Australian Student Visa Requirements - Character and Medical

To be eligible for a student visa, you must be considered to be of good character.  In addition, some student visa applicants must meet health requirements.

Good Character requirements

For the purposes of travelling to Australia on a student visa, being of good character means that you must not present a significant risk that you will engage in criminal conduct in Australia.  You must not be at risk to:

  • Harass molest, intimidate or stalk another person in Australia;
  • Vilify a segment of the community; incite discord in the community;
  • Represent a danger to the Australian community, or any part of the Australian community.

In addition, you must not have a substantial criminal record.  You may have a substantial criminal record if you have been:

  • Sentenced to a term of imprisonment of 12 months or more;
  • Sentenced to 2 or more terms of imprisonment with a total of 2 years or more; or
  • Acquitted of an offence on the grounds of unsoundness of mind or insanity, and as a result, been detained in a facility or institution.

Medicals and Health requirements

You must meet certain health requirements and may need to undergo a health examination. The requirements vary based on:

  • your length of stay in Australia
  • other health risks in your home country or countries you have visited for more than three months within the last five years.

Health examinations can be completed before you lodge your visa application, but no more than six months before your course starts.

A medical test (i.e. a medical examination which may include a chest x-ray, HIV, Hepatitis B and/or Hepatitis C test) may be required if:

  • You have spent more than 3 consecutive months in the last 5 years in a country considered to be of high health risk, you will be required to have a medical test;
  • You have spent more than 3 consecutive months in the last 5 years in a country considered to be of medium or high health risk and you will be likely to enter a health care or a hospital environment;
  • You intend to work or study as a doctor, dentist or nurse; OR
  • You are likely to work (or be a trainee) at an Australian childcare centre (including preschools and creches).

Depending on the circumstances, the Australian Government office has the right to add further health requirements at the discretion of the visa processing officer.  Additionally, you will be required to meet the health insurance requirements when you arrive in Australia as a student.

Health insurance requirements

You must have health insurance when you arrive to study in Australia. Health insurance can be provided by obtaining Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) which provides medical and hospital insurance.

You can ask your education provider to organise OSHC for you, or you can select an approved OSHC provider yourself and pay the insurance.

Exceptions: You do not need OSHC if you are:

  • A Norwegian student covered by the Norwegian National Insurance Scheme; OR
  • A Swedish student covered by the National Board of Student Aid or by Kammarkollegiet.
  • If you provide a letter from AusAID or Defence stating that you are an unaccompanied student sponsored by AusAID or Defence and you are applying for a subclass 576 visa.

Proof of insurance: When you lodge your application, you must provide a receipt or other proof of your OSHC payment. The OSHC should commence when you arrive in Australia.