Changes to the health criteria processing

From 20 November 2015 there will be a number of changes to the policy and systems for the health criteria.

These apply to applications lodge from this date or where the health examinations have not yet been undertaken for an existing application. The changes include:

  • A new health matrix will determine whether or not an applicant requires a health examination.

  • No examination will be required for temporary applicants (including 457 applicants) unless they are from specified countries and their visa is for six months or more (unless special significance rules apply).

  • Most of the low and some of the medium risk countries have been amalgamated into one group which do not require health examinations for temporary visas unless special significance rules apply.

  • The special significance rules will no longer apply to applicants who are going to be in a classroom situation as a teacher, student, lecturer or observer but the rules still apply to applicants who are likely to work, or be a trainee, at a childcare centre, preschool or crèche.

  • Implementation of an automated process for the re-use of individual health examinations, eg a chest x-ray or pathology report, rather than previously where automated re-use arrangements were only in place were applicants had previously completed all health examinations.

  • TB testing will be required for children aged between 2 and 10 who are applying for an offshore humanitarian or onshore protection visa; or are at higher risk and are applying for a provisional or permanent visa; or who have declared close family contact with TB. They will need to complete a new ‘719 exam’ which consists of an Interferon-Gamma Release Assay (IGRA) or Tuberculin Skin Test (TST).

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