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All Australian visas require that the applications pass what are known as Public Interest Criteria, which are written into Australian Migration Law.


Each visa has different criteria, but all are there to protect the Australian Public from two major issues:

1. Certain infectious diseases like Tuberculosis, HIV, Hepatitis, Yellow Fever, Polio and Ebola they wish to keep out of Australia to protect the public.

2. They also wish to protect the Australian pubic from conditions that will:

(a) Cause a drain on services that may be in short supply

(b) Have significant costs in treating

And be aware that the health criteria apply not only to primary and secondary applicants, it also applies to non-migrating children.

Most of you will hopefully understand the first reason above. Whilst the first three conditions do exist in Australia, they obviously want to limit the numbers of such cases coming into the country to avoid further spread. Conditions like Tuberculosis are rare in Australia (whilst quite common in Philippines), and well and truly under control. If they made no checks, that situation would change. We have Filipina and Filipino applicants every year who show up with TB.  They will not let an applicant into Australia with active TB.

Note that this doesn’t mean instant refusal. The applicant is given the opportunity to be treated, and will be re-evaluated once clear.

Other conditions, less strict. Having HIV or Hepatitis won’t necessarily restrict an applicant from entering Australia.

Significant Cost

Significant cost and a potential drain on resources, these are not uncommon reasons for applicants to be refused visas, and all should be aware of this.

The results of health examinations will go to the Global Health Unit (part of the Department of Immigration) in Canberra, and the results will be assessed according to the Migration Regulations, ie. the Public Interest Criteria. If they feel that the applicant (or non-migrating child) has a condition that will cost a lot of money to treat, then the applicant faces refusal.

Panel Doctors

The Embassy appoints only certain doctors in each country to perform medical and xray examinations. They do this to maintain the integrity of the system, ensuring global standards and to avoid corruption. Do not ask if the local doctor can do the tests, or the answer will be NO.

Medical examinations and XRAY examinations

Down Under Visa will give you an HAP letter from the Embassy and full instructions as to what to do when the Embassy acknowledge the application, ie. this happens AFTER the visa application is lodged. You just need to follow instructions and all will be fine.

Note that in our case this applies to PARTNER VISAS (spouse and fiancee visas), CHILD VISAS, and only applies to tourist visas for stays of 6 months or longer. Not necessary for 3 month stays except in some circumstances.

Will you see the results?

In short? No.

The clinics in the Philippines often like telling you that they will contact you with results. They will not! They don’t give out results to anybody except Global Health, not even to the Australian Embassy and definitely not to Down Under Visa. Do not complain when you do not get your results, because that’s not how it works.

If there is a problem, Global Health tell the Embassy, the Embassy tell us, and we tell you.

Typhoon Ruby
Christmas 2014 coming up


  1. Chris Warburton

    Excelant information given there.Thank you.

  2. Verne

    We were caught with this – The multi entry three month visa had been approved pending a prospective marriage visa . All travel arrangements had been made for Mercy to be in Australia for Christmas but the rug was pulled at the last minute when a spot showed in the chest Xray, indicating potential TB . I’m a little disappointed that the advice wasn’t to wait for this important clearance prior to making any travel arrangements, particularly as the disease is apparently “common” in the Philippines . The lesson has come at significant cost .

    • downundervisa

      It might be relatively common, however it wouldn’t even be 1% of our clients who show up with questionable xray findings (Note that we lodge around 350 visa applications every year). Also it could be months before they actually come back to us with a request for further tests. I don’t think the other 99% would appreciate being told to put off their travel plans for months due to a risk of that small likelihood.

      If a medical finding is adverse, yes it’s a huge inconvenience. However it’s nobody’s fault, and at least it gives the opportunity to discover the disease’s existence and to get it treated. And as Australians all should take comfort that such vigilance exists.

  3. john reynolds

    My wife was found to have a spot on her right lung which was diagnosed as TB in the early stage ,she had no sign of the disease what so ever!!!She undertook a course of antibiotics for 6 months with 3 x rays at various stages of her treatment—all closely monitored by the panel doctor in Cebu. The medicine was supplied by him (relatively cheaply) no local medicine supplier was to be used to prevent ‘fake drugs” which is a Philippine problem.
    On completion a report by her panel doctor was forwarded to the embassy via global health —a positive report is always accepted from the panel doctor. He is able to give you his opinion at the end of treatment–forget global health–trying to contact them is a waste of time. My wife is now in Australia for 18 months now and she was required to have a x ray at the public hospital every 6 months for her first 2 years in Australia—she has had 3 so far all clear and TB free.
    It is also advised that the australian partner has a x ray with her—which is no drama and gives her confidence and support at the hospital. What I can say is its not the end of the world –also the application does not stop while she has treatment— so with us even with her treatment the approval took 10 months which is not really excessive.

    • sujata

      Actually my husband also get spot on his right chest and while doing xray and sputum test for Tuberculosis the diagnosis was negative but the doctor said he had initial stage TB which is not diagnosed thorough sputum test . So he said to wait for 1 week and he will inform either we can start visa processing or not . What might would be doctors responce ? Can we start visa processing or not ? Do you have any idea as you gone through this .

  4. James

    I am really confussed. .

    I got a visa for my girlfriend 2 times with no medical..

    apply for her son to come over on 600 tourist visa (same as hers) and must do medical…

    the only differences is, hers where done through VFS global in Bangkok and his online…

    why would she skip it but he not?

    • Jeff Harvie

      It’s at their discretion. Maybe he intends to attend school? If so, he must do a Medical.


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