Australian visa rejection medical reasons

australian visa rejection medical reasons

Australian visa rejection medical reasons. There are various types of medical reasons for Australian visa rejection. The Australian government and its people put a premium on your healthiness and the status of health of everyone who wishes to travel to the country either to stay here permanently or temporarily.  In fact, it is an understatement to say that health and medical examination as a condition for the granting or refusal of an Australian visa is important: It is a top priority.  It ranks very high among the concerns of the government when it comes to the safety and security of its people.

But, while at it, there’s no hard and fast rule on the granting or refusal of your visa application.  What the Department of Immigration can cite here are guidelines as to why you may be granted or denied a permit to enter the country.

Australian visa rejection medical reasons

When it comes to the screening of visa applications in the aspect of health, the concerned authorities are guided by essentially three factors:

  1. Protection of the Australian community from threats to public health and safety.
  2. Protection of the Australian health care system from significant costs.
  3. Protection of the Australian health care or community services that are in short supply

Protection of the Australian community from threats to public health and safety.

This condition is a no-brainer.  The consequences of some foreign visitors that have infectious diseases being allowed entry into the country can be frightening.  History tells us that many countries had lost the lives of their citizens from the communicable diseases that were brought to their shores by foreign guests.

Protection of the Australian health care system from significant costs.

If you are suffering from a disease or medical condition, the government will look into the possible impact of such disease on the costs of health care if you are granted a visa.  Health care expense reaching AUD40,000.00 is deemed significant.  This amount incorporates the figures on health and welfare service per capita.

Calculations of the significant costs are done, thus:

  • If you are a temporary visa applicant, your period of stay in Australia will be taken into account
  • If you are a permanent visa applicant, it will be over a five-year period of your stay or three years if you are 75 years of age or older

The disease or the medical condition does not cause the failure of the application to meet the health requirement on the ground of significant cost because it will vary depending on the severity of the case.

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There are, however, five common diseases that have been the usual reason for the failure of the application to meet the health requirement.  These are:

  • intellectual disability
  • HIV infection, which we have already discussed earlier
  • functional impairment
  • kidney disease or failure
  • cancer

If a Medical Officer of the Commonwealth (MOC) evaluates you as unable to meet the health requirement on the grounds of significant cost, your visa application will be refused.  But you can avail of the health requirement waiver if the visa you are applying for has a provision for it.  For more details about health waiver, please refer to the article on PIC 4007 Health Requirement Waiver.

Protection of the Australian health care or community services that are in short supply

Another factor that can influence the granting or refusal of your visa application if you have an illness or medical condition relates to what we call prejudice of access of the Australian citizens and permanent residents to health care and community services that are in short supply.

You will not meet the health requirement if your health situation adversely affects the “prejudice of access,” meaning it limits the opportunity of the country’s citizens and permanent residents to enjoy such services.

Australia’s Department of Health names two health services that are in short supply.  These are organ transplants and dialysis.

As in the previous guideline, if an MOC finds you unable to abide by the health requirement on account of a disease or medical condition that potentially requires the use of health care and community services in short supply, the department will refuse to grant you a visa.  However, you can still appeal the decision if a health waiver is available on the visa you’re applying for.

Diseases which may cause your visa rejection


Speaking of contagious illnesses, one serious disease that always pops up in the discussions is tuberculosis (TB for short).  It is so serious that it has been declared an epidemic in many parts of the world and is considered a global emergency.

TB testing is a must in the visa application process, especially if you’re applying for a permanent type of visa.  If on the other hand, you’re applying for a temporary visa, you may still be asked to undergo the process for purposes of risk management.

Let us make it clear here that the country’s immigration health process targets active tuberculosis, which is the most infectious form of the disease and poses the greatest threat to the overall health of the Australian community.

What if you are positive for tuberculosis?

If the result of your chest x-ray shows that you are possibly infected with TB, you will be required to undergo further checks to find out whether the disease is active or not.

If it is inactive, you may pass the health requirement, but you may be asked to sign a health undertaking.  But if the infection is active, the department turns down your visa application.  However, you are given the chance to receive treatment.  After which, the Medical Officer of the Commonwealth will evaluate your condition whether you are already fit to be granted a visa.

