The medical examination for partner visa applicants – when to complete it?


All applicants for Australian partner visas need to complete – and pass – a medical examination.

Medical examinations are conducted by doctors that have been authorised by the Australian immigration department – your own doctor can’t conduct the medical examination for you.

There are Australian immigration department authorised doctors in most countries.

The results of the medical examination are valid for 12 months – in some situations this 12-month validity period can be extended for a further 6 months.

When can the validity period be extended?

Here is an excerpt from the immigration department’s internal policy with regard to this:

Visa processing officers can, in certain situations, extend the validity of an applicant’s health clearance. Visa processing officers should only be extending the validity of a health clearance in very exceptional circumstances. Such extensions should not be given automatically. This is because an applicant’s health condition may change over time, in particular where an applicant is residing in a higher TB risk country.

If the validity period of a health clearance can be extended, this extension can be granted for a maximum period of 6 months only.

Why is the validity period important?

It’s important because the processing period for partner visa applications has increased to 18 to 24 months on average. Theoretically, the results of a medical examination could expire before the decision on the visa application is received. This would mean that the visa applicant(s) would have to complete the medical examination again – and pay the cost of it again.

What are some options?

• Applicants could complete the medical straight after the visa application is lodged


• They could wait six months from when the visa application is lodged (or even wait until the Case officer that processing the application requests that they do the medical examination).

The advantage of doing the medical examination straight after the visa application is lodged is that the application then becomes ‘decision ready’ – the case officer can theoretically approve the application on the day they start processing the file.

The disadvantage of doing it straight after the visa application is lodged is that the application may not be processed within a year of completing the medical examination. In that case you may need to do the medical again and incur the cost of it again.

Some, but not all, applicants decide to do the medical examination straight after the visa application is lodged and run the risk of incurring the cost of having to do it again later. They do this in the hope that the visa application will potentially be processed more quickly – sometimes it is.


Feel free to contact me for a consultation if you need further information about this.


Ross McDougall
Immigration Lawyer

Tel: 08 8528 9187

This information is correct at March 19th, 2019.  But, keep in mind that immigration law changes from time to time.

Information (or the lack of it) contained here does not take into account anyone’s individual circumstances and should not be relied upon as immigration assistance or legal advice.

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