Personal information & Eligibility criteria
Flexibility of Australia on Medical Assessment for Visa Application
You and your family members who apply for a visa might need to have health examinations to prove you meet the health requirements.
The medical test for Australian visa varies based on the type of visa applied for, such as, study visa, work visa, tourist visa or permanent residence visa. The request to undertake a medical examination will come from DIBP (Department of Immigration and Border Protection) and the results are valid for one year. In the case of a visa application being delayed beyond 12 months, the applicant may be required to undergo further health examination at their own expense.
To satisfy the health requirements under the Skilled Migration Programme, a medical examination comprised of a chest x-ray and possibly some laboratory or specialist tests are required. If applying for permanent residency, an HIV test will also be needed.
In particular, all applicants for permanent residency, including the main applicant, spouse and any dependents, must be assessed for the health requirement. Even if the applicant’s spouse and any children are not included in the application, they are still required to be assessed.
If applying from outside Australia, the medical examination must be undertaken by an approved Panel Physician. Residents in the United Kingdom and Ireland usually have a panel doctor within their region, whilst residents of other countries may have to travel to a capital city to find a Panel Physician.
Although, the decision as to whether or not an applicant meets the health requirement is not made by the examining doctor. The results are sent to DIBP which then considers them and makes a recommendation. If DIBP requires an applicant to undertake further specific medical tests and/or treatment, the department will advise them in writing.
Children under the age of 11 are not required to undertake chest x-rays but copies of immunization records will be required for all children under 16 years old.
Australia is particularly vigilant against the spread of tuberculosis and thus, screens all potential migrants and their families for TB. If tuberculosis is detected, it will not necessarily lead to application being automatically rejected. The application process will only proceed after treatment has been undertaken and after retesting has shown that the applicant is clear of the disease.
AIDS / HIV
All applicants for permanent residency in Australia aged 15 and over are required to undergo HIV testing, and the same applies to those under 15 if they have a history of blood transfusions or are being adopted or have other clinical indications.
On the other hand, applicants for temporary residency are not normally required to undergo HIV testing except if the examining doctor decides it as necessary.
So far, nothing in the current Australian legislation automatically excludes HIV infected applicants from being granted a visa under the Skilled Migration route, but DIBP will still determine if the applicant will require the future use of significant medical resources and incur costs on the public health system. If they believe this to be the case, then the application will be refused.
If you are pregnant, you are advised to not have an x-ray until after the birth of your baby. Hence, DIBP may not be able to finalize your visa application until after the child is born.
Australian health authorities do not consider the risk of hepatitis transmission from migrants to be high, but screening for hepatitis B and C is still required in certain cases, such as when an applicant is pregnant, or when someone intends to work as a doctor, nurse or dentist in Australia. Also, Hepatitis B will be tested for all applicants with tattoos or body piercings.
The Australian Government insists on a medical examination to protect the country from high health risks and reduce the demand on health resources, including cost.
After your health examinations
After your health examinations, the panel physician who examines you:
- records the results, and
- makes a recommendation to DIBP about your health status
The panel physician will not tell you whether they think you meet the health requirement. The panel clinic submits the results and recommendation to DIBP for assessment. You will either:
- meet the health requirement, or
- your case will be sent to a Medical Officer of the Commonwealth (MOC) for their
The MOC might ask you to:
- provide more information
- have more health examinations
Your case may be cleared without referral to the MOC if your results show that you have no significant health issues.
Otherwise, if your case is referred, the MOC will assess it and let DIBP know if:
- you meet the health requirement, or
- you will meet the health requirement once you sign a health undertaking, or
- you do not meet the health requirement at all
If you do not meet the health requirement, DIBP will not grant you a visa unless a health waiver is available and exercised.
DIBP might be able to exercise a health waiver for applicants for some visa sub-classes if a Medical Officer of the Commonwealth (MOC) finds that they do not meet the health requirement.
You must first meet all other eligibility criteria for the visa. DIBP must then be satisfied that
granting you the visa is unlikely to:
- result in a significant cost to the community
- prevent Australian citizens from accessing health care or community services in
DIBP can not exercise a health waiver if you fail to meet the health requirement because:
- you have active tuberculosis
- your condition might pose a danger to the community or is a threat to public health.
How DIBP Exercise Health Waivers
You can not apply for a health waiver. Your visa officer will contact you to let you know you
have not met the health requirements, but a waiver might be considered.
You will be asked to:
- give more information about why a health waiver should be exercised
- complete a formal submission template explaining why a health waiver should be
DIBP considers each waiver on a case-by-case basis. A number of factors will be reviewed before they decide to exercise a health waiver, including:
- whether you or any of your family members can lessen the potential cost of your
condition and your reliance on our health care and community services, and
- any compassionate and compelling circumstances that support exercising a health
waiver for you.
More Health Examinations
Depending on the assessment of your health, DIBP might ask you to have more health examinations. Your visa processing officer will let you know after you lodge your visa application.
A thorough assessment of your qualifications is a good start and there are professionals who can help you with that. Click on the assessment bar on your left or call us directly at 04 456 0076.