HIV and Hepatitis

Two other diseases that are considered for testing when you apply for an Australian visa are human immunodeficiency virus (more popularly known as HIV) and hepatitis.  Generally speaking, these are not considered threats to public health.

These can only become a threat to the community’s overall health situation if you are infected with any of the diseases and you intend to work in the country’s healthcare system either as a doctor, nurse, dentist or paramedic and you undertake medical procedures where there’s a risk of your blood getting in contact with your patient’s open tissue; or if you have certain level of the virus in your system.

HIV test is required if you apply for a permanent visa and you are at least 15 years of age and you intend to work in the healthcare industry through the occupation we mentioned earlier.

This test is likewise needed if you apply for a permanent visa and you are less than 15 years old and are in the following circumstances:

  • Applicant for an adoption visa
  • Have had blood transfusions
  • May be positive for HIV based on some medical records
  • Have a biological mother who is (or was) HIV positive

Hepatitis test, on the other hand, is required if you are pregnant; a minor refugee traveling alone; applying for an adoption, humanitarian or protection visa; or planning to work as or to study to become a doctor, nurse, dentist or paramedic in the country.


Polio is also included in the list of diseases that the health authorities are keeping an eye on.  It is caused by a highly contagious virus that attacks the central nervous system.

Australia may have effectively contained the spread of the virus through thorough vaccination campaign, but it is still recommended that appropriate measures are put in place.

Hence, if you come from a country that has the potential to spread the disease globally, you are required to present a valid certificate of vaccination.  This requirement follows the directive from the WHO and the Global Polio Eradication Initiative.

Yellow Fever

In the case of yellow fever, the department encourages you to keep an international vaccination certificate if you are at least one year old, and within six days before your arrival in the country, you have stayed overnight in a country declared to have cases of the disease. The spread of the diseases is not just the concern of the Australian government.

How Nowak Migration can Help

Applying for an Australia visa can be a contentious undertaking if you happen to have a disease or medical condition that may affect the three factors we have just discussed.  But it does not mean you should easily give up your hope of obtaining one.

There are agencies that can help you navigate this tricky situation.  One such company is our very own Nowak Migration.  We have the track record to show the applicants like you who are granted the much coveted Australian visas despite their health status.

If you need help, talk to us now.

Just follow the Contact Us tab of our website to know the various ways through which you can reach out to us.

Feel free to comment in section below the article.

82 thoughts on “Australian visa rejection medical reasons

  • 26/01/2018 at 12:50 pm

    Hi, contemplating on my Girlfriend obtaining a Partner Visa however, she has rheumatoid arthritis in her foot, with this disease will she be denied a visa?

    • 27/01/2018 at 7:57 am

      Could be a problem if the cost of treatment will be estimated over the threshold.

  • 15/02/2018 at 11:24 pm

    You mentioned about TB, what’s the rule if any one has asthma?

    • 19/02/2018 at 10:30 pm

      Cost determination of medical procedures would be the rule.

  • 23/02/2018 at 6:55 pm

    I have some questions about the above article and hope you can help:
    If applying for Sub-class 190 and the applicant has a chronic disease such as arthritis, will the $40,000 be spread over the life expectancy or will the amount be adjusted? Are the chances high of being rejected and could one re-apply?
    If the applicant has stayed in Australia for 1 year but not been to a specialist in Australia and only reports of the condition from its home country, would they be acceptable?

    Thanks a lot

    • 23/02/2018 at 9:25 pm

      First of all SC 190 is not eligible for a health waiver.
      40,000 is counted against life expectancy

  • 24/02/2018 at 10:51 pm

    Hello, Is the presence of a frozen shoulder can be a problem when gaining the PR (189)? It is in the state when it is slowing improving but still has a limited range of motion. Thank you.

    • 26/02/2018 at 10:42 pm

      An assessment by a relevant doctor would have to be conducted. Keep in mind – there is no PIC 4007 health waiver for SC 189.

      • 27/02/2018 at 6:56 am

        Yes, there is. I am a NZ stream. I know there is an assessment – A or B grade. Is the frozen shoulder a problem or you do not know?

