Medical Criteria for Australian Visa Applications

Medical Criteria for Visa Applications to Australia

By Richard Gregan, Registered Migration Agent 9905168

Owner and proprietor;

OE Visas Ltd

Ian Harrop & Associates Ltd


All visas, whether temporary or permanent carry health conditions. 

As a practising migration agent, I’m often asked whether it is even worthwhile applying for a visa if one of the applicants has a medical condition.    I can only answer these questions based on my past 21 years’ experience in dealing with these applications.  This is a difficult and complex area of migration law.  Answers are not always black and white.  There are often subtle shades of grey.

Part of my work will sometimes involve reviewing the potential visa applicant’s medical file with a doctor with a view to being able to say whether it is reasonable to proceed with an application.  This usually involves getting an idea of “costs to the Australian Community” before weighing these against policy and law.

I also often suggest the potential migrant consults their own GP and asks the question: Am I being unrealistic to even consider migrating to Australia with my medical condition?  A green light from your own primary health care giver is a good start and confidence booster.

Migrants who are permanent residents will be treated under the same health care arrangements as Australians who have paid into the Medicare scheme all their working lives.  The Migration Act and Regulations are designed to ensure that Australians are not disadvantaged by an incoming migrant taking up resources from their health care funds.

The most common conditions I come across where I would expect the applicant to eventually proceed with a visa grant are those with the following diagnoses:

Asthma, eczema, minor high blood pressure, well controlled epilepsy, type 1 diabetes, amputated limbs, applicants on long term thyroxine.  These conditions are relatively inexpensive to treat.

I am frank with any enquirer that the following conditions which will likely cause a visa refusal would include the following medical conditions:

active cancer, out of control type 2 diabetes, morbid obesity, waiting on or having received a transplanted organ, cardiac disease, history of strokes, dialysis patients and major psychiatric history.

Neither of these lists of examples are definitive red or green lights for a likely successful application. There are other conditions, too numerous to mention here that will result in both grants and refusals.   

It is important to understand that costs likely to be incurred by non-medical issues by people who have special needs such as major learning difficulties or require ongoing social care will also be considered by the case officer.

The criteria for deciding whether to grant a visa to an applicant with significant medical or social issues is “how much will it cost to treat or care for this new migrant”?  If the amount is $40,000 AUD per year the case will almost certainly fail.  These costs include such things as medication, hospital admissions, surgery etc.  They also include such things as special learning school needs, social or residential care.

There are exceptions for some visas where a “medical waiver” and a “health undertaking” is available.  Your application is way past the “DIY” stage if this applies to you.  You should speak to a professional MARA registered agent or specialist lawyer.

Further information can be found at;

Schedule 4, Criteria 4005

Procedure Advice Manual (PAM)

Public Interest Criteria (PIC) – Significant Costs and Prejudice access to healthcare and community services.

Medical Officer of The Commonwealth (MOC)

If you have concerns speak to a reputable MARA agent.


Richard Gregan

MARA 9905168




Category: Australian Visas
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