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The ultimate guide to the Australian Medical Treatment visa (Subclass 602)

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The medical treatment visa (Subclass 602) is a temporary visa that can allow you to travel and stay in Australia for medical treatment or to support someone who needs medical treatment. If you are donating an organ or wish to give birth in Australia, this visa is also for you.

Medical treatment include all medical procedures (for example, tests, surgery and/or consultations), whether:

  • minor or major;
  • life-saving or cosmetic;
  • consultation or surgery; or
  • available in your home country or not.

So how do I qualify for a medical treatment visa? 

In order to qualify for this visa, you must have a medical need/intention under one of the following criteria: 

  • have medical treatment or consultations in Australia;
  • donate an organ to someone in Australia;
  • be a support person to a patient or organ donor who holds or is applying for this visa;
  • receive an organ from someone who travels to Australia with you;
  • come to Australia under the arrangements between the Western Province of Papua New Guinea and the Queensland Department of Health;
  • Be in Australia, aged 50 years or older, been refused an Australian permanent visa on health grounds only and are unfit to depart Australia

You also cannot be granted a medical treatment visa if you have a medical condition that ‘could be’ a threat to public health or if your treatment would case an Australian citizen or a permanent resident to be disadvantaged in obtaining medical treatment or consultation if your visa was granted. 

There are no age restrictions for this visa however you must meet health requirement unless you are travelling for a medical treatment for yourself. You must also be able to have enough money to support yourself whilst in Australia and meet character requirement.

In most circumstances, you must prove that you pre-arranged the cost of the medical treatment and show that it won’t cost the Australian government any money. Evidence includes written proof from an Australian hospital that they pre-approved your treatment as well as the arrangements to pay for all costs. The arrangement can be made with an Australian public or private hospital. 

Genuine Visitor requirement

Part of the requirements for this visa is that you must be a genuine visitor with an intention to stay in Australia on a temporary basis only to do the things allowed under the visa. 

However, the intention to stay in Australia on a temporary basis does not apply if you: 

  • are in Australia;
  • are aged 50 years or older;
  • have been refused a permanent visa due to not meeting the health requirement;
  • are unfit to depart Australia. 

Where can I be when I apply for a Medical treatment visa?

You can apply for this visa in Australia or offshore but you must be in the same location when a decision is made on your application. 

If you are in Australia, you won’t be able to apply for this visa if: 

  • hold or have last held the Temporary Work (International Relations) visa (subclass 403)  in the Domestic Worker (Diplomatic of Consular) stream;
  • have a no further stay ‘condition 8503’ on your current visa- you will need to ask for a waiver of this condition first;
  • had a visa refused or cancelled not on medical grounds.  

What does a medical treatment visa let you do?

If you are granted a medical treatment visa, then you will be allowed to stay in Australia for the duration of the treatment plan or consultation period. Under this visa, you can study for up to 3 months or longer if exempted. You generally cannot work but if your circumstances changed after entering Australia and you are suffering from financial hardship, the department may allow you to work after you prove compelling personal reasons to work. Your family members can also be granted a separate medical treatment visa to accompany you or sometimes they can be included on the same application as you if they are on your passport.

Can I travel outside Australia on a medical treatment visa?

Your visa will be granted with either a single entry or multiple entries which will be indicated on the visa grant letter. Under single entry and if you applied for the medical treatment visa when you were outside of Australia and were granted the visa when offshore, you cannot leave after you come to Australia, as you won’t be able to return. However, if you were inside Australia when your medical treatment visa was granted, you can leave and return once under the single entry condition.

If your visa is granted with multiple entries, then you can leave and re-enter Australia as many times as you wish during the validity of your visa.  

About the author 

This article was written by Marial LewisMarial is an admitted lawyer in Australia and holds a double degree in Commerce and Law as well as a Master degree in Legal Practice. She was awarded John Gibson Young Migration Lawyer of the year award in 2020 and was a finalist in multiple awards in 2019 such as 30 under 30, the Rising Star of the year and the Suburban Lawyer of the year. To contact Marial Lewis, click here.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: ImmiAdvisor recommends you obtain your own independent immigration, legal, accounting, financial or taxation advice as appropriate. It is solely your responsibility to evaluate the accuracy, completeness and usefulness of all information provided through this blog/website. In no event will ImmiAdvisor Pty Ltd or the author of this article be liable to you or anyone else for any decision made or action taken by you or anyone else in reliance upon any information contained on or omitted from this blog/website. Immigration law is complex and is subject to constant regulatory and policy change.  The information provided here may therefore be outdated and no longer accurate.  The information provided above is a general guide only – it is not tailored for your specific circumstances or immigration purposes and you must under no circumstances rely on this information for immigration planning or the lodgement of an application with the Australian government or related bodies.  In order to ensure your eligibility is accurately assessed and to allow for tactical decision making that would best suit your desired immigration outcome, it is essential that you consult with a capable immigration advisor registered with the relevant body.


Marial Lewis

Marial is an accredited specialist lawyer in Immigration Law and a multi-award…

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