        • 27/02/2018 at 7:23 am

          NZ is eligible for a health waiver. If you have doubts – consider doing medicals first before lodging for a visa. If you’ll pass – all good, if not – look for compassionate & compelling factors, and capacity to mitigate the cost of medical services which will be addressed in PIC 4007 waiver. You’ll also have to estimate the cost of medical services as that will determine the way forward. Book a consultation if you’d like to discuss.

  • 12/03/2018 at 10:01 am

    Can Australia reject a visa due to the presence of a drug in applicant’s body?

    • 14/03/2018 at 10:17 am

      Depends on the drug and the reason why it is in applicant’s body. Panel doctor will definitely ask the question.

  • 14/03/2018 at 2:55 am


    I do have a silicosis in lungs .ie. few dust inhalation which got deposited in my lungs .It’s not lungs report are healthy and there is no medication required and have to take preventive measures to wear mask while working at site .
    Does it impact my visa ?

  • 14/03/2018 at 11:54 pm

    When I was going through my X-ray last Monday.
    Doctor told me that my left side of diaghram is little bit higher. Will it affect my visa processing.

    • 15/03/2018 at 9:06 pm

      I’m not sure what is a diaghram.
      You should have asked on the spot if you have be worried about your health and go to GP for follow up.

  • 17/03/2018 at 4:18 pm

    Hi on Oct 2017 I was treated for pneumonia and PE in NSW hospital. I was given clearance to work and travel. I returned to my home country on Jan. I’m apply visa again will there be any issues.

    • 21/03/2018 at 10:10 pm

      I don’t think so.

  • 20/03/2018 at 2:16 am

    hi i have a skin condition called psoriasis,will it effect my visa processing

    • 21/03/2018 at 10:02 pm

      Depends on how serious is your condition and type of visa.

  • 22/03/2018 at 9:47 pm

    Hi, thanks for your article.

    I’ve just applied and paid the first 20% for my 189 NZ stream application. I have a congenital heart disease and have undergone a valve replacement surgery in Australia in 2017. Sounds like my application will be rejected 🙁 do you know if anyone managed to get an approval despite major medical conditions, such as congenital heart disease?

    Regards, Tania

    • 22/03/2018 at 9:50 pm

      Also, don’t quite understand why NZ citizens get rejected on the grounds of medical conditions because they’re covered here without being permanent responders anyway.

    • 31/03/2018 at 10:15 am

      It all depends how “important you are” for a local community.

  • 25/03/2018 at 8:42 am

    Hi there, my 187 subclass visa has just been lodged on 23/2/2018. Two weeks ago i was diagnosed of blood cancer called Chronic myeloid leukemia (CML). Will my application be posible to be rejected ?

    • 31/03/2018 at 10:02 am


  • 02/04/2018 at 12:00 pm

    Hello I have a question,

    I have applied for skilled Migrant visa 189.

    I have been asked to complete a health waiver for my daughter who was born here in Australia. She has moderate Autism, we completed our medical examinations with Bupa Medical Services in Brisbane who estimated her cost to the Australian Government and its communities to be over 5.5 Million Dollars! My Daughter is three years old and has never left the country she was born in. I Hold New Zealand Citizenship and My Husband has Canadian Citizenship. Why is she being asked to leave if she does not satisfy the waiver? In your opinion is this not immoral?

    • 04/04/2018 at 11:20 am

      Can’t advise on moral aspects, sorry.
      1. On what ground are you assuming she’ll be asked to leave? Am I assuming it right she’s a holder of NZ passport and 444 visa?
      2. A person born in Australia will become an Australian Citizen in their 10th birthday – it’s an operation of law.
      3. There is a rule – one fail, everybody fails, so if her visa will be refused none of you will get a PR.
      Please book a consultation if you’d like to discuss it further.

  • 03/04/2018 at 6:18 pm

    I was diagnosed with sarcoidosis! It is an immune pulmonary diseases, not contagious, in 70% it resolves itself within 1-5 years! I have lodged my 485 visa application! Is there any ground to get the visa refused?


