AUSTRALIA: Changes to Immigration Health Policy

From 20th November 2015, new health policy will apply to applicants for Australian visas. The Department of Immigration is restructuring the country risk levels from three groups to just two – lower and higher risk and removing concessions for 457 visa applicants.

In general terms, these changes mean that for individuals from countries of higher risk no medical assessments will be required where the applicant is applying for a temporary visa and intends to remain in Australia for less than 6 months. If they are applying for a temporary visa but intending to remain in Australia for more than 6 months they will be required to undergo a medical examination and a chest x-ray. Children under 11 will only be required to undergo the medical examination as per the current arrangement.

Applicants from countries of low risk who are applying for temporary visas will generally not be required to undertake health examinations.

Additional health examinations will be required in instances where the individual is intending to work as a doctor, dentist, nurse or paramedic, likely to work at an Australian Childcare centre, likely to enter a health care or hospital environment, is pregnant and intending to have their baby in Australia, or is aged 75 years and older. This applies to individuals from both lower and higher risk countries.

The current health requirements will continue to apply to all individuals who are applying for provisional and permanent visas with the exception of the introduction of new TB screening test (TST or IGRA) requirement for children aged between 2 and 10 years from countries of higher risk.

View the full legislative instrument here

Should you have any questions about the new health policy please do not hesitate to contact us for further information.

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