If you plan to visit Australia to work or study there are health insurance requirements you must meet to successfully receive your visa and then maintain the visa requirements.

1) Condition 8501

Applicable for working visa holders including:

– The subclass 457 Visa

– The subclass 485 visa

Condition 8501 is a compulsory visa requirement for most temporary working visa applicants/holders.

This is applicable for ALL visa applicants irrelevant of their nationality and that country’s reciprocal health care agreement with Australia.

It requires those applying for a 457 visa to show proof of 457 visa health insurance cover for their stay in Australia or for other subclasses, relevant overseas visitor health insurance cover. The health insurance cover chosen my meet the department of immigration and board control’s requirements which all the policies on this website satisfy. Other policies such as those that Australian permanent residents adopt DO NOT meet these requirements. You also need to cover any other family member that is part of the policy (eg your spouse) which will require a couples or family policy. Once you apply for health insurance for visitors you will receive a confirmation letter via e-mail which you will need to attach to your visa application.

Temporary Working Visa Health insurance

2) Student Health Cover

Students don’t have the same requirements as those looking to work in Australia but still require their own health insurance for visitors cover. This is called overseas student health cover (OSHC). This type of health insurance for visitors is cheaper than the health insurance for permanent residents or temporary workers but has reduced cover (eg no private hospital). Instead, this type of policy focuses on the essentials you will need during your studies in Australia, especially if you have an accident.

Health Insurance For Visitors (Students)

Commonly Asked Questions

 A) I’m a passport holder of a reciprocal health care agreement country. Do I need health insurance for visitors?

Yes, you must have proof of adequate health insurance to meet your health care agreement of your passport if you apply for a temporary working visa or wish to study in Australia. Once you receive your visa and come to Australia you can apply for Medicare which is an entitlement under the reciprocal health care agreement arrangement. Once you receive this you have met your health insurance requirement and you have the option to cancel your health insurance policy. There are though some issues you should consider before cancelling your health insurance policy including:

  • You may get taxed more if you don’t have health insurance (Medicare surcharge). This can be up to 1.5% of your taxable income which in most cases works out to be more expensive than having health insurance.
  • You won’t have access to private hospitals or your choice of doctor if you are injured/hurt
  • If you require a procedure from an injury (eg knee reconstruction) that is not considered critical you will be put on a waiting list which can take months to over a year
  • If you get sick or injured and require medical treatment Medicare will in most cases only cover some of the costs leaving you ‘out of pocket’ for the remaining bill


B) Are you required to have Health Insurance if you come on a holiday visa?

Health insurance for holiday visa’s (eg working holiday visa) does not require health insurance. While the Department Of Immigration recommends purchasing health insurance it is not a requirement of the visa. This means that you don’t have to show any proof of health insurance when applying for the visa or maintain the cover during your stay. Travel insurance though is strongly recommended for these individuals to cover situations when things go wrong


 C) I don’t know the exact date of my arrival for the Health Insurance For Visitors form. What should I put in?

You don’t need to get the arrival date exactly correct. Just give it your best guess and when it gets closer to the date you can adjust your health insurance for visitors policy. Some policies such as IMAN also have an option to pause your policy if you travel overseas during your stay and won’t need health cover over that duration.


D) Is Travel Insurance enough to meet my health insurance requirement

The department of immigration have a very specific set of elements that must be included in a policy for it to meet their condition 8501 requirements. In most cases this means that travel insurance polices won’t meet this requirement but if you believe it may, call up the DIBP first to make 100% sure this is correct. The last thing you want is for your application or visa to be cancelled due to this factor.


E) What Is The Best Health Insurance For Visitors?

This website have comparison tables for the top health insurance policies in Australia. There are limited health funds offering this specialist health insurance for visitors and they range in price and features. This means you need to consider what they do and don’t cover and what you will need during your stay in Australia. The key element to understand is ALL the policies listed meet your visa requirements.