Doctor, doctor, give me the news on medical treatment visas

Publish Date: Aug 01, 2012

The Medical Treatment visas is available for anyone travelling to Australia for medical treatment or consultations, and includes the following two types of visas: The Medical Treatment Short Stay subclass 675 visa, that allows for a person to stay in the country for a period of up to three months; and the Medical Treatment Long Stay subclass 685 visa that allows a person to stay in the country for a period between three to 12 months.

The length of stay will be dependent on the period of treatment, however, the visa is not intended to cover any long period of recovery once the visa holder is deemed fit for travel.

It is recommended for anyone who has a concern to speak to a lawyer to ensure the medical treatment visa is the most appropriate for the person’s situation. The time restrictions and potential medical expenses associated with any medical treatment visa must be discussed with a lawyer to ensure a person is given the best treatment possible – medically and legally.

Who can get the visa?

This particular visa is for any person:

  • planning any medical treatment, operations or consultations by a health professional or health care facility in Australia;
  • travelling to Australia for organ transplant or donation;
  • over 50 years of age who has been refused permanent residence due to not being able to meet the health requirement and are medically unfit to leave Australia;
  • a citizen of Papua New Guinea living in the Western Province and is to be medically evacuated to a hospital in Queensland;
  • accompanying or providing support to the person needing treatment.

Are there exceptions?

The medical condition must not be a threat to public health in Australia, and it excludes medical treatment for the purposes of surrogate motherhood.

Some people may be ineligible to apply for the medical treatment visa such as those who hold a temporary visa 426 (Domestic Worker (Temporary) - Diplomatic or Consular visa), if the last substantive visa held was a 426 visa, or there is a condition attached to the current visa which does not allow for a further stay.

Medical Treatment visa applications can be lodged within or outside Australia and the visa holder must prove they have the financial means to support themselves and anyone accompanying them during the period of their stay.

What does this visa allow me to do?

The visa allows for multiple entry for the validity of the subclass of visa and allows the visa holder to study for up to 3 months in Australia, but does not allow the visa holder to work in the country.

Can I bring family members with me?

Separate visa applications must be made by family members, organ donors, or any other person accompanying or providing support to you while you undergo treatment.

Each passport holder must apply for this visa separately, except children travelling on a parent's passport who do not need to complete a separate application.

Children under 18 years of age who are travelling without one or both of their parents must supply written permission of consent to travel to Australia from the non-travelling parent(s).

Am I valid for any health benefits?

Visa holders will not be eligible for Medicare or other Australian government health benefits. They are required to pay for their own treatment and are expected to have sufficient funds to support themselves while in Australia.

Reciprocal health agreements between Australia and other governments are not available to cover expenses for pre-arranged treatment.

It is highly advisable for anyone wishing to obtain a visa to speak with a professional to discuss the medical, insurance, eligibility and legal requirements associated with the medical treatment visas.

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