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Australian Visa Update: Changes to Medical Officer of the Commonwealth Costings for Applicants With Disabilities

by | Apr 29, 2020 | Migration

From 1 April 2020, changes have been introduced to the way visa applicants with disability are costed against the migration health requirement. This is in response to changes in the provision of government-funded disability services. State disability services have now been almost entirely replaced by services provided under the new National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), which is Commonwealth-funded.

Eligibility for NDIS is confined to Australian citizens and permanent residents, including protected New Zealand citizens.

  • Implications For Temporary Visa Applicants

Temporary visa holders are ineligible for NDIS services and the implications of this have been recognised in Medical Officer of the Commonwealth (MOC) costings. Previously, applicants for temporary visas were costed for potential use of state disability services, even though in practice, temporary visa holders were generally ineligible for state disability services. This anomaly has been removed from MOC costings. Health Policy has advised that henceforth, applicants for temporary visas will not be costed for NDIS services.

This has very significant, positive implications for applicants for subclass 482, student and visitor visas in particular, where there is a disability-related issue.

  • Implications For Applicants For Permanent Visas Currently Awaiting Decisions

This change also has implications for applicants for a permanent visa currently awaiting a decision on a health waiver, or who have been advised they are likely to fail the PIC 4005 health requirement. If you have failed the health requirement but where the decision on the visa has not yet been made, you should consider contact Nevett Ford Lawyers Melbourne urgently so we can assist you in requesting a revised costing on the basis of these changes

The Migration Act has not yet been updated and it is not yet clear exactly how these changes will impact in every future situation for applicants for permanent visas. For example, following these changes, we have seen an applicant for a permanent visa with a child with a profound disability where the costs have increased; but have also seen situations where costs for a child with a mild disability have been reduced very substantially following a request for reassessment in line with the 1 April 2020 changes.

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Source: MIA