Health Waivers – Part 1 of 3

Join us for a three part series reviewing specialist areas of immigration law.

The purpose of this series is:

a. to help people identify when Specialist Advocacy is required in their immigration process; and

b. the expectations from a Practitioner (Licensed Adviser/Registered Migration Agent) and a Government department.

These immigration matters should not be taken lightly as a negative outcome will jeopardise your move to another country.

In both Australia and New Zealand, applicants applying for visas must meet the health criteria where:

  • The applicant will not pose a danger to the community/public,
  • The applicant entering the country will not impose significant costs to the health system and/or educational system, and
  • The applicant is able to perform the functions for which the visa was issued.

The most common conditions [but not limited to] deemed to impose significant healthcare and community service costs are:

  • intellectual impairment
  • functional impairment
  • HIV infection
  • Hepatitis B & C
  • Organ transplants
  • renal disease or failure
  • cardiac diseases
  • cancer
  • respiratory disease
  • autoimmune disease
  • tuberculosis

It is irrelevant if an applicant can support themselves with private healthcare insurance. Each of the above conditions are assessed over a five year period where the costs do not exceed NZ$41,000 [New Zealand] and AU$49,000+ [Australia].

How are Health Waivers applied?

Health waivers are exercised when an applicant meets all the [other] criteria of the visa for which they are applying for, and your Case/Visa officer contacts you to advise you have not met the health requirements but a waiver might be considered.

The Case/Visa officer will ask you to:

  • give the Government department more information ABOUT why a health waiver should be exercised; and
  • complete a formal submission telling the Government department WHY they should exercise a health waiver.

Both Australian and New Zealand review the merits of each case based on compelling [and any compassionate] circumstances that support exercising a health waiver.

These matters are complex and navigating through immigration regulations can become confusing to the lay-person. They involve extensive research of similar conditions and relevant outcomes. Judicial rulings may also be required if your application is negatively decided.

If you find yourself in a similar situation, it is best to seek lawful immigration advice from a practitioner (Licensed Adviser/Registered Migration Agent) who are competent in handling such matters.

Feel free to contact us at or call us for a confidential chat.

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