    • 04/04/2018 at 10:55 am

      Well – your student visa has been granted, you are onshore, even if they’ll have any concerns and visa will be refused you can go to the AAT, a court and so on and stay here for another couple of years and argue. 485 is a temporary visa, so I believe they may not make a big deal of it.

  • 05/04/2018 at 1:15 am

    Hi, I have a question. I’m a U.S. Citizen and I am currently in Australia on a visitor visa and just recently applied for the 820 Partner Visa, and my application wants me to undergo a health assessment as one of its requirements and it asks about a mental health history and current or past psychiatric treatment. I have in the past taken prescribed medication for anxiety and depression and used to seek therapy, and I don’t take the medication or seek therapy anymore and haven’t needed to, will any of this affect my application or future applications, or cause refusal of my application or my ability to become an Australian Citizen?

    • 05/04/2018 at 7:49 am

      Dependant on your answers they will determine the type of medical tests for a visa. If you will not answer truthfully and they will find out, your visa might be refused or canceled in the future based on the fact incorrect information has been provided.

  • 08/04/2018 at 6:03 pm

    Hi I m planning to apply for Australian PR but my daughter have dieses THALESEMIA MAJOR. anyone can suggest me on this should I go for Australian PR process or I will get rejection because of my daughter dieses.

  • 10/04/2018 at 8:51 pm

    We already applied for Permanent Visa for Australia. I am Hepatitis B+ though inactive and viral load of very low. I have a son of two months old, who hasn’t been transmitted with Hepatitis B. Is there possibility for Visa rejection?

    • 19/05/2018 at 10:18 am

      Such a possibility exists.

  • 18/04/2018 at 5:00 am

    Want to come and work in Australia. I am a qualified radiographic technician and sonographer and in good health. A South African citizen. However my father who is dependent on me has asbestosis. Will he be able to qualify for any type of visa?

    • 13/05/2018 at 12:24 pm

      He may, but not as your dependent.

  • 26/04/2018 at 1:51 pm

    My wife’s partner visa has been rejected as her 14yo son has an intellectual disability. This was diagnosed here in Australia and verified by 3 different sources and requires on-going medication and additional school support. The MOC has determined the cost to be around $168k. I have been told that the only way to have this overturned is to have the medical officers assessment of the condition overturned – i.e. that we now prove that he is in good health and does not have the conditions as diagnosed. Is this correct?

    • 13/05/2018 at 10:41 am

      Yes and no.
      If your wife’s partner visa has already been refused you may consider applying for AAT review and argue that her son is in good health- but you’d have to have a relevant diagnose from a doctor(s). The other factors you might need to consider is the effect on Australian society if her visa is not granted. It’s complex.

      • 14/05/2018 at 9:46 am

        Thanks but… we have already been through the AAT to prove our relationship. This was accepted and referred back to immigration. We have had the doctors look at him again but reality is that there is no positive change – if anything he is getting worse and needing more treatment. The magical $40k threshold is not even close. It would have been nice for them to make this decision BEFORE going through the AAT process for something else.

        • 19/05/2018 at 10:00 am

          It’s the waiting game very often, unfortunately.

          • 21/05/2018 at 8:41 am

            Should their visa be rejected, what are the rules around leaving the country and returning straight away on a tourist visa? Would there be any issues with this? It’s not the best solution as the boy then cannot go to school and they have no chance to get any medical assistance at all. We are just looking at options at the moment.

          • 22/05/2018 at 8:13 am

            You don’t want them leaving the country. If their visa would be rejected you can go ahead with ministerial intervention. Please book a consultation if you’d like to discuss.

          • 19/07/2018 at 10:28 am

            The waiting game.. we made comment against the MOCs determination 9 weeks ago now. How long is the average waiting time for a final decision? I fear that the longer this goes on the more Immigration are looking into the comment and checking every single detail. Thoughts on this please?

          • 29/07/2018 at 10:32 am

            Hard to say anything, not knowing the case, but yes they are checking a lot.

          • 20/07/2018 at 2:08 pm

            It’s now been 9 weeks since my wife’s migration lawyer made comment against the MOCs determination. Is there an average time to process this? I can’t find anything on their website. I’m concerned that by taking so long Home Affairs are going through the comment with a fine tooth combe before making their final decision. Any thoughts on this please?

