Health Care Eligibility For 835 And 836 Visa Applicants On A Bridging Visa (Remaining Relative And Carer Visa)
Medicare, Australia’s ‘free’ health care system, is just one of the things that makes Australia such an attractive migration option. Having a Medicare card allows access to a range of medical services, low-cost prescriptions and free care as a patient in a public hospital. The good news is, even if you are not yet an Australian permanent resident, you may be eligible to receive these benefits. Why is this eligibility during this waiting period so important?
The remaining relative visa, in particular, has a tremendously long waiting period. DIBP have calculated that 835 visas lodged in 2014 are likely to take approximately 50 years to be processed. So, if you are considering this option make sure to talk to Medicare about your Medicare Entitlements.
Currently, In accordance with the Health Insurance Act 1973, to get Medicare, you will need to demonstrate that:
(a) You are the holder of a temporary bridging visa and;
(b) You have applied for a permanent visa (this doesn’t include applying for a parent visa) and;
(c) You have current authority to work in Australia or;
(d) Your parent, spouse or child is an Australian citizen or holds an Australian permanent resident visa.
So, most (but not all) remaining relative and carer visa applicants who are in Australia should have access to free health care. The laws change frequently so be sure to talk directly to Medicare about your eligibility as information in this blog is of a general nature only and should not be relied upon for any decision making.
If you aren’t eligible for Medicare based on the above definition don’t forget to read up on Reciprocal Health Care Agreements where limited Medicare access is available to nationals of
- Italy (don’t need to have been living in Italy, but you must be an Italian citizen and meet the other agreement conditions)
- New Zealand
- Sweden; and
- United Kingdom
Each countries RHCA has different terms and conditions so be sure to get advice directly from Centrelink before relying on any third-party information. This link may be a good starting point: