05-08-2012, 08:47 AM #131
Thank you so much for getting back to me. I feel a lot more positive about things.
My husband has no natural children. His late wife already had a family when he married her. They are obviously grown up now. I think we should be ok from that point of view?
Sorry about Mrs Thyagarajan! She was the subject of an MRT decision the link to which you sent to a member Syed on 21/01/2012 in connection with his own father's health problems. I need to remember that not everyone's head contains nothing but health issues!
I'm grateful to you for pointing me in the right direction. Its so easy to get muddle headed with all this. Tomorrow when the house is quiet I will go through the links you have kindly supplied but for today the sun is out so I'm off to the beach with the dog - hopefully she will emigrate with us but thankfully her health is good!?
Any further 'droning' you might do would be more than welcome.
05-08-2012, 11:22 AM #132
Guidance Notes for the Medical Officer of the Commonwealth
Thanks for your prompt reply. Enjoy your walk with your dog.
Most pets manage very well when they go to Australia. Personally I'm a huge fan of Dr Bob Ghandour, one of the vets who runs PetAir UK:
Dr Bob is always willing to answer questions at no cost to the pet owner and what he says always makes sense.
Thanks for confirming that you and NH will be OK on the Balance of Family Test. His ex-wife's children won't count as "his" children because the overarching contract of marriage between him and their mother has ended.
With regard to NH's health, ideally you need to get hold of the relevant "Note for Guidance of the Medical Officer of the Commonwealth." That used to be relatively easy to do because each of the Guidance Notes was contained in a separate PDF file, so one could just insist on production of the whole document. It is impossible for a lay person to understand the Guidance Notes but the relevant Guidance Note(s) could just be sent to the visa applicant's own doctors, who would understand every word.
There is now a new set of Guidance Notes, issued from about 2009/2010 onwards. DIAC insist that the new Notes have been/will be "published." That is, they are being hidden on Legend. Most people are too stingy to buy a subscription to Legend:
A friend of mine is a qualified Australian legal practitioner, admitted in Victoria, and she is also a Registered Migration Agent. Periodically I get Sandra Maxfield to do me a favour by checking how many of the new Guidance Notes have actually made it onto Legend. There are supposed to be 19 altogether. One is "General Guidance" but the other 18 deal with specific medical problems; eg there is one on nephrology, another one on oncology, another one on cardiology etc.
At one of his two appearances before the JSCM early in 2010, Dr Douglas insisted that all 19 of the new Guidance Notes had been written, he had approved them and he said he was certain that all of them would be published on Legend by no later than July 2010. Three of them had been published so far, he said, and the rest would follow shortly.
That had not happened by mid-2011, the last time I asked Sandra to check. The only ones that were actually on Legend were the ones that Dr Douglas had described to the JSCM. So where are the rest? What is the reason for their late/non appearance? The rumour is that the RACP might have refused to endorse them. The Royal Australasian College of Physicians despise DIAC. That is common knowledge. The first of the new Guidance Notes, prepared in 2008/9, was the one about Nephrology. The RACP said that the "new" Note was nothing except a re-hash of the old Note, which by then was 20 years old and hopelessly out of date medically. The RACP chucked the draft of the new Nephrology Note back at DIAC with a red line through it and told them to do it again if they wanted this new Note to be approved by the RACP.
The Aussie Govt, in its wisdom, had allowed DIAC to outsource the production of the new Guidance Notes to a private sector company called Adhealth Pty Ltd, which is based in Victoria. There are two contracts with Adhealth and the Aussie taxpayer had contracted to pay Adhealth about $3 million AUD for the production of the 19 new Guidance Notes. The taxpayer is entitled to demand value for money in return, so personally I'm with the group of observers who sympathise with the RACP. If the new Notes are not good enough then Adhealth will just have to do them again and one hopes there won't be any cost overruns..... The contracts themselves are matters of public record - anyone can read those on-line, download them etc. I've looked at them but not in forensic detail - I was merely shocked by what seemed to me to be exorbitant cost. (But it could have been worse, hey? DIAC could have asked G4S to produce the new Notes instead, thus guaranteeing that they would never appear.)
The Law Institute of Victoria are influential and they are livid about DIAC's plan to hide the new Guidance Notes on Legend. They are top-notch lawyers and they have a special sub-Committee that deals with the Health requirement for migration. They are also super-ethical lawyers. A lawyer cannot offer a visa applicant competent medical advice. Only a doctor can do that bit, so in order to produce properly ethical, competent medico-legal advice it is necessary to have the visa applicant's doctor and his lawyer working together. Half-measures won't do if the aim is to do the job properly. Some visa applicants are rolling in money and they are prepared to pay their advisers to do the job properly.
In some ways, I think there is merit in the idea of publishing the new Notes on-line only because doing that makes it easy to amend them, update them etc. Paper was a disaster for that aspect, so there is merit in the new idea. It is merely not good enough merit unless Legend is opened up to public access at no cost to members of the public, in my view. (That said, Sandra told me that Legend is extremely user-unfriendly. Proper legal publishers understand the need for user-friendliness but Legend seems to belong to the Australian Government - which is not a legal publisher......!)
