Updated: Jul 26
Partner Visa Australia - Health Waiver
For permanent visa applications in Australia if the applicant is HIV positive you are unlikely to pass the health criteria. However you may still be eligible for an Australian Partner Visa if your application for the 4007 HIV health waiver is successful.
When applying for a partner visa in Australia you will be required to attend a health assessment. Health requirement for the following visa subclasses:
Subclass: 820/801 (Onshore Partner Visa)
Subclass 309/100 (Offshore Partner Visa)
Subclass 300 (Offshore Prospective Marriage Visa)
In your respective country you may arrange a health assessment with an appointed service provider; find out more on the DHA website LINK.
Partner Visa - Health Assessment
Included in the health assessment you will be required to provide a blood sample which will be tested for HIV. The Medical Officer of The Commonwealth (MOC) will then issue guidance in regard to your condition. Usually the applicant is deemed not to meet the health criteria because of the ‘significant costs’ associated with the long-term treatment of HIV, specifically pharmaceuticals (medication) and community services (doctors/specialists).
With advances in medication your HIV condition may be determined as non-detectable. Note: you will still be assessed against the heath condition 4007 - 'Public Interest Criteria'. Also be aware the MOC decision is based on a hypothetical person (in your situation). Even if you have adequate funds to pay for your own medication and healthcare costs the MOC may not take this into account.
What Can I Do - 4007 HIV Health Waiver?
You may be eligible to make an application for a waiver of the 4007 condition. You will be required to demonstrate that despite the significant costs required for your ongoing treatment the cost is ‘undue’. Another way of explaining this is that despite the significant costs there is a moral obligation to waive the health criteria and grant the partner visa.
The circumstances that may justify a waiver of the health criteria include compelling and compassionate circumstances, whether the visa applicant can mitigate the cost and or prejudice to Australian citizen/permanent resident access to health care.
When preparing your Health Waiver application try to put everything on the table. Your ability to mitigate healthcare costs, your earnings and complete financial situation could form a part of your waiver application.
Are you in a long term relationship? How would your partner cope if the waiver was not successful and you were forced to reside offshore? Do you have a 'Plan B'?
What Factors Are Considered For The HIV Health Waiver?
The circumstances that the Department of Home Affairs will take into consideration in terms of determining whether a health waiver could be granted may include:
The impact on any Australian citizen children and the extent of any family ties;
The effect on an applicant’s health if forced to relocate;
The benefits the applicant and/or their family members can bring to the Australian community and the economy more generally by allowing the waiver;
The applicant and/or any sponsor’s ability to offset the potential costs of treatment
Pros & cons if the sponsor was forced to relocate.
Any other relevant factors.
Careful consideration should to be applied towards whether the person can meet the legislative requirements to make a visa application as well as to be granted the visa. Even if you are planning on requesting a waiver of the health criteria, you will nonetheless still be required to undertake all required medical examinations for the visa (including HIV testing). One of the first things to do is to establish the full extent of the condition in terms of matters such as the current CD4+ cell count, what treatment algorithm is being pursued etc.
There is however some good news! From 1 July 2019, departmental policy to determine the significant cost threshold was increased to $49,000. Ok, an increase is never good but more importantly is that the costs are only calculated up to a maximum of 10 years; not lifetime costs as was previously the case. These changes are significant; applicants who previously could not meet the health requirement are now in a better place to make a viable application for a health waiver.
A health waiver for a partner visa can be a complex matter, it is strongly advised that you seek professional advice from a Registered Migration Agent experienced in Health Waiver matters. Do this prior to when you submit your visa application. Forward planning is important for you to understand what action you need to take and when. Health waiver applications consider a range of factors based on the applicant's individual circumstances including their ability to mitigate the potential costs, prejudice to access identified, as well as any specific compelling and compassionate circumstances.
Call us for advice with your HIV Health waiver application; we can help!
Book A Consultation CLICK HERE
Michael Dooley | LGBT Principal Immigration Consultant | MARN 1789997
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