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Why people immigrating to Australia need to understand health waivers

Before you can migrate to Australia, you need to meet the health requirements. This can be a challenge for elderly relatives or those who are suffering from long-term illnesses. Fortunately, there are provisions for select visa programs which allow people to immigrate to Australia even if they don’t meet the health requirements. This is known as a Health Waiver.

Australian Health Waivers

Currently, when an individual applies to immigrate to Australia, they have to undergo a series of health tests. If they do not meet the standard requirements, they won’t be able to obtain their visas.

Health checks are part of the larger visa application process. People coming into Australia for study, business, holidays, or with the intent to immigrate all have to successfully complete a health assessment before they can be granted a visa. The medical assessment process is rigorous, involving lots of paperwork, medical checks, interviews and more. If a visa applicant or their dependents fail to meet health requirements, their visa application will be denied unless a health waiver is granted.

Failure to meet the Australian health standards

An applicant will fail the health application if one’s condition or disease can cause significant costs and/or prejudice to access.

This is determined by the medical officer adding up potential medical costs including but not limited to:

  • Medication
  • Community assistance
  • Medicare
  • Social security

If the costs/expenses add up to over $49,000, they are considered to be ‘significant’. If one’s condition or disease adversely affects other Australians’ access to health care and community services that are in short supply in Australia, prejudice to access is deemed to exist.

When can a health waiver be exercised

The Department of Home Affairs will take into account the applicant’s unique and individual circumstances of a compelling nature to decide whether granting a visa would not result include costs or pressure on health care. This can make this type of health waiver a far more complicated process than it appears.

Some of the relevant circumstances include:

  • An Australian citizen sponsor is diagnosed with a health condition where they are unable to seek the appropriate medical assistance if they were forced to relocate.
  • A sponsor would be adversely affected if the were forced to move back to their home country.
  • The individual holds a protection refugee/humanitarian visa, and they would be separated from their children or spouse should they be forced to move back to their home country.
  • Australia would miss out on significant contributions from the applicant should they have to move back to their home country.
  • The applicant’s occupational skills are in high demand.
  • The applicant has a family member who has been compatibility tested and is willing to donate an organ (if the applicant is likely to require organ transplantation.)

To help ensure your future in Australia call Taylor & Scott Lawyers on 1800 600 664 or fill out the online contact form for more information on how we can help you.