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Can I Get Medicare on Partner Visa 820 in Australia?

This is a common question, with implications that can be further-reaching that at first glance. If I’m on a 820 Partner visa, can I get Medicare?

Medicare is Australia’s Public Health scheme; if you are enrolled in Medicare you can access a range of treatments, including hospital treatments and bulk-billed doctors’ visits, for free.

For some Partner Visa applicants, this is also a critical consideration as eligibility to enrol in Medicare is often a requirement for a person to be added to their Private Health insurance policy.

When you need to provide evidence of private health cover in order to apply for a visa, this has the potential to save you thousands of dollars.

Normally, a person is only entitled to enrol in Medicare if they are an Australian Citizen, Permanent Resident or Eligible New Zealand Citizen. If you have applied for a Partner Visa onshore, you will most likely have a Bridging Visa A – which is not a permanent visa. If you applied from overseas, you will not have a visa associated with that application.

However, this does not mean you are not able to access Medicare for a partner visa.

The Department of Human Services (DHS) is the responsible agency for administering the Medicare program.

The requirements set by DHS for enrolment to Medicare are:


Applying for permanent residency

For each person you want to enrol, you need to give us a:

  • passport, travel document or Immicard
  • valid visa, and
  • proof from the Department of Immigration and Border Protection you’ve submitted a valid permanent residency application

This includes you if you’ve applied for a combined spouse visa 309/100 or 820/801.

If your visa doesn’t let you work in Australia, you must prove you have a relationship with a parent, spouse or child who’s an Australian citizen, permanent resident or New Zealand citizen who lives in Australia. This proof can be a:

  •  birth certificate
  • marriage certificate
  • joint bank or utility account statement, or
  • proof you own a home together

The summary of the above is that if you have made a Partner Visa application you are eligible to enrol in Medicare, provided the application is valid, you have adequate proof of your relationship and you are in Australia on a valid visa.

We have heard that, in some cases, applicants are being told that they are not eligible for Medicare until after their Partner Visa is granted. This is wrong – if you are told this, ask to speak to a Manager.

You can find the instructions and form to enrol in Medicare here:

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