Australia Migration, Immigration Australia, Migrating to Australia
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Migration Institute of Australia Member
Registration Number 1971 and 2748
Registered to Provide Migration Advice
MARN numbers:
0208366, 0426675, 0641256, 0742456 and 0640237
More info about Immigration Australia, Visa Australia
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Medical Q & A's

Medical questions, Australian medicals, Visas and medicals

Why do I need a health clearance to come to Australia?

Australia enjoys some of the best health standards in the world. In order to help maintain these standards you must satisfy the health requirements specified in the Migration Regulations before you can be granted a visa for Australia. Dependants and family members who are included in the visa application are individually required to satisfy health requirements.

Australia's health requirements are designed to:

  • minimise public health and safety risks to the Australian community,
  • contain public expenditure on health and community services, including Australian social security benefits, allowances or pensions, and
  • maintain access of Australian residents to health and other community services.

In line with Australia's global non-discriminatory immigration policy, the health requirement applies equally to all visa applicants from all countries. Please note that Australia reserves the right to request medical information in any circumstances.

In view of the World Health Organisation's declaration of a global epidemic of tuberculosis (Tb), particular care is taken to screen for this disease including stringent treatment recommendations where signs of earlier infection, however small or old, are apparent. Should you have Tb, you will not be permitted to visit Australia until you have completed recommended treatment and successful re-testing.

I have cancer/heart disease /diabetes /tuberculosis /HIV/AIDS /am obese...will I meet health criteria?

No health condition, with the exception of tuberculosis, automatically precludes the issue of a visa. Apart from tuberculosis, every condition identified in the course of the examinations, or through the questions you are asked in your application, will be individually considered for possible impact on the Australian community, including the costs of treatment or support that would be attracted by that condition. Visa officers are not authorised to advise on medical conditions: the opinion on whether a condition means an applicant does or does not meet the criteria comes from the Medical Officer of the Commonwealth.

If my doctor says there are no signs of active tuberculosis in my x-ray, or that they are old scars, why do the Australian authorities keep asking me for further x-rays and proof of treatment?

Tuberculosis is in global epidemic and emergency status, as declared by the World Health Organisation, with the disease now being the biggest killer of adults in the developing world. Australia has managed to maintain a position of third lowest on the world for some years, so that the disease is no longer common here. Many other countries have not been so fortunate, nevertheless, and where there is a high prevalence, indeed some signs of tuberculosis will be seen in such a high proportion of the population that local doctors may regard them as 'within normal limits'. As 'old' tuberculosis that has formed calcifications or scars may reactivate in ten percent of cases, and as relocation, and the stress of travel is often a triggering factor in reactivation, a much stricter view of small, old signs of tuberculosis is maintained by Medical Officers of the Commonwealth.

Why is a health clearance needed if I am going to care for myself/my dependent at home, as there will be no costs to Australian taxpayers?

Australia has a national health insurance and benefits schemes, including income support, nursing home entitlements, and other allowances which, once there is an entitlement based on need, cannot be denied to an Australian resident or citizen. The potential eligibility based on the medical condition of you and/or your family member concerned will be calculated according to the standard accepted medical practice available across Australia, regardless of the level of wealth or private care intended.

Do I need to arrange another health examination if I have recently had one?

If you have completed a health examination in the last twelve months you may not need to undertake a fresh examination if the visa processing office can confirm the details, substance and date of the earlier reports.

How do I arrange a health clearance?

Medical examinations and x-rays are conducted by qualified doctors and radiologists usually nominated by the Department.

Outside Australia: Do not complete your health examination before you lodge your visa application - you will be advised when you need to do so. Contact your nearest Australian diplomatic office for the health requirements, forms and available doctors.

In Australia: You may complete your health examination before lodging your application for a visa (and for some visas it is a formal requirement that you do). Contact Health Services Australia (HSA), to arrange a medical examination, on 1300 361 046 or at www.healthoz.com.au. Fees for medical examinations are set by HSA and you pay the fees directly to them. The forms are available from the Department's nearest regional office.

When you present yourself for your health examination, you should bring the following:

  • Form 26 Medical examination for an Australian visa, with a passport photograph attached,
  • Form 160 Radiological report on chest x-ray of an applicant for an Australian visa ,with a passport photograph attached
  • your passport for identification,
  • any prescription spectacles or contact lenses that you may wear, and
  • where you have a known medical condition, any existing specialist reports.

