Immigration Law


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All Australian visas requires that the visa applicant or visa holder, meet a certain level of health requirement. The key focus is designed to protect the Australian community and prevent potential costs to the Australian health care and community services. It is also to safeguard the access of Australians to health services that are in shortage.


"The team at Agape is fantastic. I came to Australia without a valid visa and valid passport, was detained for years at the immigration detention centre, have my protection visa application refused, and barred for applying for any other visa. Went to Agape and they assisted me to have me released from the detention, sought ministerial intervention to ‘lift’ my ‘bar’ on applying further visas (and successfully), and lodge another visa. My journey didn’t end there. Due to my past, my visa application was about to be refused on the character grounds and my bridging visa about to get cancelled (with the risk of being detained again and removed from Australia). However, the team at Agape ‘fought’ for me tirelessly and argue my case to the Department. After a long battle, the Department assessed that I passed the character test needed for my visa. I didn’t know what I can say to describe my experience and my gratefulness towards the team at Agape. Many people easily promise the world but talk is cheap. I am thankful that I have Agape by my side, lawyers who have the fighting spirit for people in a complex situation like me. I strongly recommend their service. (I.W.I)”

- Isaac William




Health requirements are…






If your visa is refused on health, it is considered to be incurable. Statistically, there are very few successful appeals. This is because the Minister for Immigration delegates the power to the Medical Officer Commonwealth to make the decision. Thus, the opinion of the Medical Officer of the Commonwealth cannot be challenged (not even by world-renown doctors), unless proper procedures were not followed. 


If your visa application include family members, their applications may be refused. This is commonly referred to as “one fail, all fail” rule, which was designed specifically to prevent visa applicants from circumventing the spirit to the health requirement for visas.

For example, if your visa application did not include family members, and your non-migrating child fails to meet the health test, your application may be refused. 


There are number of methods to overcome the health requirement. Depending on the type of visa you’re applying for, there may be a provision to waive health requirements. In this case, a technical legal submission would be required to compel the Case Officer exercise their discretion to waive the health requirement in granting the visa.




If the visa you’re applying does not contain health waiver, there are a number of successfully proven strategies our firm used, for example:

  • Applying for a visa which does not require health tests or a visa which contains health waiver, purposed to create a foundational path as a strategic approach to ultimately obtain permanent residency.

  • Adjusting the ‘relevant’ period to lower the calculation of ‘significant costs’.

  • Argue that it is unreasonable to undertake a health examination.

If the visa you wish to apply does not contain a health waiver provision…


Although depending on the type of visa you wish to apply and the passport you hold, health checks may not be required. However, the Department of Immigration may cancel your visa for health concerns. Failure to declare on your incoming passenger card or in your visa application, will also lead to visa cancellation.


However, as you intend to work as a dentist, you will be required to take the medical examination, x-ray, HIV, hepatitis B and C blood test.

Because your wife is pregnant, she’ll have to do a Hep B blood test.

Hmmmm – you mentioned that your daughter spent 3 months in China learning the culture and language. I’ll have to check this for you but, she may have to undertake an x-ray. 

By the way, do you know if she declared this on her incoming passenger card?

Australian Permanent Visa

However, for your permanent visa application, your family and you are required to do medical examination and x-ray.

You may re-use the same health checks for your work visa, if they are less than 12 months old. 

A visa may not be granted if your wife is unable to complete the x-ray.

Meeting Health Criteria

We’ll have to look into the medical condition your wife has, as well as, your new born who may possibly contract.

Unless the baby is born while you’re a holder of a permanent visa, then the baby will need to meet health requirement at the time the application is decided.

The Medical Office of Commonwealth, what we refer to as “MOC” in the industry, assesses the medical condition to determine if the condition is likely to result in significant costs to health care and community service, if the visa is granted. 

I understand that you have access to reciprocal health care/maintain health insurance for your family, but the laws take a hypothetical person approach and is not concern whether the applicants actually access the health care or community service. 

Currently, Department policy sets $40,000 to be the threshold for “significant costs”.

The assessment period is 5 years, in the case of a permanent visa – calculated from the date of application but in relation to your work visa, it is calculated from the time of intended grant date for a period of proposed stay. 

Health Waiver

Now, if we have issues meeting this criterion, then lowering the period of proposed stay for the temporary visa may help in lowering the total costs.

However, if those costs are significantly high, then you may exercise the “health waiver” provision, where the Department has to be satisfied that the granting of the visa would not result in undue costs to the Australian community or undue prejudice to the access to health care or community services for the Aussies. [only organ]

There are a broad range of discretion available to the Department, in terms of costs – they consider compassionate and compelling circumstances and whether an applicant has the ability to mitigate the significant costs. 

They’ll definitely look favorably at your occupation if it is in high demand, along with assets of the family members and that health insurance you mention, helps in this case.

However, the direct-entry pathway or GSM does not have waiver provisions. 

It is available under the temporary residence transition (TRT) stream. 



When am I required to take a health test?

Temporary Visa

1.1.    If you’re applying for a temporary visa, the type of health examination you need to undergo will depend on a number of factors:

  • type of visa you are applying;

  • length of stay

  • country level of TB risk;

  • intended activities in Australia;

  •  any special circumstances that might be applicable;

  • presence of significant medical condition.

Do my family members need to take a health test?


What type of health test do I need to take?

Visa Cancellation Tip #4

Always tell your lawyer the truth. This allows them to devise a 3-pronged approach. 

  1. Canvass all options & pathways available. 

  2. Draw up “Short-Mid-Long” term strategies.

  3. Execute back-up plans.

What if I am pregnant or I have difficulties taking a health test?

Visa Cancellation Tip #6

Sometimes, the way to win, is to lodge another visa application, before the current visa is cancelled.

“The art of winning a war, is to quietly go around your enemy instead of going head to head”

Can I get a visa if I have a health condition?


Visa Cancellation Tip #8

Teamwork is the key to success. Your lawyer can’t win your case without your dedication to assisting them prepare your case. This includes, being prompt in responding to their requests, working hard and diligently in gathering evidence, never avoid their phone calls, keep to your promises, trust their experience and intuition, make timely payments and follow their advice.