Health issues and health waivers for Australian visas

Australia has one of the best medical systems in the world and visa applicants must meet certain health requirements before a visa is granted.

Generally, a visa will be refused for one of three reasons:

  1. To prevent people from bringing communicable diseases into Australia, which may cause a public health issue for other Australians.
  2. Where a person is likely to incur above average health care costs in Australia. For example, the cost of medication, future surgery or ongoing treatment.
  3. The person’s condition will prejudice the access of Australians to medical care. For example, an organ transplant.

If you are suffering from a medical condition or a disease, the Department will look at the likely impact of such disease or medical condition on the costs of health care if you were to be granted a visa.

If the health care expenses reach $40,000.00, it is deemed significant. This amount is calculated on an actuarial basis and incorporates the figures on health and welfare service per capita.

The calculation of these significant costs is calculated as follows:

  • If you are a temporary visa applicant, your period of stay in Australia will be considered
  • If you are a permanent visa applicant, it will be over a five-year period of your stay or three years if you are 75 years of age or older

A medical condition or disease does not automatically lead to the failure of the application to meet the health requirement on the ground of significant cost because it will vary depending on the severity of the case.

Common medical conditions and diseases that usually raise the issue of whether a visa application will be refused for health reasons are:

  • Cancer
  • Dialysis
  • Ebola Virus Disease
  • Functional impairment
  • HIV infection
  • Intellectual impairment
  • Kidney/renal disease or failure
  • Organ transplants
  • Polio
  • Tuberculosis

The assessment of your medical condition and diseases for the purpose of a visa application will be assessed by a Medical Officer of the Commonwealth (MOC).

Typical examples of visas which fall under this category are Partner Visas, Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme visas and Employer Nominated Sponsored (Temporary Residence Transition Stream for 457 visa holders).

It should be noted that the Department will also investigate the health of your family members who have failed the health screening, but are not traveling with you to Australia. They will consider who will take care of them in your absence and the possibility of them applying to migrate to Australia in the future.

The Public Interest Criteria (PIC)

There are two relevant Public Interest Criteria’s that are relevant to Health Waivers:

PIC 4005

This is the standard health requirement and requires the applicant to suffer from a disease or condition where the potential costs to the Australian community is less than $40,000.00 for the visa period for temporary and permanent visa applicants.

PIC 4007

This is the most relaxed health related PIC in that it provides for health waivers if the Minister or his or her delegate is satisfied that the granting of the visa would be unlikely to result in undue cost to the Australian community. Therefore, if you can prove the costs will not be more than $40,000.00 and will not be significant you can usually satisfy this PIC.

What information should be provided when applying for health waivers?

Information that will be considered by the Minister or his delegate should include the following:

  • The English language skills of all applicants
  • Qualifications and work history of the applicant and the other applicants
  • The shortage of talent in the occupation you are nominated for whether it’s in a localised jurisdiction or in the whole of Australia
  • Current employment or employment prospects for all relevant applicants
  • Assets and other income of all relevant applicants
  • Any skills or contributions to the community by the applicant
  • The view of the concerned or participating state or territory
  • Whether there are Australian children who would be adversely affected by a decision not to waive the need to meet the heath requirement
  • The location and circumstances of the applicant and any sponsor’s family members
  • If your family has already settled or proposed to settle in a remote, rural or what we call regional parts of the country
  • The willingness and ability of a sponsor, family member or other person or body to provide care and support
  • What care arrangements are in place or what are the proposed care arrangements
  • Information regarding non-migrating applicants, including what arrangements have been put in place for their care, and what is the likelihood of them ultimately applying to migrate to Australia
  • Compelling and/or compassionate circumstances that warrant a waiver to be granted, for instance, your close family links to Australia or probably some reasons which make it hard for your family to go back to your home country.

Looking for more information regarding health issues and health waivers?

A health waiver submission is one of the most complex and technical areas in migration law that we deal with. It is very important you get expert advice should you have any questions regarding health waivers.

Our team would be more than happy to talk to you regarding any of your concerns regarding health issues and health waivers for Australian visas.

Contact our team today for more information regarding Australian visas, health waivers or health issue questions.

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