When applying for a visa, the health requirement must be met. This requirement affects anyone applying for an Australian visa that is disabled or has an illness. This requirement has been in place for decades and has been called discriminatory with many people not knowing why the requirement is needed.
A number of families have been appealing deportation after not meeting the health requirement due to having a child with a disability. Due to a number of high profile cases, politicians want to amend health requirement.
How does the Health Requirement Work?
The Australian government has said that the requirement has three purposes:
- Protect Australians from health risks such as infectious diseases;
- Safeguard medical supplies that are limited; and
- Limit the money spent on health services.
The present guidelines state that it is “important for Australia and the continuation of visa programs that public health risks and health costs are not unduly increased by travellers and migrants”.
Many political advocates are calling out the cost requirement above as it targets those that have a disability and contradicts the human rights set out in the United Nation’s Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
Health costs of an applicant are assessed by a Medical Officer of the Commonwealth, the threshold of health costs are capped at $40,000. If an applicant with a disability or illness is assessed and is found to be over the capped $40,000 then they will not pas the health requirement for their visa application.
If an applicant wants a temporary visa then the health costs are judged over their length of stay in Australia.
For permanent visa applicants over 75 the health costs will be calculated over three years and for those under 75 will be over a five-year block.
If an applicant with a permanent disability, their costs will be determined by their predicted remaining life expectancy.
Some services that are used when calculating the health costs include but not limited to:
- Disability pension;
- Pharmaceutical allowances;
- Speech therapy;
- Cochlear implants; and
- Medical examinations.
The Medical Officer of the Commonwealth must use the ‘hypothetical person test’ that means they have to assess a hypothetical person identical to the applicant and make a cost assessment on what needs that person would have.
Factors such as the financial status of the applicant or their possible social contributions are not to be considered when making an assessment of the applicant.
Who does the Health Requirement Apply to?
Everyone that applies for an Australian visa will have to meet the health requirement. Depending on the applicant’s length of stay and type of visa, they may have to undergo a physical health exam before having their visa approved.
If one member of the family does not meet the health requirement then all other members of the family will have their visa rejected as well.
Any one seeking refugee in Australia will have the health requirement waived if they fail it due to the significant costs assessment.
There are a number of visa subclasses that do not have a health requirement.
Any applicant who has tuberculosis will have their application rejected there are no exceptions.
If an applicant fails the health requirement, they may be able to have the requirement waived depending on the visa class. If the visa falls under the Public Interest Objective 4005, a waiver is not possible.
A waiver assessment is the final phase before a decision is given; a waiver is only an option if all other eligibility criteria are met.
When assessing whether a waiver will be given, if the applicant can show they can help pay for their medical costs or if there is family in Australia.
If a health waiver is not an option, the applicant can appeal to the Immigration Minister who has the ability to overturn a rejected visa application. The Minister must be satisfied that the circumstances of the application are unique.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding the health requirement, please contact our team of experience Immigration Lawyers and Migration Agents. Call Results Migration on 1800 808 717 or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org and book your free consultation today!