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Health waiver scheme for skilled migrants – are you eligible?

Australian migration policy has strict rules and guidelines in place to help protect the Australian health system. To be granted a visa, applicants must meet certain health requirements unless a health waiver is available and exercised. Even if an applicant fails to meet the relevant health requirement in limited circumstances, their case may still be considered for a waiver of the health requirement. This means they may still obtain a visa despite failing the health requirement.

Who is eligible?

A visa applicant is eligible for a health waiver if:

  • The visa the applicant has applied for has a health waiver provision. Visas with health waiver provisions include refugee and humanitarian visas, certain skilled, business and other non-humanitarian migration visas, the 500 (Foreign Affairs or Defence Sector) student visa and the Temporary Skill Shortage (subclass 482) visa
  • The applicant has been assessed as not meeting the health requirements
  • The applicant meets all other eligibility criteria for the visa

Visa applicants who have been assessed as having a condition or disease that is considered a threat to public health or a danger to the Australian community are not eligible.

What is a health waiver provision?

A health waiver provision requires the Department to exercise its discretion in deciding whether or not a waiver should be approved and a visa should therefore be granted despite not meeting the health requirement.

A health waiver provision does not automatically grant the applicant a health waiver. If the applicant is assessed as not meeting the health requirement, they must wait until they are invited to submit additional material in favour of a health waiver being granted.

What does this mean for skilled migrants?

When deciding on whether to grant a health waiver, the Department of Immigration and Home Affairs will consider, amongst other things, the costs that health complications will have on the Australian healthcare system and the community. The applicant must show that the granting of a visa would not result in undue costs or pressure on Australian healthcare and community services.

However, health waivers are evaluated on a case by case basis and presenting a strong case with the right additional material is crucial to the outcome of a health waiver. Skilled migrants with specific and highly sought-after skills in demand by Australia may be able to make a compelling case.

Taylor and Scott Lawyers have been assisting clients in preparing and submitting persuasive health waiver arguments for 15 years. To ensure your future in Australia contact Taylor & Scott Lawyers on 1800 600 664 or fill out the online contact form and we’ll get in contact with you.

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