On 20 November the Department of Immigration and Border Protection released a number of policy and health systems changes. These will have an impact on all visa applications requiring a medical examination and include the following:

  1. Moving all health functionality from the department visa processing system to the Health Assessment Portal
  2. Changed arrangements for the re-use of health examinations and health clearances for subsequent visa applications

The department has an existing automated re-use functionality for online applicants who have already completed all health examinations and who already have a HAP ID. This will now be extended so clients can re-use individual health examinations. This will be applied to both paper-based and online applications.

  1. Revised health matrix and tuberculosis (TB) screening for children

There will now only be two risk levels. No health examinations will be required for temporary visa applicants unless they are from a country where health examinations are required and their visa will allow a stay period of 6 months or more. Health examinations would also be required if the applicant is likely to:

  • Work in a childcare centre;
  • Work as a doctor, dentist, nurse, or paramedic;
  • Enter a healthcare facility;
  • Pregnant and intending to give birth in Australia; or
  • Aged 75 years and older.

This would have an effect on all 457 visa applicants from higher risk level countries such as China and India as they would now need to complete a full medical examination rather than just chest x-ray.
Children aged between 2 and 10 year will require a TB test if they are:

  • Applying for an offshore humanitarian or onshore protection visa;
  • From a higher risk country; or
  • Applying for a temporary visa and declare close family contact with TB.
  1. An updated “prejudice to access” list

The “prejudice to access” has been amended to no longer include blood/plasma products and radiotherapy. The only services on the list are dialysis and organ transplants

  1. Automated referrals to state and territory clinics for health undertakings

This will serve to streamline the process of health undertakings and allow clinics to automatically update the status of their patients. It will also allow the clinics to view a client’s health records online and record results of the health undertaking.
FCB Smart Visa will continue to provide information relevant to medical assessment requirements when they becomes available. If you would like to discuss how these changes will affect you, or you are interested in further information, please call an FCB Smart Visa migration agent on 02 9922 5188.