Andrew Woo has successfully helped his client and the client’s family become permanent residents despite one of the family members being diagnosed with a “challenging medical condition”.
Following a recommendation by a former client, Andrew arranged a consultation to give advice in late 2014. Andrew learnt that his client had been living in Australia for 7 years including 2 years as a 457 visa holder and had been on a 457 visa working as a hairdresser.
During the initial conference, Andrew’s client recounted previous difficulties associated with obtaining a 457 visa for 4 years and health waiver undertaking from the employer some years ago and was understandably grateful to the employer who willingly provided the mandatory health waiver undertaking despite the cost totalling $65,000 for a proposed period of stay i.e. 4 years. Andrew had to agree that it is really rare to have that kind of support from an employer sponsor when it comes to providing the health waiver undertaking.
Following the initial meeting, Andrew and his client commenced work putting together a range of documents for the nomination and visa application. Andrew liaised with the employer to ensure compliance with the training requirement and obtained financial and non-financial records of the hairdressing business.
Unfortunately, his client’s IELTS result had expired by the time Andrew was ready to submit the relevant nomination and visa application forms. For this reason, the nomination application had to be submitted first. Shortly thereafter, Andrew’s client discovered she was pregnant, which was wonderful news for her family. Andrew’s client struggled to achieve the minimum English requirement through a number of IELTS tests during her pregnancy. After several attempts, she was finally able to score higher than the vocational level of English, which had caused the unexpected delay in submitting the ENS visa application.
In 2015, Andrew received an email from the Department of Immigration and Border Protection advising him that the nomination had been approved. This was of little consolation to Andrew and his client knowing that the biggest hurdle (health waiver) remained blocking the pathway to permanent residency.
In late 2015, the Department of Immigration and Border Protection sent a health waiver request to Andrew and his client. The MOC’s estimated cost to the Australian community was found to be $490,000 which was much lower than Andrew’s initial estimate having regard to his client’s partner’s medical condition and age. Andrew moved expeditiously to assist his client put together a range of complex documents including detailed statutory declarations to address all relevant points and spent hours drafting lengthy submissions in support of the health waiver. Andrew had to accept shortcomings in his client’s case including a limited combined income below $100,000 per annum, lack of his client’s partner’s formal qualifications in Australia and his native country and limited language skills which were well below the level of functional English for migration purposes. Andrew used his best efforts to highlight his client’s strong points in his lengthy submissions, including their proven record of stable employment for the last 3-4 years despite their limited combined income, compliance with their taxation obligations and their ability to accumulate savings over the years.
After Andrew had submitted all the supporting documents along with his submissions, the MOC unexpectedly revised the medical costing to about $650,000 from $490,000 merely 12 months after the initial assessment. Andrew strenuously protested to this higher costing on the basis that there was no credible evidence to justify the increase from $490,000 to $650,000 in 12 months. Andrew’s objection to the level of costing was not successful, but there was a benefit to be gained from this new costing figure. Based on the policy guidelines, if the costs involved are $500,000 or more, the relevant delegate must seek a recommendation from the Director of the Health Policy Section before a waiver decision is made. This referral usually means an additional hurdle for the visa applicant in most cases.
Andrew and his client had to wait nervously for several months hoping that the Department of Immigration would assess her case favourably and waive the health requirement. In late 2016, Andrew was advised that his client’s health waiver case was successful and wasted no time in conveying this delightful news to his client. In this particular case, the long wait for Andrew’s client had paid off.
If you have similar concerns involving the health requirement for your partner visa or ENS visa applications, please contact Andrew Woo, Migration Expert at Taylor and Scott on 1800 600 664 or complete the Contact Form on this page. Hopefully, Andrew’s expertise, patience, attention to detail and dogged determination will give your application its best chance of success.
At Taylor & Scott, “We Care For You”.