What are the health requirements of an Australian Visa?

The Migration Regulations 1994 outlines the health requirements for an Australian Visa. This is under Schedule 4 of the Public Interest Criteria.

As per the Govt, there are 3 major objectives:

  1. To ensure public safety and to safeguard Australians against infectious diseases like TB
  2. To safeguard access for Australians to medical supplies which are in short supply like organ transplants
  3. To limit the spending on community and health services

The present protocol for enforcing the policy states that it is crucial for the country and its visa programs. It is to ensure that public health risks and health costs do not spike due to incoming travellers and migrants.

Advocates have, however, been critical of the cost of health requirement. They believe that it targets those with a permanent disability. This is a breach of the international human rights that Australia is obligated to follow. This is under the United Nation’s Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

The Australian Govt. decides if the health costs need to be increased or not on something called the “Significant cost threshold” policy. Visa applicants who have a disability or medical condition do not meet the requirement. This happens when a Medical Officer of the Commonwealth deems that the cost of the medical condition is higher than that of the threshold. Australia has currently fixed the “significant cost threshold” at $40,000, as per SBS News.

For a Temporary Australian Visa, the probable cost of services is assessed for the validity of the visa. For example, an Australian Student Visa is usually valid for a period of 4 years. Thus, the predicted health costs are calculated at approximately $12,000 per year. Someone who does not meet this threshold will not be able to fulfil the requirement.

For Australia PR applicants who are under 75 years, whether the cost is exceeded or not is calculated by the costs incurred over 5 years. For Australian PR applicants who are above 75 years, the cost is calculated by the costs incurred over a period of 3 years.