Australia’s health and character requirements

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australia health and character requirementsWhile Australia welcomes migrants, the country wants to maintain their excellent health standards and ensure that newcomers are of good character.

It’s for these reasons that the Australian government requires migrants to meet certain health and character criteria.

Below we’ll go into more detail so you can get an overview of both sets of requirements.

Who should meet Australia’s health and character requirements?

Most migrants hoping to move Down Under should be able to meet the health requirements. This includes all permanent provisional and certain temporary visa applicants.

However, the character requirements apply to all visa applicants.

Health requirements

Australia enjoys some of the best health standards in the world. The government wants to keep it this way. It is for this reason that migrants have to meet certain minimum health standards.

Looking at it in more detail, the Australian government aims to:

  • Protect the Australian community from public health and safety risks, particularly active TB (tuberculosis).
  • Contain public expenditure on health and community services, including social security benefits, allowances, and pensions.
  • Safeguard the access of Australian citizens and permanent residents to healthcare and community services in short supply.

For these reasons, the government requires migrants to be free from a disease or condition that is:

  • Considered to be a threat to public health or danger to the Australian community.
  • Likely to result in significant healthcare and community service costs to the Australian community.
  • Likely to require healthcare and community services that would limit the access of Australian citizens and permanent residents to those services as they are already in short supply.

Meeting the health requirements

To determine whether or not you meet the health requirements, you must undergo certain health examinations. Please note that there are specific requirements for the health exams.

You’ll be considered for a waiver of the health requirements if you failed to meet the health requirements for a visa where a waiver is available.

Where further tests are required once you’re in Australia, you may be required to sign a Health Undertaking.

Health insurance

Certain temporary visas require proof of adequate health insurance for the duration of your stay in Australia. This would be on top of meeting the health requirements.

Character requirements

To live in Australia, you must be of good character. If any of the following is true, you won’t pass the character test:

  • You have a substantial criminal record. Australia defines a substantial criminal record as:
    • A prison sentence of 12 months or more; or
    • Multiple sentences adding up to more than 12 months in prison.
    • Please note: A suspended sentence is considered a prison sentence.
  • You are or have been a member of a group or organization, or had or have an association with a person, group or organization that the Minister for Immigration reasonable suspects of involvement in criminal conduct.
  • The Minister for Immigration reasonable suspects that you have been involved in:
    • People smuggling or trafficking;
    • Genocide;
    • A war crime;
    • A crime against humanity, a crime involving torture or slavery, or a crime that is of serious international concern;
    • Whether or not you have convicted of such an offence.
  • Your past and present criminal or general conduct show you are not of good character.
  • There is a risk that while you are in Australia you would:
    • Engage in criminal conduct;
    • Harass, molest, intimidate, or stalk another person;
    • Vilify a segment of the Australian community;
    • Incite discord in the Australian community or in part of it;
    • Be a danger to the Australian community or a part of it.
  • You have been convicted of, or found guilty or had a charge proven for one or more sexually based offences involving a child;
  • You are subject to an adverse security assessment by the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation.
  • You’re subject to an Interpol notice, from which it is reasonable to infer that you are a direct or indirect risk to the Australian community or a segment of the Australian community.

Proving your character

You might be asked to provide police clearance certificates to if you are of good character. You’d have to provide police clearance certificates for each country you’ve lived in for 12 months or more.

This would be for over the 10 years prior to lodging the visa application, since turning 16 years of age.

In summary

Australia’s government wants to uphold their health standards and migrants are of a certain caliber. Hence, the government has put in place health and character requirements for migrants.

As explained on the Home Affairs’ website: ‘What you’ll need to do to meet the health requirements will depend on your personal circumstances and the visa you have applied for or intend to apply for’.

Lastly, please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions. Our agents can advise on all matters related to Australia’s immigration requirements.


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