Planning a trip to Australia on a 600 visa? Consider taking out health insurance for peace of mind during your visit.
The Visitor visa (subclass 600) allows foreign citizens to visit Australia for up to three, six or 12 months for tourism or business purposes, or to visit family.
Unlike some other Australian visas, it is not a requirement of the 600 visa to take out health insurance for tourists. However, just because it’s not mandatory, doesn’t mean you don’t need cover. The Department of Immigration strongly recommends private health insurance for anyone coming to Australia on a 600 visa. This is for two very important reasons:
- Without it you will be responsible for all your own medical costs in Australia, whether it’s a dental check up or a trip to the hospital emergency room after a serious accident.
- Injury and sickness is unpredictable, particularly while travelling, so getting health insurance for tourists is an important part of the pre-flight checklist for experienced travellers.
You will need to compare Overseas Visitor Health Cover (OVHC) policies from Australian insurers to find one that offers the right level of protection for you during your visit. This type of cover is specially designed for visitors to Australia and carries extra benefits for travellers.
|Health fund||Overseas Visitor Health Cover policy features||Find out more|
|HIF offers two policies to suit the needs of 600 visa holders:||More info|
|Australian Unity||Australian Unity Overseas Visitor Health Cover helps you to reduce medical costs and look after your health right around Australia. Depending on the policy you take out you may get cover for:||More info|
|All nib OVHC policies provide cover for ambulance treatment and transportation, public and private hospital accommodation, theatre fees and doctors fees, repatriation benefit and a funeral benefit. Mid and Top Visitor Cover also includes extras cover for dental, optical and physio.||More info|
|OVHC from Allianz Global Assistance offers an extensive range of Australia-wide health and medical benefits. There are two plans available for travellers:||N/A|
|Bupa offers two levels of OVHC:||More info|
|HBF OVHC is available in two forms:||More info|
|OVHC from Medibank Private is designed for fit and healthy holidaymakers who want the extra peace of mind that health insurance provides. It includes:||More info|
Medicare is Australia’s public healthcare system, and generally it only covers Australian citizens and permanent residents. Most visitors to Australia aren’t eligible for any subsidised medical care under it, unless there is an RHCA in place. An RHCA, or a Reciprocal Health Care Agreement, lets visitors to a country access public healthcare services there. This means that if you are visiting Australia from any of the following countries, you may be covered by Medicare to a certain extent. Australia has an RHCA with the following countries:
- The United Kingdom
- The Republic of Ireland
- New Zealand
- The Netherlands
You can come to Australia on a 600 visa in one of the following four streams:
- The business visitor stream. If you’re heading to Australia on a short business trip to conduct negotiations, attend a conference or make business-related enquiries, you could qualify for this stream.
- The tourist stream. If you’re travelling to Australia for a holiday, recreational purposes or to visit family and friends, you could qualify for this stream.
- The sponsored family stream. This stream is for applicants who have been sponsored to travel to Australia to visit family. In some cases your sponsor may be required to provide a bond.
- The approved destination status stream. This stream is for Chinese visitors who are travelling to Australia as part of an organised tour group. You must apply for this visa in China, before departing for Australia.
Depending on which stream you are in, you will likely be doing different activities while in Australia. Sometimes OVHC insurers might want to know more about what you plan to do on your trip so they can make sure you’re covered for active or adventure holidays.
You’ll need to provide a range of documents to support your application for a 600 visa. Depending on your country of origin and your visa stream, the requirements will vary. Contact your nearest immigration office outside of Australia for details on what you will need to provide in order for your visa application to be accepted. For example, if you are going on vacation then you will need to provide the following to qualify for the tourist stream:
- A completed visa application form
- Certified copies of the biographical pages of your passport
- A recent passport-sized photograph
- A certified copy of your birth certificate
- Evidence of sufficient funds for your trip, such as bank statements
- A copy of your travel itinerary
- Information to show that you intend to return to your home country
All documents must be certified copies, and any documents not in English must be accompanied by accredited English translations.
- Make sure you have health care arrangements. You will most likely require an OVHC health insurance policy.
- Know your communication options. You should be able to contact family or friends back home, and they should be able to contact you.
- Before leaving, make arrangements in case of an unexpected emergency, such as if you need urgent funds to return home.