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To apply for an Australian visa, whether this is a temporary visa or for permanent residency, all applicants are required to meet the health requirement. The health requirement is detailed in the Migration Regulations 1994, under Schedule 4, Public Interest Criterion 4005.

In many instances, for permanent residency applications, the health requirement is strict, whereby the ‘One Fails all Fail’ rule applies. What this means for applicants, is that if a member of your family has a medical or health condition, then there is risk that the visa application as a whole may be refused.

Generally, an applicant will meet the health requirement if they do not have any disease or condition that would:

  • Incur a significant cost to the Australian community; and
  • Not prevent Australian citizens and permanent residents from being able to access to health care services

In the event a member of your family does have a health condition, an assessment will be made by a Medical Officer of the Commonwealth as to the costs involved in the treatment of the medical condition. If the cost of treatment exceeds $49,000 over a ten year period for most permanent visas, or over the period of intended stay for temporary visas, then the application is likely to be refused. For some temporary visas, if a member of the family unit does not meet the health requirement, then that person could withdraw from the visa application, thereby “saving” the application and allowing other family members to be granted their visas. That said, such a course or action may not be practical in all cases.

These costs are determined having regard to a ‘hypothetical person test’. This means the costs are calculated by considering the kind of medical treatment and services a hypothetical person with the same condition as the applicant would have. At first instance the personal circumstances of the applicant are not taken into account.

It should also be noted that the heath requirement also involves a consideration of whether an applicant may require special needs education or a care.

For some visas, a health waiver may be available. These include:

  • All refugee and humanitarian visas
  • Subclass 482 Temporary Skills Shortage visa
  • Subclass 186 Temporary Transition Residence Stream visa
  • Partner visas
  • Child visas

In these cases, if a member of the family unit has failed to meet the health requirement and the Department is satisfied that the granting of the visa would be unlikely to result in:

  • undue cost to the Australian community; or
  • undue prejudice to the access to health care or community services of an Australian citizen or permanent resident,

then a health waiver may be exercised.