          • 29/07/2018 at 10:26 am

            did you ask your migration lawyer?

  • 13/05/2018 at 2:51 pm

    Hi, I had hemorrhage stroke in 2016, however i have fully recovered in 2017 with 0 disability and also all CT scan reports shows normal and no medication going on.
    Do you think i will have issue in getting work-permit visa in Australia.

    • 16/05/2018 at 11:01 am

      Up to the medical officer, but if you have no health issues at present, there’s a chance they’ll approve your visa.

  • 16/05/2018 at 4:13 am

    Hi I have tonsillitis problem from last year .it’s chronic and I have some white stuff on tonsils
    Is it effect my visa got reject?

    • 16/05/2018 at 10:58 am

      Go to the doctor – get it healed and it should be ok.

  • 16/05/2018 at 11:57 am

    Hi All, just wanted to give an update on my health assessment for 189 NZ stream application: as previously mentioned I was born with a congenital heart disease (Tetralogy of Fallot) and I’ve had 2 open heart surgeries now – one overseas and one in Australia. Happy to report that I’ve been granted a health clearance without any issues 🙂 Immigration didn’t even ask me for any medical reports from my recent surgery or my cardiologist.

    Now just waiting to hear back on the rest of my application!!


    • 19/05/2018 at 9:57 am


  • 19/05/2018 at 5:04 pm

    Hi I m planning to apply for Australian PR but my daughter have dieses THALESEMIA MAJOR. anyone can suggest me on this should I go for Australian PR process or I will get rejection because of my daughter dieses.

  • 27/05/2018 at 4:32 am


    We are have got a 189 PR invite. Before applying visa fee wanted to know some details on my daughter’s health condition. My daughter is around 5.5 years old. She is having hearing loss which was recently found (march 2018) and she is now on hearing aid. Due to this, her speaking is delayed but after using the aids she has really improved a lot. Along with this, she has little problem in her walking. She walks with knee bent while she can walk and move around independently.
    Can you please tell me what are the chances of visa getting granted or rejected??

    • 28/05/2018 at 7:20 pm

      There is no health waiver for 189 visa. If a medical officer will decide your daughter’s condition is not satisfactory your visas will be refused.

      • 29/05/2018 at 1:37 am

        I was looking at the medicare coverage seems like none of the therapy, hearing aid and all are covered by them. Then what cost do they mentioning in case of refusal (if my case is considered).

        • 29/05/2018 at 8:01 am

          Medical Officer of the Commonwealth (MOC) has got their own guidance on how to assess the cost. Please book a consultation if you’d like to discuss it further.

  • 05/06/2018 at 3:00 am

    Hi ,
    We (Me, my wife & daughter) have applied for skilled Migrant PR visa 189.
    My wife has Chronic kidney disease, identified 2 years ago. Currently, she is doing well in her day to day routines. No physical/visible symptoms at all. She is on BP management medications, may cost less than 10 AUD/month & doing well.
    Concern : We have a fear of getting PR VISA rejections due to above medical condition.
    Will the VISA be refused ?

    Please suggest.

    • 07/06/2018 at 9:51 am

      There is a possibility that your visas will be refused. Depends on the view of Medical Officer.

  • 14/06/2018 at 7:38 pm


    We are applying for 187 visa and my wife just had a spine surgery to remove pressure on the nerves. Will there be grounds for visa refusal?

    • 15/06/2018 at 10:43 am

      Not necessarily

  • 19/06/2018 at 9:45 pm

    I am a British Citizen, over 60, and was an Australian citizen in the 1990’s for 8 years, my husband and I left Australia for a while during which time he was dianosed with Cancer & sadly passed away. I was trying to save his life and forgot to renew my own visa. Since then all, both of my children, live there with all my grandchildren. I too have been diagnosed with cancer 3 years ago which is under control and have Private Health Insurance which is transferable. All of my family want me to live with them and we’d like me to go the fast-track route, they will sponsor me and support me in every way. In your opinion, would I be granted a visa alllowing me to live my final years (however long that might be) with the only close family I have in the world? Would Extenuating/Humanitarian be considered and if so, how quickly?
    With many thanks

    • 28/06/2018 at 7:42 am

      Did you ever give up your Australian citizenship? If not it would probably be the matter for getting an evidence of citizenship an applying for a new passport. Please book a consultation so we could discuss the options.

