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Immigration, Visas, Residency, Medicals

Visa Health Requirements - Cancer

Here's the place to discuss all the red tape, rules, and regulations - the hoops you have to jump through before getting to the sunshine.

Visa Health Requirements - Cancer

Postby phantomwhale » Mon 1 Jun 2009 15:19 GMT


I have spent the last two days researching entering Australia under a 309 visa (defacto spouse) as I have been living with my Australian partner in the UK for around 4 years now.

Now only 31 years of age, with IT skills, it took very little time to get an approved working holiday visa a few years back, so I had thought very little of worrying about applying for temporary residency.

But what I had not considered was that I am currently in remission for Bowel Cancer. This has been treated with a high degree of success over the last 10 months, but aside from sporadic posts on forums, most a few years old now, I can find little information on applying for Australia residency with cancer remission. Certainly I have been unable to find any official information or guidelines in the website.

So I was wondering two things:

(a) has anyone had any experience with applying for visas with the applicant in remission from any form of cancer ? Or any insight into what the guidelines for these situations are. Are they are health agreements between the countries that might make the application easier ?

(b) given we are not looking at heading over for 12 months, I presume applying for the visa now would be a little premature - I would not like to spend the application fee only to need to reapply later down the line. But equally we are trying to avoid any unpleasant surprises down the line, so are there any official authorities we might look into contacting to help manage our expectations ?

Thanks in advance for any help or advice,
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Postby GladToHelp » Mon 8 Jun 2009 09:09 GMT

The Health criteria basically fall into 2 categories.

1) Contagious diseases and (AIDS/HIV / TB / Hep A/B/C etc)
2) High cost treatments for existing conditions. (Cancer / Diabetes / etc)

Diabetes seems to be a common disorder and if people have well managed blood sugar they usually have no problems with a health check, however, if they have failing kidneys, poor management etc, they are rejected.

Cancer falls into this camp, if you can demonstrate that you haven't had treatment for a long period of time (what ever that may be 2-5 years?) then no doubt you will pass the health check.

You could always go and get the Health Check and talk to the panel doctor to see what that actualy threshhold is.

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Postby phantomwhale » Mon 8 Jun 2009 09:25 GMT

Thanks for the reply.

In the meantime I have been in contact with the London Migration Branch of the Australia High Commission, who basically have listed the rules (from the website) and said that :

Ultimately, for Migration purposes, that authority is the Immigration department case officer, acting on a recommendation from the Chief Commonwealth Medical Officer (in complex/borderline cases.)

The only way to gain a definitive answer is to lodge the application and have it assessed.

Which means if I want an answer now, I'll need to pay and apply now, then have to reapply (or get reassessed) down the line when we are actually ready to migrate. Not ideal, but at least I understand my options there.

Regarding the high cost part, as I am only just finishing treatment now, so I am due for 6 monthly scans for the next 5 years to monitor that nothing reoccurs. So I guess I am trying to find out if the scans alone will be a prohibitive cost for taking me on as an Australian citizen right now, or if it's the chance of a reoccurance of the cancer, which could lead to a larger medical bill in treatments.

I am assuming there is a guideline "minimum # of years of remission" for cancer migrants - and if so, I just wish I could know what that number of years was. I have been hoping 1, but it could realistically be anything up to 5 (although that would be pretty extreme to use as a minimum, I would have thought).

Thanks for the overview, GladToHelp. Does anyone have any further information on cancer and migrants ?

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Postby tamar » Thu 10 Feb 2011 06:39 GMT

Although its been a long time when you posted this query here but I searched a little on your situation and found something. According to Australian immigration regulations and rules, you can get a VISA if you get a Waiver in their health requirements. For further info you can go here: [link removed by Site Admin]. Hope this will help you out.

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Postby phantomwhale » Thu 10 Feb 2011 06:47 GMT

I'm quite pleased to tell you that your information is of no use to me whatsoever ! Pleased, because the reason it's of no use is I did indeed get my VISA after a nail-bitingly long wait, and I did have to apply for a Health Waiver (on Humanitarian and personal skills grounds - e.g. I'm a young tech-guy so should bring lots of tax dollars in, and my partner's family would be devastated if we weren't able to move home and start our family in Australia).

Thanks for the assist, albeit half a year too late, hopefully anyone else searching the forum will bump into it too (as I found very few forum posts on cancer requirements) and to them I can say "tamar is right, read the info, and best of luck".

Now, best get one of those job things, otherwise the VISA people might be a bit grumpy with me...
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Postby Dave » Thu 10 Feb 2011 18:41 GMT

@phantomwhale - glad to hear you got in OK.

@tamar - please read our guidelines about links in posts for an explanation of why we almost never allow them.

@anyone looking for information about health requirements and the waiver: you can find some information about the health requirement and the waiver on the Department of Immigration and Citizenship's Factsheet No.22.
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