eHEalth is now mandatory for Australian
visa applicants from the UK and Ireland.
As of 1 August 2011, the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) have classified the UK and Ireland, along with 12 other countries, as places where anyone applying for an Australian visa that is part of the General Skilled Migration (GSM) program must submit their health assessments electronically.
This must be done using the Department’s 'eHealth' system. eHealth will be mandatory for all applications, with the only exceptions being for employer sponsored visas (ie. subclasses 457, 119 and 121).
What is eHealth?
DIAC’s eHealth service has been operating in ten countries since 2005. However, until this point, it has not been a mandatory requirement for applicants from the UK and Ireland.
eHealth results in significantly faster processing of medical results, since it is a paperless submission procedure, allowing panel doctors (authorised by DIAC) to submit examination results and upload photos and chest X-Rays directly to the DIAC office assessing their application.
The panel doctor will use the information provided by the applicant to log on to DIAC’s eHealth system, locate the application, and submit health assessment results when they are ready. This information is received by DIAC instantly, and the Department claim that 75 percent of results are ‘auto-cleared’ with no manual intervention. The remaining 25 percent have a processing timeframe of just 48 hours, with many processed and finalised in minutes.
How does this affect the documents I can provide at the time of lodging my Australian visa application?
Those applying for family or partner-based visas should note that health assessments can no longer be provided at time of application lodgement, and will be requested after the application has been lodged by the case officer assigned to assess the application.
At that point, applicants for these visa types will be provided with a specific reference number (referred to as a HAP ID) which they should provide to the panel doctor at the appointment.
DIAC intends to enable eHealth globally and we recommend applicants use the facility where it is available. The fourteen countries in which panel doctors should now supply health assessments electronically are as follows:
||Colombia (Bogota region only)
Visa Bureau clients will be sent the relevant eHealth forms to take to their appointment at the appropriate time by their case worker, and should contact their caseworker if there is any uncertainty about how eHealth affects their application.
- Matt Parker is a caseworker for the Australian Visa Bureau.
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