to book an appointment. Please follow the link: https://www.bupa.com.au/bupamvs.
If you are offshore, you will need to look for your nearest approved Panel Doctor/Physician. Medical examinations cannot be undertaken by your General Practitioner or local hospital unless they are approved by the Australian Department of Home Affairs. You can look for your nearest panel doctor if you follow the link: https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/help-support/contact-us/offices-and-locations/list.
Process of Assessment of Health Requirement
- Complete the health-related question on the application form correctly and accurately.
- Each applicant must make a health declaration (normally after the visa has been lodged).
- Download the Medical Referral Letter. This letter contains your HAP ID number.
- Contact your approved panel doctor and make an appointment
- The panel doctor will electronically submit your medical examination results to immigration using the HAP ID found in your Medical Referral Letter.
- The visa processing officer will check if your medicals have been cleared. If they haven’t, the results will be referred to the Medical Officer of the Commonwealth (MOC) who will then make a more detailed assessment. The MOC will analyse the results and provide his/her opinion as to whether a condition/disease would likely result in significant costs to health care and community services. The Department has a policy threshold of $49,000 and this is spread out differently if you are applying for a permanent visa or a temporary visa.
I.e. For temporary visas, the MOC provides an opinion on the associated costs and divides it by the number of years of proposed stay. If the total costs do not exceed the policy threshold, the applicant meets the health requirement. If the applicant fails the requirement, the department will send out a letter and you should seek advice from a Registered Migration Agent as to whether there is a Health Waiver available for the visa subclass you have applied for.
i.e. For Permanent Visas, the MOC calculates the associated costs over a period of time depending on the severity of the condition.
- For applicants over 75 years of age, the assessment is made over three years regardless of the severity of the condition.
- For applicants under 75 years of age and in the case of a temporary condition, the assessment is made over the next 5 years.
- For applicants under 75 years of age with an ongoing or chronic, then the assessment will be made over 10 years.
- A health waiver is available for some visa subclasses and some conditions. For example, there is no waiver available for active Tuberculosis (TB). Your registered migration agent can help you gathering evidence to support your compassionate and compelling reasons for the health requirement to be waived and your capacity to mitigate the significants costs associated with the health condition.
- If the case officer is satisfied that you meet the health requirement or a health waiver is granted, then he/she will proceed with the assessment of other visa requirements and make a decision on your visa application.
You can find more information about meeting the Health Requirement on the Department of Home Affairs’ website: