Updated September 2023
Australia is globally celebrated for its breathtaking natural landscapes, a flourishing economy that contributes to an exceptional standard of living, and a well-developed healthcare system. The country places a paramount emphasis on the health and well-being of its citizens, resulting in some of the world’s highest health standards. These health standards extend to individuals planning to visit or migrate to Australia, making medical tests an integral component of the Australian visa application process.
In this article, Wego delves into this vital facet of the visa procedure for Australia, providing insights into who is required to undergo these tests, what applicants can anticipate during the process, and more.
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Australia visa medical test
Australia upholds some of the world’s highest health standards, which require most visa applicants to meet minimum health criteria commonly known as ‘meeting the health requirement.’ This rigorous assessment serves several vital purposes:
- Safeguarding the Australian community from potential public health and safety risks, with a particular focus on diseases such as active tuberculosis.
- Managing expenditures on services such as social security benefits, allowances, and pensions, ensuring responsible allocation of resources.
- Guaranteeing that Australian citizens and permanent residents can access essential healthcare and community services, which may be in short supply, preventing any adverse impact on their access to these services, a concept known as “prejudicing access.”
In essence, meeting the health requirements plays a pivotal role in maintaining both the health and well-being of the Australian population and the nation’s healthcare resources.
Who requires an Australia visa medical test?
Applicants and their accompanying family members may be required to undergo health examinations to demonstrate their compliance with the health requirements. Additional health assessments may be necessary for individuals originating from countries facing public health issues, such as polio or Ebola Virus Disease (EVD).
It is worth noting that if you have undertaken a medical examination in the last 12 months, it is possible that you wouldn’t need to take another one for your application.
Permanent and provisional visa applicants
Applicants and their accompanying family members must mandatorily meet the health requirements and undergo all the necessary tests required. All applicants for permanent migration visas are required to undergo a full medical examination and chest x-ray with a panel doctor before a visa can be granted. In some cases, it is possible that even family members of the applicant who aren’t accompanying them to Australia need to meet certain health requirements.
Temporary visa applicants
Some applicants for temporary stay visas may also need to undergo one or both of the following examinations or provide a “fitness to travel” letter from a doctor before a visa can be granted. This requirement depends on several factors, including the type of visa, duration of stay, and purpose of stay, among others. Mandatory medical examinations and/or chest x-rays are typically required for temporary visa applicants in Australia if they:
- have applied for medical treatment, temporary protection or a provisional visa
- expect to incur medical costs or require medical treatment
- are intending to work as (or study to be) a doctor, dentist, nurse or paramedic
- will enter a hospital, aged or disability care facility (if higher tuberculosis risk)
- are pregnant and intending to have the baby in Australia
- will work or train at an Australian childcare center
- are aged over 75 years (if applying for a visitor visa)
- have had previous household contact with tuberculosis or
- are requested to do so by the department
Other temporary visa applicants in Australia are not required to undertake medical examinations and chest x-rays in order to meet the health requirements.
How to check if you need a medical test
For online visa applications, determining whether you require health examinations involves the following steps:
- log in to ImmiAccount.
- go to your application.
- click on the ‘View health assessment’ link in the Applications Status section
If health examinations are necessary, you will find a link labeled ‘Organise health examinations.’ Conversely, if no health examinations are needed, you won’t find any link. By clicking on the provided link, you can complete your medical history, and upon doing so, you will receive a referral letter containing a unique identifier known as a HAP ID. This HAP ID is essential for arranging your health examinations.
In the case of paper visa applications, your designated case officer will get in touch with you if health examinations are required. You will then receive a referral letter that includes the HAP ID, which you will use to coordinate your health examinations.
Which medical tests do applicants need to take
The required medical test differs for every applicant based on the type of visa they are applying for, their age and some other factors. Here is a breakdown of the tests required for different visa types.
Please note that depending on the applicant’s particular condition, they may be required to undergo additional tests. For more information on the parameters for additional tests, visit the government of Australia’s health examinations page.
