If you're an engineering professional in Australia, it could be a good idea to get private health insurance.
With a growing demand for engineering professionals, the Australian government have recently introduced a temporary visa that allows certain engineering graduates from to come to Australia for up to 18 months.
Costs for this visa begin at $375. In order to be eligible, there are a number of requirements you need to meet.
Who is the 476 Visa for?
The Skilled Recognized Visa (Subclass 476) is a temporary visa that allows recent engineering graduates from recognised institutions and universities to live, work or study in Australia for up to 18 months.
All international engineering students who have gained a degree or qualification from Australian universities will be considered eligible to work in Australia, if they hold a Skilled Recognised Graduate 476 Visa.
What are the visa requirements for this visa?
You must have completed an eligible degree in engineering within the period of two years from the lodgement of the visa application. The minimum qualification requirement is a bachelor's degree but this must have contained a major sequence of study in an engineering discipline. This can include:
- Civil Engineering
- Structural Engineering
- Mining Engineering
- Electrical Engineering
- Environmental Engineering
- Chemical Engineering
- Mechanical, Production and Plant Engineering
It's also essential that you got your qualification at a recognized overseas institution. Additionally, you may need to provide evidence of English proficiency unless you hold a valid passport from the United Kingdom, the United States of America, Canada, New Zealand or the Republic of Ireland.
It's also necessary that you get health cover. When applying for the 476 Visa, it won't be approved unless you have health cover in place. Your insurance will need to be equivalent to or better than Medicare.
What are the restrictions?
This visa lets you work and study in Australia for up to 18 months but it must be related to engineering and can't be extended. You must be under 31 years of age when you make your application and not previously been the primary visa holder of a subclass 485 Visa either.
You do not have to be living in Australia while applying for the visa but you will have to be outside the country while it is being granted. The holder of the 476 Visa isn't allowed to marry or enter into a de facto relationship before entering Australia either.
How does health cover work in Australia?
Medicare is Australia's public health care system. It helps cover Australians for hospital expenses but not for most out of hospital services. These services are known as extras, or ancillary, and include things like dental, optical and physiotherapy. While you may be entitled to use Medicare, most Australians also have some kind of private health insurance.
What are the health requirements for the 476 Visa?
You are required to have some form of Overseas visitors health cover (OVHC) on the 476. OVHC pays towards the cost of most hospital services as well as things like prescriptions. There are a range of OVHC policies to choose from and the majority meet the necessary health requirements but you should always check with your insurer before signing up.
You might however, be eligible for Medicare under the Reciprocal Health Care Agreements (RHCA) which the Australian government have with several countries. This helps cover emergency medical costs but doesn't eliminate out of pocket expenses. You will still have to pay for things like prescriptions and GP visits, and extras cover is not included.
Compare Overseas Visitor Health Cover from $75 a month