By Peregrine

Effective 18 November 2017, subclass 457 visa applicants will no longer be required to provide evidence, or a letter from an insurer, confirming their health insurance coverage as part of the visa application process.

Applicants will simply be required to indicate, as part of their online application form, that they have made adequate arrangements for health insurance for their intended period of stay in Australia. The online visa application form has been amended to reflect this requirement.

This applies to:

  • all subclass 457 visa applicants, including family members and subsequent entrants
  • applications which are lodged, or are still pending a decision, on 18 November 2017.

Outstanding Public Health Debt

From 18 November 2017, a new visa condition (below) will be added to Schedule 8 of the Migration Regulations and will affect most visa categories:

8602 – The holder must not have an outstanding public health debt. You must not have an outstanding public health debt while in Australia including the cost of any health-related services received in Australia. This does not include health costs otherwise covered, such as by health insurance, Medicare (if eligible), or treatment for certain community health risks such as tuberculosis. If you incur a debt that is left unpaid, your visa eligibility may be affected

An “outstanding public health debt” means a debt relating to public health or aged care services that has been reported to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection as outstanding by a Commonwealth, State or Territory health authority under an agreement between the authority and the Department.

If a visa holder or an applicant has an outstanding public health debt, they will be requested to contact the relevant health provider to clear the debt. The arrangements to pay the debt can only be resolved between the parties to the debt. A breach of condition 8602 may lead to visa cancellation.

Action Items

  • Visa applicants should ensure and their employers should ensure that they do not have any outstanding public health debts.