The Private Health Insurance Ombudsman's (PHIO) Quarterly Report contains some important information about the health insurance requirements for those in Australia on 485 visas.
The 485, or Temporary Graduate, visa allows people who have finished their studies to remain in Australia for a certain period of time.
Depending on your unique circumstances, you can live, work and study Down Under for anywhere between 18 months and 4 years. Your family members may be able to stay in Australia on the 485 visa, too.
In order to be eligible for this visa, you need to have an adequate level of Australian health insurance. On March 23, the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) announced that the health insurance requirements for the 485 visa are now identical to those for the 457, or Temporary Work (Skilled), visa.
This means you have to abide by a number of rules.
First, you need to demonstrate that you have the right level of private health cover from the moment you lodge your 485 visa application. This health insurance must remain valid until your application has been accepted.
It must also cover you for the entire time you are staying in Australia.
In the Quarterly Report, PHIO notes that if you possess a student visa when applying for a 485 visa, the Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) that you've already organised will fulfill the health insurance requirements of your new visa.
However, PHIO adds that there are two circumstances when your OSHC will not be considered adequate.
One is if your student visa becomes invalid (in other words, it expires) while your 485 visa is still being processed. The other is when the DIAC actually makes a decision about whether they are going to grant you a 485 visa or not.
PHIO states that in both situations you will have to "make arrangements for non-OSHC cover".
The DIAC reveals that you may not be covered by Medicare, which is Australia's national health scheme, during your time in the country. This is why having private health insurance is so important.
As part of your 485 visa application, you must submit a Health Insurance Standard Template Letter. This needs to be filled out and signed by your health insurance provider.
It must also include evidence that you have the right level of private health cover.
For more information about the health insurance requirements for 485 visas, get in touch with HICA today.
We can offer you a free, no obligation quote across a number of health funds, provide you with a health insurance comparison, and help you find the policy that best suits your needs and budget.