Immigration Law Expert Submits Successful Health Waiver for 457 Visa Holder

Andrew Woo (Lawyer and Migration Agent) discusses challenges associated with health waiver cases which can be often complex and discretionary, reflecting on his own experience. His recent case in the Administrative Appeals Tribunal is a good example demonstrating not only that engaging an expert to prepare a health waiver submission does not always lead to a successful outcome with every case at the Department’s level but also how difficult it often can be to accurately predict the Department’s decision in health waiver cases.


Our client had a successful career in the hospital industry in Europe and was headhunted to manage his previous employer’s Australian business. Sometime after his arrival as a 457 visa holder, our client was offered a far greater opportunity by his current employer who subsequently took over the 457 visa sponsorship. Andrew’s client experienced various challenges associated with the new role and was nearing the two-year anniversary with the current employer who showed no hesitation in extending their sponsorship for our client’s ENS visa. There was, however, one important issue to be considered by our client given his previous diagnosis of HIV infection.

In November 2016, our client first sought advice from Andrew and decided to engage him as a representative for his prospective application for an ENS visa. In May 2017, Andrew was ultimately able to submit his client’s ENS application to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection. It took more than 12 months for the Department to formally request a health waiver submission. In September 2018, Andrew submitted his client’s health waiver submission which was carefully drafted. To his great disappointment, Andrew learnt in December 2018 that the Department had made a decision not to exercise their discretion to waive the health, which meant a refusal of the visa application. The timing of the decision a few days before Christmas added disappointment. Despite this temporary setback, Andrew’s client re-grouped himself and showed no hesitation in continuing to instruct Andrew in relation to his AAT proceedings.


In July 2019, there were some favourable changes to the policy guidelines surrounding the health requirements including the Medical Officer of the Commonwealth (MOC) assessing the potential costs over a period of 10 years only as opposed to the visa applicant’s lifetime and increasing the significant cost policy threshold to $49,000.00 from $40,000.00. After Andrew became aware of these changes, he proactively sought a review of the MOC’s previous opinion in keeping with the new policy guidelines and continuously worked on additional submissions in anticipation of the AAT hearing. The AAT ultimately accepted Andrew’s submissions and also noted that the Department made some important changes which were favourable to Andrew’s client in July 2019. We are pleased to report that shortly after the successful AAT proceeding, our client was granted permanent residency, which provided a huge relief to our client.


Our expert in immigration law, Andrew Woo, has helped numerous clients with a range of medical conditions achieve their dream of migrating to Australia.  Andrew understands that his involvement does not always lead to a better outcome in all cases but endeavours to provide his candid assessment of complex health issues for various migration options and to offer a pragmatic approach to problem-solving for a range of immigration matters especially in health waiver cases. We invite you to contact Andrew Woo by phoning 1800 600 664 or emailing Andrew at

You can trust Taylor & Scott Migration Lawyers to do everything they can to ensure that you succeed with your health waiver application. 


How can we help?