If you’re interested in migrating to Australia on a Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa subclass 482 (formerly the 457 visa) then you will need to meet the Australian health requirements and have adequate health insurance. It’s important you understand what these requirements are, and if you will need to complete a health examination.
What are the health requirements?
These health requirements are in place so that the Australian Government can try to prevent public health threats, reduce additional healthcare costs and ensure certain healthcare and community services remain available to Australian citizens and Permanent Residents.
In order to meet the health requirements you must be free from any disease or condition that is:
- Going to cause a significant healthcare and community cost to the Australian community
- Likely to require healthcare and community services that are in short supply
You must also be able to prove you and anyone included on your visa has sufficient medical cover while in Australia.
You may be required to undergo a health examination. However, not everyone will be requested to do so.
If you are requested to complete a health examination your results are assessed by a Medical Officer of the Commonwealth (MOC). The MOC will advise the Australian Government whether you have any existing conditions or are likely to:
- Threaten public health
- Cause significant costs to healthcare and community services
- Require healthcare and community services that are in short supply
Who will need to complete a medical examination?
If any of the points below apply to you, or anyone you’re including on your visa, they’ll be asked to complete a medical examination.
You’re from a country with high tuberculosis (TB) risk
TB is considered a health threat to the community. You will need to undergo a health examination and a chest x-ray. This applies if you have spent more than three consecutive months in a high-risk country.
The following list of countries are all classified as low-risk; any not listed are high-risk.
Low Risk Countries for TB
- American Samoa
- Antigua and Barbuda
- Bouvet Island
- Cayman Islands
- Christmas Island
- Cocos (Keeling) Islands
- Cook Islands
- Costa Rica
- Czech Republic
- Falkland Islands
- Faroe Islands
- French Polynesia
- FYR Macedonia (Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia)
- Heard and McDonald Islands
- Netherlands Antilles
- New Caledonia
- New Zealand
- Norfolk Island
- Palestinian Authority
- Pitcairn Island
- Puerto Rico
- Reunion Island
- Saint Eustatius & Saba
- Saint Helena (Ascension and Tristan da Cunha)
- Saint Kitts and Nevis
- Saint Lucia
- Saint Martin (Dutch)
- San Marino
- Saudi Arabia
- South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands
- Svalbard & Jan Mayen
- Trinidad and Tobago
- Turks and Caicos Islands
- United Arab Emirates
- United Kingdom (British citizen)
- United States of America
- Vatican City
- Virgin Islands (British)
- Virgin Islands (US)
- Wallis and Futuna Islands
You have special circumstances
A health examination will be required if any of the following applies:
- From a country with a high risk of TB and you are going to enter a healthcare or hospital environment
- Pregnant and intend to have the baby while in Australia
- Employed or will study to be a doctor, dentist, nurse, or paramedic
- Employed or will be a trainee at a childcare centre (including preschools and crèches)
You have significant medical conditions
If anyone on your visa application has a medical condition it does not necessarily mean your application will be rejected. The Department of Immigration will evaluate if the condition will have a significant impact on the Australian healthcare and welfare system. They will also calculate treatment costs, and whether it will be ongoing. Costs of AUD $40,000 or more are considered significant.
Every visa application is assessed on a case-by-case basis and a case officer will look at the results and recommendations from the medical examination. If you are unsure about a medical condition then its best to get professional advice from a Registered Migration Agent.
Who doesn’t require a medical examination?
If none of the three points above applies to you or anyone included on your TSS visa application it is unlikely that you will be requested to complete a health examination.
When will you complete the medical examination?
You will normally submit your TSS visa application and then wait for the case officer to request a medical examination. Once this has been requested, you will be able to complete the examination.
If you have already completed a health examination within 12 months of your application then you may be able to use the results from that examination.
Where can I have my medical examination?
Medical examinations are performed by an Australian Government approved panel physician. There are approved panel physicians in most countries and cities around the world. To find the nearest one you visit the Department of Home Affairs website
What will I be tested for?
This will depend on the reason you require a health examination. You will need the following tests depending on your circumstances:
|You are from a high-risk TB country||· Medical examination|
|· Chest x-ray (if aged 11 yrs or over)|
|You are from a high-risk TB country and likely to enter a healthcare or hospital environment||· Medical examination|
|· Chest x-ray (if aged 11 yrs or over)|
|You are pregnant & intend to have the baby in Australia||· Hepatitis B test|
|You intend to work or study to be a doctor, dentist, nurse or paramedic||· Medical examination|
|· Chest x-ray|
|· Hepatitis B and C test|
|You are likely to work or be a trainee at a childcare centre (including preschools and crèches)||· Medical examination|
|· Chest x-ray|
What is the price of an examination?
This will vary depending on what you need to be examined for. Prices may also vary depending on which country you are located in but should be similar to Australian costs. A standard medical examination currently costs about AUD $230, with additional costs for x-rays or other tests.
In addition to proving you meet the above health requirements you are also expected to prove that you will have an adequate level of health insurance for yourself and anyone included on your visa.
You will need to make sure you have adequate cover for you and your family whilst on the TSS visa.
What is ‘adequate’ health cover?
You will need to get private health insurance for yourself and anyone else included on your visa. It is very important you maintain your cover the whole time you are on the visa.
There are a number of private health providers that offer specialised cover for TSS visa holders. In order for your cover to meet the Government requirements of adequate cover your policy will need to cover:
- Public hospital treatment
- Surgically implanted prostheses
- Medical services
- Ambulance services
It’s important that your cover starts on the day you land in Australia. There is no point in purchasing your private insurance until your TSS visa application has been approved, and you know your arrival date in Australia.
What is Medicare, and am I eligible?
Medicare is the Australian Government-run health insurance scheme. It enables free or subsidised treatment at Government hospitals and cheaper medicine. The Australian Government has Reciprocal Healthcare Agreements (RHA) with specific countries, so if you hold a passport from an eligible country you will be able to apply for Medicare. However, Medicare only provides essential health cover, which does not cover everything that is required to have adequate cover. It is still worth applying for your Medicare card once you arrive if eligible but you will still need to get private health insurance to meet the requirement of adequate cover.
Countries with reciprocal healthcare agreements:
- New Zealand
- Republic of Ireland
- United Kingdom
How much does private insurance cost?
There are a number of different providers so the cost will vary. It will also depend on if you require cover just for yourself or family.
|Cover Type||Amount $AUD per month|
|Single||$63 – $110|
|Couple||$140 – $220|
|Family||$150 – $240|
In order to be approved a TSS visa there are a number of requirements you must prove you meet through certain documents. A health examination may be needed for some people but everyone must have adequate health cover whilst on the visa whether it be private or Medicare.
Make sure you understand if you will get asked to complete a health examination and if so how you could fail it. If you are unsure about any aspect of this subject, or you’re not sure if a condition is considered significant, a registered Migration Agent will be able to help you.
Visa Jobs is an independent company and has no association with the Australian Department of Immigration. The information in this article should not be used as legal advice. It is based on public guidelines available at The Australian Government – Department of Home Affairs’ website.
Every visa application is assessed on a case by case basis. We strongly recommend your documents and personal situation be assessed by a Registered Migration Agent who is bound by the MARA code of conduct before submitting any visa applications.