Health Insurance for 804 Visa Holders
Applicants for a Parent visa (subclass 804) can’t access Medicare - unless you’re living in a Reciprocal Health Care Agreement (RHCA) country immediately before you arrive in Australia.
Due to a processing time of over 30 years, this visa is practical only if applicants apply from inside Australia, securing a bridging visa during processing.
Private health insurance is mandatory unless you’re covered by Medicare via your homeland’s RHCA.
You'll need to obtain the appropriate health cover to fulfil both your visa requirements, and your individual needs.
The 804 visa is properly known as The Subclass 804 Parent Visa. You might have heard it called a ‘Bridging visa,’ or ‘the aged parent visa 804.’ It’s a permanent visa designed for the elderly parents of Australian permanent residents or citizens, Australian permanent residents, or eligible New Zealand residents to come and live permanently in Australia.
To apply for this visa, you must be physically present within Australia and cannot still be ‘in process’ (i.e., you must have passed all immigration checks and be on Australian soil). If you’ve been detained in an immigration centre, you cannot apply for your 804 visa until you’re released.Compare OVHC Insurance
The subclass 804 Aged Parent visa is a permanent option for 'aged parents' of Australian citizens, permanent residents, or eligible New Zealand citizens settled in Australia.
To qualify as an 'aged parent,' you’ll need to meet the following eligibility criteria:
Sponsorship: You must be sponsored by an eligible sponsor, typically your child. If your child is under 18, sponsorship by an eligible relative or community organisation is allowed. Sponsorship approval from the Department is mandatory.
Age Requirement: You’re required to meet the age criteria to qualify for the age pension in Australia (i.e. 65 years of age or older).
Health Requirements: Fulfil any necessary health prerequisites.
Character Requirements: Satisfy essential character criteria.
Australian Values Statement: Sign the Australian Values Statement.
Balance of Family Test: Meet the Balance of Family Test.
Debt Clearance: Clear all debts owed to the Australian government.
Visa History: No previous visa cancellations or refusals should be on record.
What health prerequisites are needed for my 804 visa?
Australia maintains high health standards by requiring most visa applicants, and potentially their family members, to meet minimum health criteria. This process, known as 'meeting the health requirement,' aims to protect public health, control government spending on social services, and ensure fair access to healthcare for citizens and residents.
Visa applicants must be free from diseases or any conditions causing significant healthcare costs to Australians, or limiting access to essential services for the rest of the country. Health examinations may be required. These results are assessed by a Medical Officer of the Commonwealth (MOC). If a significant medical condition is identified, the MOC advises on potential threats to public health and service costs.
Am I covered by Medicare while I’m applying for my 804 visa?
Applicants for a Parent visa (subclass 804) with the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) are eligible to enrol in Medicare only if they’re residing in a Reciprocal Health Care Agreement (RHCA) country immediately before arriving in Australia. The Australian Government has signed RHCA with several countries, including:
The Republic of Ireland
The United Kingdom.
These agreements grant eligible visitors limited access to subsidised health services (i.e., Medicare) for medically necessary treatment. Your entitlement period varies based on Australia’s specific agreement with each country.
Important Note: Students from Norway, Finland, Malta, and the Republic of Ireland are not covered by agreements with their respective countries.
Services covered under RHCA only include Medicare benefits for:
medically necessary out-of-hospital treatment,
treatment as a public patient in a public hospital (including pregnancy-related services),
subsidised prescription medicines under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS).
Medically necessary treatment refers to a health condition that requires immediate attention, as well as any illness or injury that happens to you while you’re in Australia. You’re not covered for:
Devices (like blood pressure monitors or dentures).
Any medical procedures or treatments that aren’t urgent and/or deemed medically necessary, like major dental surgery.
If you’re applying for an Aged Parent visa without RHCA coverage, you’re required to purchase your own private health insurance for any treatments, procedures, or medications that don’t meet the criteria of ‘medically necessary’ (if you’re covered by a RHCA), or any medical care whatsoever (if you’re not).
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I get an aged parent visa 804 health insurance policy?
There’s no stand-alone health insurance policy for this specific visa subclass.
How long do you have to wait for an 804 medical check?
Given the waiting time for the subclass 804 visa is 30 years, it’s unlikely you’ll ever need to face your full medical check. You’ll usually arrive here on a temporary short-term visa, apply for your 804, and receive your Bridging Visa after your shorter stay visa expires. It’s expected that you’ll stay in Australia indefinitely during visa processing.
Important Note: While you’re in Australia on your Bridging Visa, leaving the country requires government permission or you may not be able to return. Your visa is not a re-entry document.
Do I have to have private health cover before applying for my 804 visa?
While visa 804 doesn’t require you to purchase private health insurance, the application times range from 13-30 years, and the application is made from within Australia. Until your visa 804 is granted, you’ll likely be here on a shorter term bridging visa - and most of these visas do require you to have adequate health insurance, unless you’re already covered via an extensive RHCA.
Even if you are, it’s still worth checking that this cover will be enough for your healthcare needs. The list of visas requiring you to maintain adequate health insurance includes 4 bridging visas, and includes:
Bridging Visa A
Bridging Visa B
Bridging Visa C
Bridging Visa E
Temporary Work International Relations
Temporary work activity
NZ Citizen Family Relationship
Work and Holiday
Temporary Skill Shortage
Temporary Graduate – (Graduate work, Post study work, Replacement stream)
What type of private health insurance can I get in Australia? Overseas Visitors Health Cover (OVHC) satisfies the ‘adequate health insurance’ requirement for most bridging visas.
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