I moaned at DIAC's Regional Director for Europe, based at Australia House in London. How is Joe Bloggs, who does not live in Australia, supposed to access these supposedly "public" documents when it is not possible to get a free subscription to Legend? (I know that for sure because I've asked the people who run Legend.) The Regional Director had obviously not tried to access any of the new Notes himself before he replied to me. He promised that anyone based in Europe can ask Australia House in London to produce copies of any of the new Guidance Notes, free of charge. (Oz House are very efficient - on that score, they put the British Government to shame.)
BUT - there spake a man who has never actually tried to do it. Sandra confirmed that the new Notes have been saved in a special computer format which makes it impossible for anyone to copy them adequately. They are full of hyperlinks to other documents, websites, law reports etc. A copy & paste into a Word document would produce a "two dimensional" result because the hyperlinks won't work without a subscription to Legend. Also, even a two dimensional Word document would be 50 or 60 pages in length and the visa applicant's doctors would have to have the whole thing, not just whichever bits of it seem relevant to an Administrator in Oz House who is not a medical specialist.
I grumbled again. This was a kind offer but it was not good enough. The new Notes are designed to be dealt with on-line, not on paper, so the offer wouldn't really solve the problem ideally well. What were DIAC going to do about that? DIAC harrumph about the idea that they are "non-discriminatory" but without free, public access to Legend from anywhere else in the world they are actually discriminating between visa applicants who live in Australia and those who do not. I agree with the LIV. Either open Legend up properly and make it free or ditch Legend, enlarge the DIAC website and deal with the problem that way instead.
Eventually it was agreed that if the problem crops up in practice then it will be possible to put the visa applicant's own doctors in direct touch with Dr Douglas, via Oz House in London. I think that is probably an acceptable compromise because Dr Douglas is a very Good Bloke. He is very fair-minded, he is 100% honest, he is always willing to go the extra mile to help and he definitely understands his subject brilliantly well. Another doctor would have nothing to fear from Dr Douglas.
The LIV insist that all 19 of the new Guidance Notes should be published on the DIAC website, not hidden on Legend. I entirely agree. It should not be necessary for two doctors to play cat 'n' mouse with each other in order to be able to advise a visa applicant properly. The LIV persuaded the JSCM, so it is now one of the formal Recommendations in the Enabling Australia report, but nobody knows when the Govt might Respond to that report, or what their Response might be.
DIAC whinge that it would be prohibitively expensive to increase the size of the DIAC website to enable it to carry all the medical stuff fully. The LIV said, "Sod the cost, chum. Just DO it!" The JSCM said the same, so we shall see.....
Last edited by Gollywobbler; 05-08-2012 at 01:06 PM.
05-08-2012, 01:56 PM #133
Hi again, Linda
Thanks for reminding me how to find Mrs Thyagarajan.
For anyone feeling a bit morose today, here is a further copy of the link to the lady's MRT case:
At the time when Mrs Thyagarajan's appeal was heard by the MRT, the threshold for "significant cost" was deemed to be $21,000 AUD during the visa applicant's first five years in Australia if the visa applicant is 75 years of age or younger. If the visa applicant is 75 or older then the administrative, policy idea of "significant cost" was $21,000 or more during the applicant's first three years in Australia.
The administrative, policy threshold of $21,000 was introduced in 1998 or 1999. It was probably first mooted five years earlier but Government Wheels grind so slowly that they make an ancient snail with terminal arthritis seem sprightly.
Twice a year, DIAC are ritually grilled by the Senate Estimates Committee:
In May 2009, DIAC told Senate Estimates that DIAC believed the "significant costs" threshold should be increased to $100,000 per visa applicant, up from $21,000.
In August 2011, DIAC confirmed that $21,000 was still the threshold figure. By December 2011, however, DIAC had presumably felt kicked, so they confirmed that the new threshold figure is now $35,000 during the visa applicant's first three or five years in Australia.
This new threshold figure of $35,000 sounds like an interim threshold figure to me. If DIAC thought that $100,000 was the correct figure three years ago, there is no way that the health of the world's population has improved so dramatically that $35,000 is reasonable instead.
However, it IS better than nothing and it will do for the time being, I suppose......
Last edited by Gollywobbler; 05-08-2012 at 03:21 PM.
14-08-2012, 12:37 PM #134
Hi Gill and JohnB
I'm just touching base with you, not sure if you remember me. To refresh your memory briefly - my (now) 89 year old MiL applied for her onshore aged parent visa in September 2010, has her BVA but still not a peep from anyone. Reckon we must be on borrowed time there, and just hoping they don't want medicals. Because of her age, to be honest we aren't really too worried about the time she will spend in the queue, because realistically - well, I won't say it, but you know what I mean. Of greater concern to us is whether they really have decided not to bother with first medicals. She might even pass it without a problem, as she's a tough old bird but even more so now they have raised the threshhold to $35,000 as there's not a thing wrong with her. We took a chance and didn't bother with private health insurance and that has proved so far to be a good decision. If either of you has any news about that, I'd be very pleased to know! Good wishes to you both!
