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Review of Australia's visa Significant Cost Threshold (SCT)

​​In most cases, we require visa applicants to meet the Migration Health Requirements. For the majority of visa applicants, completion of a Health Declaration is sufficient to satisfy the health requirement. We require all other visa applicants to undertake an immigration medical examination to determine if they meet the health requirement. This includes all provisional and permanent visa applicants.

The aims of the migration health requirement as set out in the Migration Regulations 1994 are to:

(a) protect the Australian community from public health and safety risks

(b) contain public expenditure on health care and community services

(c) safeguard the access of Australian citizens and permanent residents to health care and community services that are in short supply, (currently this is dialysis and organ transplants).

Learn more about meeting the Migration Health Requirements.

The Significant Cost Threshold is the underpinning policy to ‘contain public expenditure on health care and community services’. The Significant Cost Threshold is the cut-off amount where we determine a visa applicant’s estimated health and community service costs to be ‘Significant’ and therefore do not meet the Migration Health Requirement. The Significant Cost Threshold is currently $51,000.

The Australian Government established the Significant Cost Threshold policy in 1995. We determined that significant costs should be interpreted as a cost that is ‘higher than average annual health and community services costs for an Australian’.

Whilst we have since updated the Significant Cost Threshold amount on a number of occasions to align with the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare data, the definition of ‘significant’ has remained unchanged. 

Learn more about the Significant Cost Threshold.

The Department sought the views of the Australian public on the policy settings for the Australian visa Significant Cost Threshold, during a consultation that closed on 17 November 2023.

The Department received 51 submissions on the discussion paper . Nine submissions remain confidential and are not publicly available. Publicly available submissions are available below:

  • Australian Dental and Oral Health Therapists Association
  • Australian Human Rights Commission
  • Fragomen
  • Health Equity Matters - HALC - NAPWHA - ASHM
  • Immigration Advice and Rights Centre
  • Individual Submission 1
  • Individual Submission 2
  • Individual Submission 3
  • Individual Submission 4
  • Individual Submission 5
  • Individual Submission 6
  • Individual Submission 7
  • Individual Submission 8
  • Individual Submission 9
  • Individual Submission 10
  • Individual Submission 11
  • Individual Submission 12
  • Individual Submission 13
  • Individual Submission 14
  • Individual Submission 15
  • Individual Submission 16
  • Individual Submission 17
  • Individual Submission 18
  • Individual Submission 19
  • Individual Submission 20
  • Individual Submission 21
  • Individual Submission 22
  • Individual Submission 23
  • Individual Submission 24
  • Individual Submission 25
  • Individual Submission 26
  • KIN Disability Advocacy Inc
  • Law Council of Australia
  • Migration Institute of Australia
  • Nomos Legal
  • Office of Khmer - Australian Migration Agents
  • Refugee Council of Australia
  • SCALES Community Legal Centre
  • United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
  • Welcoming Disability - Recommendations
  • Welcoming Disability - Submission
  • Women With Disabilities Australia

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