To gain a permanent visa to Australia, you must meet certain health requirements. This post gives you some basic information about what is involved and why, and where to go to get further assistance.

In most cases, Australia will not deny you a visa automatically if you don’t meet health requirements. If you have a health condition, it will be assessed on its own merits. This includes heart disease, HIV, and all other diseases – except tuberculosis (‘TB’) and other conditions which pose a risk to public health. Tuberculosis and such conditions, as you will see below, are handled a bit differently. That happens for specific reasons.

How it all works

Every single case is brought to the Medical Officer’s attention. That Officer assesses every case for its impact on the Australian community. All cases are looked at individually. Your health requirement isn’t matched to a pool of other applicants, but is taken seriously.

Tuberculosis and conditions posing a public health risk are a different matter. For example, Australia is lucky to be third-lowest in the world’s ranks of adult tuberculosis infection. This disease is at epidemic level for the world’s adult population. It’s not a problem at all in Australia. This is why our tests for TB are really strict, and don’t stop at point of entry. We also have follow-ups to make sure that previous TB does not reactivate.

Blood-borne viruses like hepatitis also require specific testing in some circumstances. Certain people – such as pregnant women, and children for adoption – must be tested for hepatitis. If you’re over 15, you’ll also be tested for HIV.

Even if your test is positive, it doesn’t necessarily mean you will be refused. It will mean that you need to provide more information.

You might consider Australia’s health regulations strict. But, we do enjoy one of the world’s best standards of health.

There is just one key thing to remember. That is: No decision relating to health is made lightly.

Even if it looks like the Minister may refuse entry on health grounds, you may be able to request an appeal, waiver or review.

What is required?

There are a number of things you need to do, depending on your age. This fact sheet produced by the Department of Immigration tells you the reasons for Australia’s health requirement. It also lists the entire process so you have it in one place. This includes the processes where tuberculosis and blood-borne viruses are found.

Who do I turn to for guidance?

If you’re not sure whether you will meet Australia’s health requirement, contact us. We can give you guidance and advice that will help you through the process.