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The Health Waiver Process

Feb 26, 2023 | AUS | 0 comments

If you are a non-Australian Citizen who wants to travel to Australia on a temporary or permanent basis, you will have to undergo a health examination. This is because all non-Australians will have to meet the “health criteria”. Applicants and sometimes non-migrating family members will need to meet one of the three Public Interest criteria schedules, 4005, 4006A and 4007 as part of their overall satisfaction of the visa subclass requirements. The visas that do not need to address the PIC are: 

  • Bridging Visas (there are no schedule 4 Public Interest requirements, but they may also need to satisfy specific criteria contained within Schedule 2) 
  • Return Pending Visas (sc 695) 
  • Certain Humanitarian visa holders

This is the general health requirement where the applicant needs to prove that they are: 

  • Free from (active) tuberculosis. 
  • Free from any condition that may as a result pose a threat to public health

This schedule prescribes the health requirement as well as the provision of the “health waiver” in PIC 4007 (2). This is primarily for applicants who do not meet the health criteria but have compelling or compassionate reasons to be granted the visa. It does not mean that applicants and non-migrating family members are “exempt” from the health criteria. When the waiver is available in a visa subclass, it must be considered by the case officer based on the individual merits of the case. The health waiver applies to the following visa sub classes: 

  • All offshore humanitarian visas 
  • Certain onshore skilled visas such as s 186 and 187 (Temporary Residency Transition Stream Only) 
  • Partner and Child visas

The health waiver is applicable to all applicants and if one fails to meet the requirements, all the applicants will have failed. The health waiver can only be applied to visa subclasses which PIC4007 applies. The Medical Officer of the Commonwealth (MOC) will assess the condition of the individual against the costs to the Australian community plus the services that will be required for the individual to get the help they need. Applicants must provide compelling and compassionate reasons as part of their mitigating factors. 

Visa applicants must be provided with an opportunity to comment on the MOC opinion through an s57 notification prior to a health waiver submission being sent to the visa applicant or their Migration Agent. This is essential as a MOC opinion may subsequently change based on new medical information provided by the applicant. This will include: 

  • cases (other than offshore humanitarian cases) where the estimated costs are AUD 500 000 or more and 
  • cases where Prejudice to Access has been identified