15-08-2012, 06:09 AM #135
The only significant news I have had recently is from a thread on a sister site (PomsIn Oz) at
According to a post from Aerotony, in June this year DIAC had just got around to dealing with 804 applicants from April 2009 which suggests that the "queue to get into the queue" is now over three years long. I still don't know whether the first medical is still required but it looks as if your MiL has another year at least before the question arises.
15-08-2012, 11:32 AM #136
I think the short cut to discovering whether or not a first medical will be required, and if so when it is likely to be required, will be to ask the Manager of the Parents Visa Centre. I will send you a PM describing how to do that.
Some British friends of mine applied for APV 804s in December 2009. Their application was acknowledged and their Bridging Visas confirmed very quickly but they have not heard anything more since then. To judge from the information kindly provided by JohnB and Aerotony, I suspect that my own friends won't hear anything more until sometime in 2013.
Legally, it doesn't really matter. The Aussie Govt is not in the habit of trying to throw ancient visa applicants out of the country. There are various ways to appeal against a negative outcome if the first medical result says "Does Not Meet" [the Health requirement for migration.] The appeals process can drag on for about 6 to 8 years. By the end of all that, the Aged Parent visa applicant has either died or s/he has become too unwell to be able to leave Australia. No airline will accept the risk of embarking a passenger whose own doctors say is not well enough to travel aboard an ordinary passenger flight.
If you discover whether or not a first medical is still required, how long it is likely to be before it is requested etc, please could I ask you to be very kind and let the rest of us know via this thread, please?
01-10-2012, 01:32 AM #137
I have read some of your posts about parent visas and found them really helpful. I migrated to Oz in 2006 and have now settled down. My Mum has visited Australia a few times and she would like to migrate here as well. We are thinking applying for Contributory Parent Visa for her, however, we don't have enough money to apply for CPV for my step father. We are thinking he can apply for a partner's visa 5 years after my mum has obtained permanant visa. If we put on the application form the reason for one parent applyfing for CPV is my stepfather is currently working and he will not retire for at least another 8 years (he's 58 at the moment). will this reason persuasive in your opinion? (I heard the migration would not easily approve for one parent application for CPV)
Thanks a lot
20-11-2012, 04:25 AM #138
Originally Posted by Gollywobbler
Thanks a Lot. Good new is that I have got letter from PVC that hey need to do medical and assurence of support and they are on 21/13 Fin year which is not really accouring to Queue calculator say.. So it looks like Queue calculator is 1 year behind..
24-11-2012, 03:30 AM #139
Parents waiting for parent visas may be interested in a new visa which came in to force today (Nov 24 2012).
What's New for Tourist and Visitor Visas
Longer Tourist visas for parents of Australians
From 24 November 2012, parents of Australian citizens and permanent residents will be able to apply for Tourist visas to visit Australia for longer.
The department will grant on a case-by-case basis:
- Tourist visas of up to five years validity which provide a stay of up to 12 months on each entry to those parents who are outside Australia and are in the Parent (subclass 103) visa queue.
- Tourist visas of up to three years validity with 12 months stay on each entry will be considered for parents who are outside Australia and are not in the Parent visa queue.
These changes allow parents who meet the criteria for a Tourist visa to have regular extended visits with their family in Australia without needing to apply for a new visa on each visit.
Under these more flexible arrangements, in addition to meeting all other Tourist visa requirements, parents will be expected to hold health insurance to cover any healthcare costs during their stay and will have a visa condition limiting applications for further visas while they are in Australia.
Like all tourists, parents granted Tourist visas are expected to maintain extended periods of absence between visits to Australia.
See: About This Visa
Full details are here.
It mentions health care but in the small print it says that people from RHCA countries (e.g. UK) are covered by that.
10-12-2012, 02:57 PM #140
Probably my question is not new here and there is some answer somewhere but anyway it would be appreciated if somebody can answer based on his own experience.
The situation is my parents have been living in Australia as temporary residents since 2007.
In 2010 we decided to apply for 804 sub-class visa. The application was lodged in Sept 2010, we received a letter of acknowledgment with the information that everything is fine, you will be contacted in due cause. Last week we received a letter from Immigration dept stating that we need to provide additional docs which is the result of medical examination, police certificates etc.
As far as I understand we are far away from the front of the queue for 804 visa.
Does it mean that we will undergo another med examination and police check when the time comes to process visas? So applicants usually undergo 2 medicals in total?
Have we actually been placed in a queue or not yet? I always thought that the Letter of Acknowledgement was a confirmation that the application has been place in a queue waiting for processing.
If it happens that we are not yet in a queue and our place will be allocated after medical examination and police check, then what Queue date we will get? Will it be the current date (say 01.01.2013) or the date when we actually lodged our application (10.09.2010)?
Your help with this enquiry will be very much appreciated.