Practice tip: Medicare rights

Access to Medicare is so important to many visa applicants who either have no health insurance or are paying for expensive private health insurance. Many do not realise that they may be eligible for Medicare before their permanent visa is granted. Even if you are only in Australia on a temporary visa you may still be eligible for Medicare if you fall within one of the following categories:

  • You have applied for a permanent visa (other than a parent visa) and either:

  • You have permission to work, or

  • You are the spouse, parent or child of an Australian citizen or permanent resident.

  • You are a resident of the UK, Netherlands, Sweden, Slovenia, Norway, Finland, Italy, Malta, Belgium, the Republic of Ireland or New Zealand.

  • You are an asylum seeker holding certain temporary protection or humanitarian visas.

  • You are an American Fullbright scholar studying in Australia.

In this case you should contact your nearest Medicare office to check your eligibility and enrol.

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