Getting A Partner Visa With HIV In Australia
Is It Possible?

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Yes It Is! Embark Migration provides a confidential and free initial assessment for all HIV+ visa applicants and their partners in Australia.

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For The LGBT+ Community


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HIV, Other Medical Conditions
And Applying For A Visa
For many years migration law in Australia has been discriminatory towards people with disabilities, including people living with HIV.

Thankfully, changes in Australian law have changed things for the better. The Government must give all visa applicants who are living with HIV a fair and reasonable opportunity to still be granted a partner visa. This opportunity is often referred to as giving 'natural justice' to applicants and their partner. In recent years, many HIV positive visa applicants get their visas approved.
Any person living with HIV, or another ongoing chronic medical condition, who applies for an Australian partner visa will most likely fail to meet strict visa health criteria. In the majority of HIV cases, the Australian Government considers this to be a medical condition for which the necessary treatment will incur significant costs. The costs of treatment are usually assessed as being long term and will include medication and specialist medical support. HIV and other ongoing chronic conditions will not cause a person to fail the health criteria for other visa types.

It is always best to speak to an experienced registered migration agent if you are living with HIV or any other significant medical condition before applying for a temporary visa or permanent residence visa, such as the 820/801 or 309/100 partner visas.
HIV and Health Waivers
The intention of the immigration health checks and medical examinations is to ensure that Australia’s high health standards are maintained and that the following ideas are achieved:
  • Public health risks are minimised
  • Public expenditure on health and community services are kept to within levels that are able to be absorbed by the Australia community
  • Australian citizens and permanent residents have access to health and other health related community services especially those that are in short supply
The Australian immigration system is extremely complicated. In every case, successfully applying for a partner visa with HIV is very difficult and any request for a health waiver should be carefully prepared to improve the likelihood of having a visa granted.
Can My Visa Application Still Be Approved?
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If it is determined that you do not meet the health requirement, the Department will issue a ‘natural justice’ letter.

You will be invited to provide further information and claims to support a health waiver.

If your request for health waiver is successful, your visa application will continue.

If a health waiver is not approved, your visa cannot granted.
Why Did I Fail The Visa Health Criteria?
Australia's immigration laws require most visa applicants to meet what is known as Public Interest Criteria (PIC). The health related PICs (4005-4007) stipulate the health requirement that must be met before a visa can be granted.

To meet the health requirement and to be granted a visa, a visa applicant’s immigration medical examination results must be assessed by a Medical Officer of the Commonwealth (MOC). Only the MOC can approve a health clearance in the first instance. If the health outcome is a “Does Not Meet”, the visa applicant has not met the health requirement and a visa cannot be granted unless a health waiver is available and exercised. In these situations, once a health waiver has been approved, then the Department can resume processing of the visa application. A case officer can still request further information to finalise the visa application.

Having a health waiver approved does not mean that the visa will still be granted. The applicant must still meet all other visa criteria.
Significant Costs
After completing health checks and medical examinations for a partner visa, Commonwealth Medical Officer must provide an opinion as to whether an applicant's condition or disease would be likely to result in 'significant health care and community service costs if a visa were to be granted.

All partner visa applicants who test positive for HIV will be deemed to be a “significant cost to the Australian Community in terms of health care and community services”.

Prejudice to Access
The Commonwealth Medical Officer must also determine whether an applicant’s condition or disease would be likely to prejudice the access of Australians to health care and community services (that is likely to be already in limited supply and are in high demand). The level of
prejudice will be “substantial” or “extensive”.

The level of prejudice will usually include organ transplants, blood plasma products, radiotherapy, dialysis and treatment for active hepatitis.
Public Health Risks
In the majority of cases, HIV or hepatitis is not considered to be a threat to public health.

But if you have HIV or hepatitis, your condition may be considered to be a threat to public health if you plan to work in Australia in a medical field or if you have a certain level of viral load.
What You Need For A Health Waiver
As every person has a different personal situation, a number of different circumstances can assessed when a health waiver request is being considered. Examples of these factors include whether the applicant will be able to mitigate their medical costs, compassionate grounds such as whether an applicant will still be able to access medical treatment if they are forced to return to their country of citizenship or they have significant family links to Australia.

The Department is obliged to consider any factors of a compelling or compassionate nature when deciding whether to grant a health waiver. When making a request for a health waiver you will need to explain that the risks and medical expenses associated with your health condition will be offset by other things. For example, are your skills valuable in Australia (as paid or unpaid work)? How is your current financial situation? Will the cost of medication decrease in the future? Can your doctor provide supporting evidence to help you - for example, your present viral load does not indicate the need for ongoing treatment?

As every person has a different personal situation, a number of different circumstances can assessed when a health waiver request is being considered. Examples of these factors include whether the applicant will be able to mitigate their medical costs, compassionate grounds such as whether an applicant will still be able to access medical treatment if they are forced to return to their country of citizenship or they have significant family links to Australia.

It is highly recommended that you seek advice from a Registered Migration Agent to help you request a health waiver.
Health Checks For Partner Visas
All partner visa applicants must undergo health examinations, including all children under the age of 18 years as well as dependants who may not be migrating. If any applicants or dependent relatives do not meet health requirements, a partner visa may not be granted.

Usually a medical examination, chest x-ray and possibly some laboratory or specialist tests are required.

Processing of visa applications may be delayed beyond 12 months. If this is the case, any health examinations previously done may need to be done again.
Health conditions that may lead to your application being refused include
  • Tuberculosis
  • Other conditions where you are assessed by Australian authorities as requiring treatment, support or assistance that are considered to be in short supply, or that have a high cost.
Frequently Asked Questions About Health Waivers

What if I fail the health criteria because they decide that I am likely to incur significant costs?

If you fail the health criteria because of the estimated cost you will be given what is called a ‘natural justice letter’ notifying you of the intention to refuse the visa because of health and giving you an opportunity to respond. In order to respond to a ‘natural justice’ letter for a temporary visa you should make arguments demonstrating why you will not pose a significant cost the Commonwealth.

Will I still be able to get treatment for HIV after arriving in Australia?

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What is a Natural Justice Letter?

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Other Available Services For LGBT+ Migrants

We know the Australian visa process is confusing, stressful and expensive. Embark Migration provides a range of professional immigration assistance including 20 or 60-minute consultations and application checking services.
Our licenced and registered consultants can also provide start-to-finish services for all Australian visa matters. As part of our process, your consultant can advise which services are suitable to you depending on your needs and budget.
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Embark Migration provides specialist immigration and services to help our clients achieve their goals for Australian permanent or temporary residence through a variety of visa pathways.

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