At Freedom Migration we are often asked about health checks and health waivers for partner visa applications and what impact a health condition might have on the outcome of a partner visa application.\r\n\r\nIn short, the impact a health condition might have on your partner visa will all depend on what the health condition is. Some health conditions will cause no issue at all for your partner visa and you will pass the visa medical with \u2018flying colours\u2019. If on the other hand, your condition results in you not passing the visa medical then you may risk your partner visa being refused.\r\n\r\nIf you fail the visa medical, there is potential for Immigration to still grant your partner visa. For this to happen Immigration would need to \u2018waive\u2019 the health requirement.\r\n\r\nTo make this easier to get your head around I have broken the whole \u2018partner visa\u2019 and \u2018visa medical\u2019 into a couple of different sections based on the questions we frequently receive about this topic. The main thing to take away is to not get totally freaked out by the visa medical, if you were to \u2018fail\u2019 you may still have a shot at your partner visa being granted via a health waiver. \r\n\r\nWhy do I have to do a health check?\r\n\r\nPeople who want to migrate to Australia both temporarily or permanently must by law satisfy certain health requirements. The type of health check that needs to be carried out varies from visa to visa, as well as other factors including age, countries visited and intended activities in Australia.\r\n\r\nThe purpose of the health requirement is to protect the Australian community from public health risks, contain public spending on health care and community services and to safeguard the access of Australian citizens and permanent residents to health care and community services where those services are in short supply.\r\n\r\nIn other words it allows the Department of Immigration to control the granting of a visa to someone that would potentially result in letting someone into the country who may have a condition that is infectious and may put the Australian community at risk, or cost the Australian government a significant amount of money in treatment or potentially result in \u2018a longer queue\u2019 for access to treatments that have a long wait list.\r\n\r\nWhat do they check for?\r\n\r\nThere are a variety of tests that can be requested such as chest x-rays, Hepatitis B &amp; C tests, HIV test and other tests requested by the Medical Officer of the Commonwealth (MOC).\r\n\r\nCan I do my health check anywhere?\r\n\r\nFor visa and migration purposes, all medical examinations conducted inside Australia are currently conducted by Bupa Medical Visa Services or an agent of BUPA.\r\n\r\nOn the other hand, medical examinations conducted outside Australia are to be conducted by a Panel Doctor appointed by the Australian Government. Most countries will have a list of approved doctors who can conduct the health check.\r\n\r\nDo I need to get a Health Check if I\u2019m pregnant?\r\n\r\nIf you or your partner are pregnant at the time the health check is required then the Department does not recommend that a pregnant visa applicant undergoes a chest x-ray. This is because there is a risk that a chest x-ray could harm the unborn child. It is recommended that a pregnant visa applicant defers her chest x-ray, and therefore the decision on her visa application, until after the child\u2019s birth. If in doubt, seek advice from your General Practitioner.\r\n\r\nWhat impact will a diagnosis have on my Visa Application\r\n\r\nIf the Medical Officer of the Commonwealth (\u201cMOC\u201d) deems that your condition would result in any of the following, you are likely to fail the visa medical requirement;\r\n\r\nBe a threat to public health,\r\nCause undue/excessive cost to the Australian community,\r\nDue to your treatment reduce access to health care or community services for an Australian citizen/permanent resident, you may not pass the health criteria for the visa to be granted.\r\nDuring the process of your medical examination, the MOC and/or Panel Doctor may request further information from your treating specialist where you do have a medical condition or disease. After considering the information provided by your specialist, the MOC/Panel Doctor will make their final decision and notify the Department of Immigration &amp; Border Protection.\r\n\r\nDo I have to complete a HIV test as part of my Partner/De Facto Visa Application?\r\n\r\nAll permanent and provisional visas, if the visa applicant is 15 years of age or older require a HIV test.\r\n\r\nExamples:\r\n\r\nPermanent Partner (Subclass 801) visa;\r\nPermanent Partner (Migrant) (Subclass 100) visa;\r\nIt's also important to note that Temporary Visas such as a tourist visa (Subclass 600) do not normally require visa applicants to undergo an HIV test unless the person intends to work/study to become a doctor, nurse, dentist or paramedic in Australia.\r\n\r\nCan I still get an Australian Partner Visa if I am or my partner is HIV Positive?\r\n\r\nAs the Visa Applicant, if you are found to be HIV positive you are unlikely to pass the health criteria, but you may still be able to be granted an Australian Partner Visa if the Department of Immigration waive the health criteria.\r\n\r\nWhere HIV is concerned the visa applicant is usually deemed to not meet the health criteria requirements because of the \u2018significant costs\u2019 associated with the long-term treatment of HIV specifically in pharmaceuticals (medication) and community services (doctors/specialists).\r\n\r\nIn the case of HIV, if you can show that despite the significant costs required for your ongoing treatment the cost is \u2018undue\u2019. Another way of explaining this is that despite the significant cost there is a moral obligation to waive the health criteria and grant the partner visa.\r\n\r\nThe 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.\r\n\r\nWhen you complete your visa medical and the Department of Immigration and Border Protection is made aware of you not meeting the health criteria, they will write to you, giving you the opportunity to present your circumstances for Immigration to then, in turn, consider whether or not they warrant a waiver of the need to meet the health criteria. This is what we refer to as a \u201cHealth Waiver\u201d request.\r\n\r\nEven 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).\r\n\r\nA health waiver for a partner visa is a complex issue and it is strongly advised that you seek professional advice from a Registered Migration Agent experienced in Health Waiver matters BEFORE proceeding. Freedom Migration works closely with community centres that support people who are HIV Positive.\r\n\r\nIf you need help with a health waiver then give the office a call on +61 (07) 3112 5204.