For some time now, we have had files referred to us where a visa has been rejected for health reasons.

This means that the Commonwealth Medical Officer (CMO) has decided that a visa applicant is likely to cause significant cost to Australia’s health care system.

To overcome this, you need evidence that the health condition is not likely to cause significant cost.
This in turn requires:
1. Examining the CMO’s policy manuals for the particular health condition to determine what “likely” means (it can mean anything from a 30%-70% chance).
2. Getting evidence on the cost of treating the condition.
3. Speaking with medical experts regarding whether the health condition is likely to require treatment.
4. Drafting persuasive submissions.

There is now an additional mechanism available where an applicant for a Subclass 846, 855, 856 or 857 visa has failed to meet the health requirement.
In that scenario, a Skilled Health Waiver (‘SHW’) must be considered by the Department of Immigration and Citizenship.

A SHW allows the health requirement to be waived if it can be satisfied that the costs to the community and the prejudice to Australian citizens and permanent residents accessing health care and community services would not be undue.

All Australian states and territories have agreed to participate and have now been designated by the Minister of Immigration and Citizenship as participating states or territories of the SHW scheme.

As such, if you are applying for one of the above visas and it has been refused on health grounds (that is, a waiver was not exercised) then you should contact The Migration Place for advise on the best approach – which may be any of the Migration Review Tribunal, or the Federal Court.
It is important to arrange medical evidence before making that application as you usually only get one opportunity.