Does HIV/AIDS stop you from entering Australia?


Most visa applicants must meet minimum health standards before the Australian Government will grant a visa.  Australia has a duty to protect it citizens from the introduction of dangerous or infectious diseases from visitors or migrants to our country.

All visa applicants over 15 years of age, applying for a permanent residency visa and/or intend to work (or study to become) a doctor, nurse, dentist or paramedic in Australia, are required to complete a HIV blood test along with other medical examinations.  Applicants may also be required to undergo a HIV test if under the age of 15 years old, if they have a history of blood transfusions, there is a clinical indication that the applicant may be HIV positive or the biological mother was HIV positive.

The Australian Government generally do not consider HIV or hepatitis to be a threat to public health unless the applicant plans to work as a doctor, dentist, nurse or paramedic in Australia, have a certain level of viral load, and intend to undertake procedures where there is a risk of contact between the visa applicant’s blood and the patient’s open tissue.  It is important to be transparent with the Department of Home Affairs.

If a visa applicant is HIV-positive or has hepatitis or a family member does, the Medical Officer of the Commonwealth (MOC) will determine whether the applicant or any family members are likely to be a significant cost to the government in terms of health care services.  Being HIV positive does not alone mean that the applicant will automatically be denied.  Most people fail the health requirement due to the expensive costs associated with antiretroviral therapy.

The Australian Government has discretion to ‘waive’ the health requirement on certain visas.  It can be waived based on compassion grounds determined on a case by case basis.

For more information about satisfying the Department of Home Affairs health requirements, please contact one of our experienced staff at Bambrick Legal on (08) 8362 5269.


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