Medical Treatment Visa
Subclass 602 medical treatment visa allows the holder to travel to and stay in Australia for a period up to 1 year for the purposes of undergoing medical treatment. There are largely 5 circumstances under which applicants may satisfy the eligibility criteria for visa subclass 602. These circumstances are satisfied when your intention for the travel is to
- Undertake medical treatment or medical consultations in Australia;
- Donate an organ;
- Accompany someone who is coming to Australia to undertake medical treatment, attend a consultation or donate an organ;
- If you are a citizen of Papua New Guinea and are subject to arrangements between the Western Province of Papua New Guinea and the Queensland Government;
- If you are over 50 and have been refused a permanent visa because of poor health and being medically unfit to travel out of, or otherwise leave Australia.
- If you have compelling personal reasons justifying the grant of a medical treatment visa.
Subclass 602 visas are generally not issued with work rights. In limited circumstances, work rights may rarely be granted if you are able to demonstrate with evidence that you are suffering from financial hardship due to factors which came into effect after your arrival into Australia. It is not possible to argue financial hardship on the grounds of factors which existed before you arrived in Australia on a medical treatment visa.
Medical Treatment Visa Application Charges
- Base visa application charge: $315
- Additional visa applicant charge for an applicant who is at least 18: $155
- Additional applicant charge for an applicant who is less than 18: $80
- Note: If you are in Australia and have applied for a temporary visa in Australia before, you may be required to pay an additional “subsequent temporary application charge” of $700.
Purpose of Visit
You must produce evidence that you are looking to obtain medical treatment or attend medical consultations in Australia. All treatment or consultations must be fully organized and paid for prior to applying for the visa. If you are looking to undertake treatment, it is generally necessary to present a comprehensive treatment plan to the Department. Further, if your condition poses a threat to public heath or otherwise presents a danger to the Australian community, the visa may be refused.
If you are traveling to Australia in order to donate an organ, the organ donation must be made whilst in Australia. The donation must be fully organized and paid for prior to your application for this visa. A health examination may be requested prior to the visa being granted. Moreover, there must be no potential cost to the Australian taxpayer in relation to the organ donation.
If you are donating an organ to another Subclass 602 visa applicant, that applicant must also satisfy the criteria separately.
If you are accompanying someone as a support person for a holder of a Subclass 602 visa who is coming to Australia to undertake medical treatment, attend a medical consultation or to donate an organ, you may qualify for this visa. It is important however that the person you are accompanying apply for their visa first, as a support person will generally not be granted a medical treatment visa before until the visa of the person being accompanied has been granted.
The kind of support that you indent to provide may include the following, without limitation:
- provide moral support.
- liaise with health care providers on behalf of the other applicant.
- provide assistance as necessary.
- arrange further treatment for the person seeking treatment if required.
- arrange accommodation for the person seeking treatment if they are advised to spend some recovery time in Australia before returning to their home country.
- arrange transport for the other applicant.
- contact friends and relatives on behalf of the other applicant.
Note that when applying as a support person, the Department may require that you undergo a health examination.
Unfit to Depart
The Australian medical visa, subclass 602, is available to persons who are unable to depart the country due to a medical condition. This pathway is available only to older visitors who have been refused a permanent visa on health grounds. You will then be permitted to stay in Australia on a medical treatment visa on a temporary basis.
In order to qualify under this criterion, you must satisfy the following:
- Be 50 years old or over; and
- Currently be in Australia; and
- Have applied for a permanent visa and the permanent visa application was refused because of poor health or medical conditions; and
- You are medically unfit to depart Australia due to the medical condition.
It is important that you can demonstrate, via the opinion of a medical professional, that your condition effectively prevents you from safely departing the country. Should this inability continue, it is technically possible to apply under this criterion multiple times in order to extend one’s stay in Australia.
Compelling Personal Reasons
In rare circumstances, a medical treatment visa, Subclass 602, may be granted on the basis of “compelling personal reasons.”
No guidance is provided under Department policy as to when a medical treatment visa, subclass 602, may be granted on the basis of “compelling personal reasons.”
Unlike other grounds for grant of a medical visa, Australia requires those applying under this stream to satisfy the Public Interest Criterion 4005, thus necessitating the undertaking of medicals for visa applications. This provides broader grounds for visa refusal on the basis of a possible threat to public health.
Western Province of Papua New Guinea
No Disadvantage to Australians
If the medical treatment being sought by an applicant for a Subclass 602 visa is in short in supply in relation to the level of demand by Australians, the visa application may be refused. The legislative intention is to enforce that Australian citizens or permanent residents are not disadvantaged in obtaining these treatments as a result of the additional demand by the foreign citizens. Applicants on the ground of being unfit to depart Australia are generally exempt from this consideration. The treatments that have been designated as being prejudicial to the Australian interests include:
- Transplants (dependent on the identity of the donor and certain other factors); and
- Dialysis (unless the treatment is undertaken in a private hospital).
This criterion ensures that there are significant rights reserved by the Department to refuse a medical treatment visa on the basis of a threat to public health or any other disadvantage conceivably caused to the Australian public. If you are concerned that your stay in Australia may pose such a risk, it is best to seek the assistance of a migration law practitioner.
Genuine Temporary Entrant:
As with any temporary visa application, you must demonstrate to the Department that you do not intend to stay in Australia beyond the period necessary for the purpose for which the visa is to be granted. In short, the Department must be satisfied that you intend to leave Australia after your medical treatment visa, subclass 602, expires. Because of the risk of abuse, in Australia medical visa applications are subject to heightened scrutiny.
Depending on which country you are a citizen of and what your personal situation is at home, the Department may raise concerns regarding your true intention. If you are from an underdeveloped country, a higher threshold of proof would likely apply and your intention may be more heavily scrutinized by the Department.
Relevant Public Interest Criteria
Unless there are compelling and compassionate circumstances, applicants must meet the following: 4001, 4002, 4003, 4004, 4013 and 4014.
All applicants must satisfy the following: 4020 and 4021.
Applicants under the age of 18 must also satisfy the following: 4012, 4017 and 4018.
Relevant Special Return Criteria:
Limitation on Stay
If you are applying whilst in Australia, if granting your visitor visa would result in you staying in Australia for more than 12 months in the last 18 months, your application would likely be refused unless there are compelling and compassionate circumstances. The need for medical treatment itself often satisfies the circumstances being “compelling and compassionate.”
If you are looking to apply for a medical treatment visa, subclass 602, to stay in Australia beyond a 12 month duration, it is pivotal to obtain professional assistance in order to substantiate your compelling and compassionate circumstances.
For all applicants, the following condition is mandatory:
8201: While in Australia, the holder must not engage, for more than 3 months, in any studies or training.
The following conditions are additionally mandatory unless there are compelling and compassionate circumstances:
8101: The holder must not engage in work in Australia.
The following condition may be imposed:
8503: The holder will not, after entering Australia, be entitled to be granted a substantive visa, other than a protection visa, while the holder remains in Australia.