Permanent and provisional visa applicants
|Under 2 years||Medical examination|
|2 to 11 years||Medical examination|
|TB Screening test (Tuberculin Skin Test – TST or Interferon-Gamma Release Assay – IGRA) if from a higher-risk country for tuberculosis or applying for a refugee or humanitarian visa|
|11 to 15 years||Medical examination|
|15 or more years||Medical examination|
Temporary visa applicants
Generally, temporary visa applicants need to have these health examinations based on the country’s risk level and the duration of their stay:
|Country risk level||Your stay will be less than 6 months||Your stay will be 6 months or more|
|Low risk||No health examinations needed unless special circumstances apply||No health examinations needed unless special circumstances apply|
|High risk||No health examinations needed unless special circumstances apply||– Medical examination*
– Chest x-ray (if aged 11 years or older)*
– Serum creatinine/eGFR (if aged 15 years or older)*
These tests are currently not applicable for temporary visa applicants already in Australia unless special circumstances apply.
What to expect at Australia visa medical test
If you are required to undergo a health examination, you will receive the following:
- a list of the examinations you must have
- an identifier called a HAP ID
You will need this HAP ID to schedule your health examinations. You can arrange an appointment through Australia’s official medical services provider, Bupa Medical Visa Services. Alternatively, you can call 1300 794 919 to coordinate your health examinations.
If you are currently outside of Australia, you must undergo the examination through one of the Department’s approved panel physicians or clinics. A panel physician is a medical professional or radiologist designated by the department to conduct health examinations outside of Australia at an authorized clinic.
See how to contact a panel physician by finding the immigration office nearest to you.
Essential items to bring to your appointment
When preparing for your appointment, please ensure that you have the following documents with you:
- a valid original passport (digital copies or photocopies will not be accepted)
- your HAP ID, along with either your ‘Health Examination List’ letter or the Referral Letter provided by the Department
- your prescription spectacles or contact lenses if you wear them
- any existing specialist or other medical reports related to known medical conditions
- any previous chest x-rays that you may have had
Having these documents readily available will help expedite your health examination process.
Processing health information
Health information required for Australian immigration health examinations is processed through the electronic visa health processing system known as eMedical. When health information is submitted via eMedical, it reaches the Department instantly, eliminating the delay associated with sending paper-based reports to Australia. Individuals with a HAP ID can use eMedical to track whether and when their examination results have been submitted to the Department.
Result and outcomes
Health examination results become accessible only after being submitted by the panel clinic. You can inquire about the submission status directly with the clinic. For inquiries related to results, please reach out to your designated visa processing officer once the clinic has transmitted your health examination results. If you have applied online, you can find health assessment processing information in your ImmiAccount.
In cases where no significant health conditions are identified in your examination results, your case may clear without the need for referral to a Medical Officer of the Commonwealth (MOC). The MOC assesses your case, determining whether you meet the health requirement, can meet it with a health undertaking, or do not meet it.
If your health assessment falls short of meeting the requirement, a visa can only be granted if a health waiver is available and applied. Depending on your health assessment outcome, additional health examinations may be necessary, and your visa processing officer will provide guidance.
Please note that health assessment results remain valid for 12 months, whereas a health undertaking, if required, is valid for 6 months.
Australia visa medical test cost
You are responsible for covering all expenses associated with your health examinations, including fees for doctors, tests, specialists, and courier services. The costs for health examinations conducted outside Australia are typically similar to those for comprehensive local medical examinations.
For specific pricing details, please contact the clinic before your appointment, or you can visit Bupa Medical Visa Services for information on Australian visa health examination costs.
Health undertaking for Australia visa
A health undertaking is an agreement with the Australian Government to meet the health requirement and manage significant health conditions with an onshore health provider if necessary. It may be required if you have specific health conditions such as tuberculosis, HIV, hepatitis B or C, or leprosy, or if you completed health examinations abroad or are applying for a protection visa. Refusal to sign a health undertaking when requested will result in visa denial.
For comprehensive information about the conditions that necessitate a health undertaking and access to undertaking forms, please visit the official website.
Health waiver for Australia visa
In certain cases, a health waiver may be considered for specific visa types when an applicant does not meet the health requirement, as determined by a Medical Officer of the Commonwealth (MOC). To qualify for a health waiver, all other visa criteria must be satisfied, and it should be unlikely that granting the visa will result in significant healthcare costs or impact access to services in short supply for Australian citizens or permanent residents. However, a health waiver is not available if the health requirement cannot be met due to active tuberculosis or if the applicant’s health condition poses a threat to the Australian community or public health.
For comprehensive information on conditions necessitating a health waiver and access to the relevant forms, please visit the official website.