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Australian Skilled Visa Basic Requirements

The requirements for an Australia Skilled Visa are as follows:

  • Age – you must be under 45 when you apply;
  • English language – you should have sufficient ability in the English language to work in Australia (at least at a competent level);
  • Nominated occupation – when you apply you nominate a skilled occupation, which fits your skills and qualifications. This occupation must be found on the Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List;
  • Skills assessment – before you apply, you must have your skills assessed by the Australian assessing authority designated to assess your nominated occupation (which will usually have specific qualifications requirements);
  • Health assessment – you should be of reasonably good health and all applicants must have their health assessed by a panel doctor and undergo a medical examination; and
  • Character assessment – you should be of good character and this too will be assessed.

If you are unable to meet the new visa Basic Requirements and pass the Points Test, then you should not continue with a General Skilled Migration to Australia application.

The Online Eligibility Assessment is based on the immigration points system determined by the Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP). The assessment calculates whether you have enough points, and are therefore eligible to immigrate to Australia under one of the Skilled Visa classes. A positive result does not guarantee visa success; it simply means you have the requisite or minimum number of points deemed necessary by the Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP).

Visa Health Requirements

Visa applicants looking to migrate to Australia under the Skilled Migration route must undergo a medical examination and successfully meet the requirements set out by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) before a visa will be granted.

The Australian Government insist on a medical examination to protect the country from high health risks and protect against a high demand on health resources, including cost. These are some of the factors taken into account when assessing medical results for all applicants.

  • The Medical Examination
  • Tuberculosis
  • Pregnancy
  • Hepatitis

The request to undertake a medical examination will come from DIBP and the results are valid for one year. In the case of a visa application being delayed beyond 12 months, the applicant may be required to undergo a further health examination at their own expense.

To satisfy the health requirements under the Skilled Migration programme, a medical examination, chest x-ray and possibly some laboratory or specialist tests are required.  If applying for permanent residency a HIV test will also be required.

All applicants for permanent residency, including the main applicant, spouse and any dependants, must be assessed against the health requirement.  Even if the applicants spouse and any children are not included in the application they are still required to be assessed. 

If applying from outside Australia, the medical examination must be undertaken by an approved Panel Doctor. Residents of the United Kingdom and Ireland will usually a panel doctor within their region, whilst residents of other countries may have to travel to a capital city to find a panel doctor.

The decision as to whether or not an applicant meets the health requirement is not made by the examining doctor.  The results are sent to DIBP who then consider them and make a recommendation.   If DIBP require an applicant to undertake further specific medical tests and/or treatment, they department will advise them in writing.

Children under the age of 11 are not required to undertake chest x-rays. Copies of immunisation records will be required for all children under 16 years.

Australia is particularly vigilant against the spread of tuberculosis and screen all potential migrants and their families for TB. If tuberculosis is detected it will not necessarily lead to application being automatically rejected, but the application process will only proceed after treatment has been undertaken and retesting has shown the applicant to be clear of the disease.

All applicants for permanent residency in Australia aged 15 and over are required to undergo HIV testing. Applicants under 15 must also undergo HIV testing if they have a history of blood transfusions, are being adopted or have other clinical indications. Applicants for temporary residency are not normally required to undergo HIV testing except if the examining doctor decides it is indicated.

There is nothing in current Australian legislation that automatically excludes HIV infected applicants from being granted a visa under the Skilled Migration route, but DIBP will determine whether the applicant will require the future use of significant medical resources and incur costs on the public health system. If they believe this to be the case then the application will be refused.

If you are pregnant, you are advised not to be x-rayed until after the birth of your baby. DIBP may not be able to finalise your visa application until after the child is born.

Australian health authorities do not consider the risk of hepatitis transmission from migrants to be high but screening for hepatitis B and C is still required in certain cases, such as when an applicant is pregnant or they are a visa applicant intending to work as a doctor, nurse or dentist in Australia. Hepatitis B will be tested for all applicants with tattoos or body piercings.

Character Requirements

All potential migrants to Australia under the Skilled Migration route, or temporary migrants on a working holiday, must have their character assessed as part of the visa grant process. Applicants must declare it if they have a criminal record, however minor and regardless of how long ago they incurred it.

The onus is on the applicant to prove they are of good character, an applicant can fail the test if:

  • they have a substantial criminal record;
  • they have, or have had, an association with an individual, group or organisation suspected of having been, or being, involved in criminal conduct;
  • having regard to the person’s past and present criminal conduct, the person is found not to be of good character, and;
  • having regard to the person’s past and present general conduct, the person is found to be not of good character;
  • there is a significant risk that the person will engage in criminal conduct in Australia, harass, molest, intimidate or stalk another person in Australia, vilify a segment of the Australian community, or incite discord in the Australian community or in a segment of that community, or represent a danger to the Australian community or a segment of that community.

Substantial Criminal Record

For the purposes of migration to Australia under the Skilled Migration route, a person is deemed to have a substantial criminal record if they have been:

  • sentenced to either death or life imprisonment
  • sentenced to a term of imprisonment for 12 months or more
  • sentenced to two or more terms of imprisonment (whether on one or more occasions), where the total of those terms is two years or more
  • acquitted of an offence on the grounds of either unsoundness of mind or insanity and, as a result, the person has been detained in a facility or institution.

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