If you think or know that you are pregnant you must tell the person taking the x-ray. It is most likely that you will be asked to complete the x-ray examination after the birth. If you are female, you should not undergo the medical examination during your menstrual period.

What health examinations are needed for visitors to Australia?

Australia enjoys some of the best health standards in the world. In order to maintain these standards everyone entering Australia must meet health requirements, although this does not always require a formal examination.

If you are visiting Australia and not using ETA, you are required to declare your health status on your visa application form. In certain circumstances you may be asked to provide a doctor's report or undertake a medical and/or radiological examination. These may include where you are:

  • aged 70 years old or older,
  • a parent of an Australian and you have a "queued" migration application, and intend to stay for more than 6 months,
  • likely to enter a hospital or other health care environment, including nursing homes as a patient, visitor, trainee or employee, or for any purpose,
  • likely to enter a classroom environment, including preschool, creche and child care situations,
  • known or suspected of having a medical condition, regardless of your length of stay, or
  • intending to stay in Australia for more than 3 months, and you have recently visited or lived in a country with a Very High-risk rate of tuberculosis (Tb).

What health examinations are needed for Overseas Students?

Individuals applying to study in Australia must satisfy the health requirements specified in the Migration Regulations. Any family unit members who are included in the visa application are also required to undergo at least the same level of health assessment examinations. The health of overseas students studying in Australia is of special concern due to the close contact in the classroom environment. Classroom situations include all levels of schooling and study.

Overseas countries are divided into four risk levels in terms of public health - low, medium, high and very high - according to the incidence rates of tuberculosis, as reported by the World Health Organisation, or as otherwise advised by Australian health authorities.

Please note that if you are required to undergo health examinations, whether you are applying in or outside Australia, processing of your student visa application cannot be completed until medical examinations and x-rays results are provided to the visa processing office.

Outside Australia: You will be requested to undertake health examinations once you have met the criteria for the student visa.

In Australia: You should complete health examinations before lodging an application for a student visa.

If you have completed a health examination in the last twelve months you may not need to undertake a fresh examination, if the details, substance and date of the earlier reports can be confirmed to your visa officer by Departmental staff. Nationals of Sweden and Norway, applying for a student visa in Stockholm or in Australia, are not required routinely to undergo formal health examination.

What health examinations are needed for temporary residence?

If you are intending a temporary stay in Australia, you are required to declare your health status on your visa application form. In certain circumstances you may be asked to provide a doctor's report or undertake a medical and/or radiological examination. This may include where you are:

  • likely to enter a hospital or other health care environment, including nursing homes as either a patient, visitor, trainee or employee,
  • likely to enter a classroom environment, including preschool, creche and child care situations,
  • known or suspected of having a medical condition, regardless of your length of stay,
  • intending to stay in Australia for more than 12 months, or
  • intending to stay in Australia for more than 3 months, and you have recently visited or lived in a country with a Very High-risk rate of tuberculosis (Tb).

What health examinations are needed for migration/permanent residence?

All applicants for permanent visas, or for a temporary visa (for example, a provisional spouse visa) that leads to the grant of a permanent visa, are required to undergo health examinations.

You and all dependent family members must meet strict health standards designed to protect Australia from high health risks and costs. All members of your immediate family, including dependent family members who do not intend to migrate, must meet the health requirement. If an applicant cannot meet the health requirement, the visa application must be refused under the Migration Regulations, and refusal of one family member will mean the whole family unit will not be able to proceed. There are strictly limited provisions for overriding a failure to meet the health criterion.

If you are applying outside Australia, please do not complete health examinations before lodging your visa application. You will be informed by staff processing your migration application when to arrange your medical examination. Processing of the entire application can be a lengthy process, and health clearances undertaken too early may expire before other matters are prepared. Costs will be your responsibility, unless you are a UNHCR recognised refugee (accepted subclass 200 applicant).

If you are applying in Australia, you may complete health examinations before lodging your visa application, but be aware that clearances have limited validity.

Why is a health clearance needed if I am going to care for myself/my dependent at home, as there will be no costs to Australian taxpayers?

Australia has a national health insurance and benefits schemes, including income support, nursing home entitlements, and other allowances which, once there is an entitlement based on need, cannot be denied to an Australian resident or citizen. The potential eligibility based on the medical condition of you and/or your family member concerned will be calculated according to the standard accepted medical practice available across Australia, regardless of the level of wealth or private care intended.

  http://www.australia-migration.com

 

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