If you are not an Australian citizen or a permanent resident, you  may be asked to undergo a health examination.

Most applicants for permanent visas, and temporary or provisional visas that lead to the grant of a permanent visa, are required to undergo health examinations for permanent entry to Australia. A successful health examination result does not mean that a visa will be granted. Costs associated with health examinations are generally the responsibility of the applicant.

Health examination for visa applicants

Temporary visa applicants

Health examinations will depend on your circumstances, your intended activities in Australia, and your country of origin or residence. You will need to undertake a health examination if:

  • you are likely to enter a hospital or other health care environment, including nursing homes as either a patient, visitor, trainee or employee
  • you are likely to enter a classroom environment, including preschool, crèche and child care environment
  • you are known or suspected of having a medical condition, regardless of your length of stay
  • you are aged 75 years or older
  • there are indications that you may not meet the health requirement.

Temporary visa applicants aged 75 or older

If you are aged 75 or older and applying for a Visitor visa (subclasses 676, 679, 456, 459) and not already required to undergo a medical examination you will be required to undergo an Aged Visitor Health Check. This health assessment must be completed by a panel doctor nominated by the Australian Government.
See:
Information Form 1163i Health requirement for temporary entry to Australia ( 55K B PDF file)
Supplement to Form 1163i Complete country listings for the health assessment matrix ( 25K B PDF file)

Permanent visa applicants

All members of your immediate family, including dependent family members who do not intend to migrate, must meet the health requirement. This includes all children under the age of 18 years as well as other dependants, regardless of whether they live with you.
See: Information Form 1071i Health requirement for permanent entry to Australia ( 50KB PDF file)

Your responsibilities when attending a health examination

You must truthfully disclose your medical history and details of any known medical conditions.
Note: The provision of false information or client substitution during the examination may result in your application being refused.

For applicants outside Australia you must attend the same panel doctor during the course of your current health assessment. If any further tests are required for your health examination, the panel doctor will refer you to an appropriate specialist.

ehealth

The department uses an online system known as eHealth to process your health examination results electronically.

You are encouraged to visit an eHealth enabled clinic and complete your health examinations electronically. In certain countries, where 100 per cent eHealth coverage exists, you must complete your health examinations electronically (except where limited exceptions apply).

The tip sheets below explain how to use eHealth, who can and will be required to use eHealth, and where eHealth is available.
See: 
100% eHealth ( 47KB PDF file)
eHealth – Electronic Health Processing (255KB PDF file)
eHealth Coverage ( 87KB PDF file)

When do I arrange a health examination?

If you intend to complete your health examination before you lodge your visa application, please first check which examinations you are required to undergo. This will help you avoid having to undergo additional examinations after you lodge your visa application.
See: Information Form 1163i (PDF) Health requirement for temporary entry to Australia ( 55KB PDF file)

If you choose to complete your health examinations after you have lodged your visa application, your case officer will contact you and advise which health examinations (if any) you will be required to undergo.

The table below outlines when you should arrange to complete your health examinations depending on what visa subclass you are applying for and whether you are in or outside Australia.

Subclass you intend to apply for Your location Recommendation
457, 856 and 857 In Australia You should complete the required health examinations before lodging your visa to help ensure that your application can be processed quickly.
457, 856 and 857 Outside Australia You should complete the required health examinations before lodging your visa to help ensure that your application can be processed quickly.

Before you lodge your visa application, you should contact the panel clinic you want to attend to ensure that the clinic is able to process your health examinations. You need to advise them which visa subclass you intend to apply for.

Any visa subclass other than 457, 856 or 857 In Australia You may complete your health examinations before lodging your visa application but you must inform Medibank Health Solutions (MHS) which visa subclass you intend to apply for.
Any visa subclass other than 457, 856 or 857 Outside Australia This will depend on what country you will be in when you complete your health examinations. Please see below for further information.

100% eHealth Countries

If you are completing your health examination in some countries you must wait until after you have lodged your visa application before you undergo the required health examinations (except where limited exceptions apply).
See: 100% eHealth Arrangements ( 47KB PDF file)

How do I arrange a health examination?

Applicants in Australia

Visa applicants in Australia must contact MHS to arrange a health examination.

If you are sick and you have a medical certificate from your treating doctor, you should ask the department about the option of having your MHS medical examination conducted at your own home. The cost of a medical examination at your home is higher than the cost of having a medical examination at MHS.
See: Medibank Health Solutions

Applicants outside Australia

You must arrange your health examination with a panel doctor and/or panel radiology clinic nominated by the Australian Government. Unless otherwise indicated, health examinations conducted overseas are only acceptable if conducted by a panel doctor/radiologist.

If you need both a medical and radiological examination you can arrange an appointment with a panel clinic that performs both medical and radiological examinations. Alternatively, you can initially arrange an appointment for your medical examination with a panel doctor who will refer you to an associated panel radiology clinic for your chest x-ray.

