Do I need a visa medical examination for my Australian visa?

Australian Visa Medicals Overview

When you are swamped with all the requirements you need to provide for visa eligibility, it is easy to overlook the importance of health examination for visa, which are just as important as your other visa requirements. Your medical examination will be undertaken by Bupa Medical Visa Services.

Immigration health examination requirement is imposed on almost every visa application in Australia, facilitated through Public Interest Criteria (‘PIC’) 4005 or 4007 (which form part of the visa grant requirements for many visas).

As a result, it is important that you understand what type of Health Examination for visa will be required of you when applying for an Australian visa.

The Department of Home Affairs (‘DOHA’) provides full information on their website, but this article will provide a general overview of health examination for an Australian visa.


Temporary visa applicants

As a temporary visa applicant, the type of examination you will have to undertake will depend on the following factors:

  • The type of visa you are applying for
  • The intended duration of stay in Australia
  • The level of tuberculosis risk identified by the DOHA
  • Any special significance identified by the DOHA, based on your intended activities in Australia
  • Any special circumstances that may apply to you
  • Any significant medical conditions found during your health examination for the visa application process

Typically, temporary visa applicants need to have these tests:

  • You are from a low risk country and intend to stay either up to or more than 6 months
    • no health examinations will be required unless special circumstances apply
  • You are from a high risk country, and you intend to stay over 6 months
    • medical examination; and
    • chest x-ray (if aged 11 years of age or over)

If you have been in Australia in the last 28 days, the DOHA will include the time you have already spent in Australia when they figure out your length of stay for health requirement purposes.

In some situations, you may also need to have the following additional examinations:

  • You are from a country with a higher risk of TB and likely to enter a healthcare or hospital environment
    • chest x-ray examination (if aged 11 or over); and
    • medical examination
  • You are pregnant and intend to give birth to the baby in Australia
    • hepatitis B test
  • You intend to work as (or study to be) a doctor, dentist, nurse or paramedic
    • chest x-ray
    • medical examination
    • HIV test; and
    • hepatitis B and C tests
  • You are likely to work (or be a trainee) at an Australian childcare centre (including preschools and creches)
    • chest x-ray; and
    • medical examination
  • You are aged 75 years or older and applying for a Visitor visa (subclass 600)
    • medical examination

When you visit the panel clinic, you will be asked if you intend to apply for permanent residency within the next 6 to 12 months. If your answer is yes, they will ask if you wish to be assessed for permanent residency. You will then need to go through more examinations and pay for the additional examination costs.


Permanent and Provisional visa applicants

Permanent and provisional visa applicants, as well as their family members, will typically be subject to medical examinations.

In some cases, family members who are not accompanying you to Australia may be requested to undergo health checks at the Department’s discretion.

Permanent and provisional visa applicants need to have these following health examinations:

  • Under 2 years old
    • medical examination
  • 2 or more but under 11 years old
    • medical examination; and
    • TB Screening test – either Tuberculin Skin Test (TST) or Interferon-Gamma Release Assay (IGRA) if you are from a higher risk country for tuberculosis or are applying for a refugee or humanitarian type visa
  • 11 or more but under 15 years old
    • medical examination; and
    • chest x-ray
  • 15 or more years of age
    • medical examination
    • chest x-ray; and
    • HIV test

In some circumstances, you may be asked to go through more tests:

  • You are 15 years of age or older and intend to work as (or study to be) a doctor, dentist, nurse or paramedic
    • Hepatitis B and C test
  • You are 15 years old or older and applying for an onshore protection visa
    • Hepatitis B and C tests
    • Syphilis test
  • You are 15 years of age or older and applying for a refugee visa
    • Syphilis test; and
    • Tests that address your specific health risks
  • You are pregnant and plan to have your baby in Australia
    • hepatitis B test
  • You are a child for adoption or a child in the care of an Australian state or territory government welfare authority
    • Hepatitis B test; and
    • HIV test

The DOHA may require you to have further tests if a health condition is found when you have your initial health examination or during the visa application process.


What if I fail the health requirement?

If a Medical Officer of the Commonwealth (‘MOC’) finds that you do not meet the health requirement, you may be able to request the Department to exercise a health waiver depending on the type of visa you have applied for and your individual circumstances. If the Department exercises a health waiver, you will be able to get your visa without needing to satisfy the medical requirement on your visa application.

You can find more information about ‘Health Waiver‘ by clicking here.


Contact Us

At Hummingbird Legal, we can help you with all of your migration needs and our migration lawyer can assist you through the entire process, including your health and medical requirements.

Contact our team today to learn more about your Australian visa options and health requirements.