  • 21/06/2018 at 3:15 pm

    Hi we are planning to apply for pr as a family. Our eldest son has ALL.. will he be rejected even he’s cancer is treatable?

    • 28/06/2018 at 7:25 am

      Depends on the type of PR visa you are applying for and a cost estimate for treatment.

  • 21/06/2018 at 8:25 pm

    I am having diabetes will my visa get rejected for Australia student visa

    • 28/06/2018 at 7:24 am

      Depends on the severity of your condition.

  • 24/06/2018 at 11:33 am

    I met with an accident few years back. There after I am having minor stiffness and restrixted movement in left hand elbow but I am able to perform all my routine work comfortably and don’t need any assistance. Can this condition be potential reason for refusal of Visa 489.

    • 28/06/2018 at 7:06 am

      Any impairment or disability could lead to visa refusal. Up to the medical officer.

  • 04/07/2018 at 12:38 pm

    I was diagnosed with sarcoidosis! It is an immune pulmonary diseases, not contagious, in 70% it resolves itself within 1-5 years! I am going to lodged my PR application! Is there any ground to get the visa refused?


    • 10/07/2018 at 6:35 pm

      If the expected cost for the treatment would exceed 40000 AUD a visa could be refused.

  • 04/07/2018 at 8:23 pm

    Is the student visa requirement for New Zealand is same as for Australia, what are the chances of rejection, i has pleural effusion around 12 years back. would my visa be rejected

    • 10/07/2018 at 6:32 pm

      We don’t deal with student visas for New Zealand.

  • 22/07/2018 at 2:39 am

    Hello can you explain if a HIV+ NZ citizen living “permanently” in Australia on SCV and receiving HIV treatment via Medicare is likely to have their 189 application rejected? Are you aware of cases/precedents? Thanks.

    • 29/07/2018 at 10:22 am

      Health waiver is available for 189 NZ stream, so yes – I’d say worth a try.

  • 24/07/2018 at 2:32 pm

    i want to marry with afghan girl who has citizenship of Aus , i have hepitat b which is positive but its nonactive plz inform me my visa is rejected or accept

    • 29/07/2018 at 10:15 am

      Health waiver is available for a partner visa. Dependant on the severity of condition you might argue with a case officer and there is a chance your visa might be granted.

  • 08/08/2018 at 6:28 pm

    My sister in law is mentally disabled and has epilepsy. she sometimes can be very sick.

    My mother in law, pensioner will be accompanying her and they both do not speak or understand English.

    Can the tourist visa be denied?

    • 13/08/2018 at 10:53 am

      Visitor visa could be denied on medical grounds. You may need some declarations from the doctor and medical insurance. Also, the reason for a visit will have a great impact on whether the visa could be granted.

  • 08/08/2018 at 10:50 pm

    My brother was diagnosed with chronic kidney disease (kidneys failure) and doctor recommended that he needs to undergo the kidney transplant. I was willing to give him one of my kidneys. I did it and the surgery went smoothly.
    Now it has been more than 1.5 years since he is living normally and I’m also enjoying a normal life. Could this condition of mine (having only 1 kidney which is functioning normally for more than 1.5 years) be the reason for my visa rejection?

    • 13/08/2018 at 10:51 am

      Tricky situation. You do not suffer from any medical condition, so in theory, you should not have any health-related issues with your visa.

  • 10/08/2018 at 12:47 pm

    Just wanted to know, my partner has applied for Partner visa 309. She was suffered with TB (inactive i.e. non contiguous) last year, and now its been completely cured, we already submitted previous historical medical documents. and now she’s completely alright.
    now we might apply for her visitor visa while waiting to grant partner visa 309.
    So, does it make any problem in granting visitor visa?


    • 13/08/2018 at 10:44 am

      Up to the case officer if they’ll approve the visa. If she’s healthy 0 shouldn’t be a problem, but keep in mind visa might be refused for other reasons than a health concern.

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