If you only need a radiological examination, you may need a referral from a doctor to make an appointment with a panel radiology clinic or you may be able to make an appointment directly with a panel radiology clinic. If you are unsure, contact your preferred panel radiology clinic to see if a referral is necessary. If a referral is required, you do not need to attend a panel doctor to obtain a referral. Instead you may obtain a referral from your local doctor.

You can obtain a list of panel doctors and radiology clinics in your country, territory or region that are authorised to perform medical and radiological examinations.
See: Immigration Panel Doctors

Health examination costs

You are responsible for paying any fees and costs associated with the examinations, including those of the medical and/or radiological examinations, special tests and investigations, treatment and specialists (unless you are an accepted Refugee or Special Humanitarian Program subclass 200, 201, 202, 203 or 204 visa applicant).

MHS determine the fees for health examinations in Australia.
See: Fees & Charges – Related Costs

If you are applying from outside Australia, you should expect examination fees to be similar to those charged locally for a comprehensive examination or report by a qualified medical practitioner. You should ask about the fees in advance and expect itemised receipts to be issued.

What do I bring to my health examination?

You must bring the following to your health examination:

  • your passport
  • a verified photocopy of the passport page that includes your photograph, name and date of birth (for identification purposes)
    Note: If you attend a health examination in Australia, you must present your valid passport or you may not be able to undergo your health examination.
  • your prescription spectacles or contact lenses
  • existing specialist and/or other relevant medical reports for known medical conditions
  • previous chest x-rays.

If you are completing your health examination after you have lodged your visa application, you must also bring either:

  • a ‘Health Examination Referral Letter’ or Form 26EH and/or Form 160EH available when completing your online application
  • a ‘Health Examination List’ provided by your case officer together with paper health examination forms unless you will be completing your health examination electronically
  • any other documentation/health client identifier provided by your case officer together with your paper health examination forms unless you will be completing your health examination electronically.

After my health examination

After your health examination, the completed reports will usually be sent to the department by the doctor. However, if you are in Australia, MHS may give you the results in a sealed, double yellow envelope to give to the department.
Note: It is important that you do not open the sealed envelope. If you do, you may have to redo your health examination.

Note: The examining doctor does not make the final decision on whether or not you meet the health requirement for your visa application. This decision will be made following an assessment by the department.

If you do not meet the health requirement and your visa application is refused, you may have review rights depending on the type of application you have lodged. The department will notify you of your review rights and provide you with information on how to apply for a review.
See: Fact Sheet 22 – The Health Requirement

Forms to use for a health examination

Online applications

If you lodge an online application and you are in a country where eHealth is available you can complete your health examinations electronically by selecting a clinic online and downloading a ‘Health Examination Referral Letter’.

Alternatively, you can download Form 26EH and/or Form 160EH from the online application system.  These will be made available to you as part of the online visa application process and will have your basic details and a Transaction Reference Number (TRN) automatically printed on them.

Important: You must select a clinic or download the Form 26EH and/or Form 160EH from the online application system for eHealth to locate your case. You will not be able to complete your examinations electronically if you bring paper Forms 26 and 160 to a clinic with your TRN.

Paper applications

You must print the required number of copies of Form 26 and/or Form 160 to present at the health examination, unless you will be attending an eHealth clinic and have already lodged your visa application.

Each applicant is required to complete Part A of the forms and attach a passport photo to the forms before attending the health examination.

Health Examination Type Form Required
Medical Examination Form 26 – Medical examination for an Australian visa (140KB PDF file)
Chest X-ray Form 160 – Radiological report on chest x-ray of an applicant for an Australian visa ( 97KB PDF file)
HIV/HEP B/HEP C Test Form 26 – Medical examination for an Australian visa (140KB PDF file)
Aged Visitor Health Check Aged Visitor Health Check Proforma ( 46KB PDF file)

Health examination results

Health examination results are generally valid for 12 months from the date the examination was assessed. If you have completed a health examination within the last 12 months, these health results may be used for your current visa application. However, different visas and different lengths of stay in Australia may require additional examinations to be completed. Your case officer will advise you if you need to undertake a new health examination.

Note: If you have previous health examination results which you believe are still valid and may be ‘re-used’, we recommend that you check with your case officer to see if you can re-use your previous results before undergoing new examinations.

Re-use of medicals

If you are a current visa holder and you are applying for a new visa within a certain period of time after you have been granted your current visa, you may be able to use the health examinations that you completed for your current visa again for your new visa application.
See: When Can I Re-Use My Medicals? (75KB PDF file)

Skilled health waivers

Certain visa subclasses provide for consideration of a health waiver where an applicant has failed to meet the health requirement because a Medical Officer of the Commonwealth has assessed them as having a disease or condition that is:

  • likely to result in significant health care and community service costs
  • prejudice the access of Australia citizens or permanent residents to such services.

A health waiver for four skilled visas (subclasses 846, 855, 856 and 857) has been available since 2009.

 

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