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Health Waiver – Case Study

09 Aug

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Find out more with this case study on one of our clients’ Health Waivers

Mr and Mrs D approached us for assistance regarding their health waiver and Australian visa. They had self lodged a Subclass 189 (New Zealand Stream) Visa application and had just received a letter from the Department of Home Affairs (DHA), informing them that their son had not met the health requirement of the visa.

The DHA Medical Officer of the Commonwealth (MOC) had assessed the costs of the son’s care at over $2,000,000.

What is the “Health Requirement”?

All applicants for Australian visa must meet the health requirement. An applicant will fail the health requirement if they have a medical condition that exceeds a financial threshold (currently $49,000, up from $40,000 on 1 July 2019), reduces access to care for Australian citizens or Australian Permanent Residents (think transplant surgery, renal dialysis etc), or poses a threat to the health of the nation (eg Tuberculosis). We have written a blog article on this topic, which you can read here.

Generally, if a permanent visa applicant fails the medical, the visa will be refused. Further, if one member of the family unit fails the medical all applicants will be refused their visa (the so called “one fails, all fails” approach).

Health Waiver

Fortunately the visa type Mr and Mrs D had applied for, had a provision for a health waiver. This meant that we could apply to the DHA on their behalf and request that the health requirement be waived. In other words, even though they had failed the medical, the DHA had the discretion to “waive” or overlook the medical results and the visa could be granted.

Health Waiver Approved!

Approximately 5 months after drafting relevant submissions, gathering extensive evidence in support and providing the evidence and submissions to the DHA, Mr and Mrs D and their family were granted permanent residence visas.

Some of the factors that the DHA would have taken into account were Mr and Mrs D capacity to mitigate the costs of the required medical care, e.g. by being employed, paying taxes (including the Medicare levy), investing in private health insurance and owning property. Being involved in their local community and having  their other children settled in school, also contributed to a wonderful outcome for the family.