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  1. A requirement which assesses the financial impact on health care and community services made by international students and their dependents, which ignores visa requirements and conditions, is denying applicants with disability and health concerns access to Australia’s education system. International students who are estimated to be a significant cost to the Australian community are refused entry to Australia, despite not being able to access taxpayer funding. Share this: About Anton Crace Anton is an international education journalist and author from Australia. He writes extensively about the Australian and New Zealand industries. In his spare time, he’s watching rugby, cricket or basketball. If costs are estimated at $15,000 per year, a visa applicant on a one-year visa will be permitted into Australia, while an applicant on a three-year visa will be determined to have exceeded the allowed limit. The claim, made by Estrin Saul Lawyers’ disability and health specialist Jan Gothard, refers to Public Interest Criteria 4005 of Australia’s migration regulation, requiring visa holders meet certain health requirements. “In practice, [international students] cannot access those services. You cannot be a cost to the community” While the criteria are used to ensure Australian citizens’ interests are considered when someone enters the country – visa applicants cannot be placed on the organ donor list or suffer from severe communicable diseases, for example – Gothard has noted a stipulation that temporary residents cannot be a “significant cost to the Australian community in the areas of health care and community services” ignores the requirements and entitlements of study visas. “An individual must be costed regardless of whether they’re going to use the services or not, regardless of whether they’re entitled to use those services. That’s the way the regulations work,” she said. “But in practice, [international students] cannot access those services. You cannot be a cost to the community.” Australian study visa holders must cover their healthcare and education costs and the costs of their dependents, as well as maintain overseas student health cover. Failure to show sufficient ability to cover costs results in DIBP not issuing or cancelling a visa. But the estimate, made on behalf of the immigration department by a Medical Officer of the Commonwealth and currently limited to $40,000, not only assesses and excludes applicants for costs they have already provided evidence of being able to cover, but also includes government expenditure to which they are not entitled. “It’s not logical,” Gothard told The PIE News, adding that most students were also unable to apply for a waiver like some other visa categories, leaving them with “no space” to argue against the decision. “There have been several instances where visa applications are rejected and unless the potential student advises the provider, that information is not shared with the provider” So far, the apparent oversight seems to only affect those with significant disabilities or health issues, which Gothard first became aware of after representing a PhD student who was told his son could not remain in Australia because he had Down syndrome. The son’s special education was costed above the permitted amount, even despite all expenses being covered by a scholarship the student had received from their home country. The case highlighted a further “absurdity” of the requirement, Gothard said. Costs cannot exceed $40,000 for the duration of the visa regardless of its length. If, for example, health care and services are estimated at $15,000 per year, a visa applicant on a one-year visa will be permitted into Australia, while an applicant on a three-year visa will be determined to have exceeded the allowed amount. The appeals process to allow the son to remain in Australia dragged on long enough for the remaining period of the visa to shorten enough for the cumulative services estimate to drop below the limit, allowing him to stay in Australia. To date, Gothard, who is also an adjunct law professor at Murdoch University, said she was only aware of cases where the dependents of visa applicants had been blocked from entering Australia, but said applicants themselves could also be blocked. That situation appears to be relatively unusual, with education agents contacted by The PIE saying they were unaware of circumstances in which students had been blocked because of a community cost assessment or of the assessment itself. ISANA president Mary Ann Seow said providers were unlikely to be aware as well, and therefore unable to provide adequate pre-departure services to prospective students. “There have been several instances where visa applications are rejected and unless the potential student advises the provider, that information is not shared with the provider,” she said, calling on DIBP to provide further information on why visas were rejected. “Educators need information on the reasons for visa rejection so that they can consider how an international student and dependents can be supported. International students with these circumstances should also be made aware that these special circumstances need to be shared with agents, sponsors and education providers and not at the point of a visa application.” “As international students do not vote and are perceived to be not paying taxes, elected politicians in Australia are not likely to be motivated to proactively put supportive policies in place” IEAA chief executive Phil Honeywood similarly expressed concerns with the requirement, telling The PIE the policy was a “stark contrast between reality winning out over rhetoric [of ‘equality of opportunity for all’]” and threatened to prevent talent before it started. “Stephen Hawkins is a great example of a brilliant mind and contributor to mankind who has had to fight to be better understood,” he said. “Notwithstanding his severe disability, no one can deny his contribution to the world of science. The next Stephen Hawkins could well be an international student who just requires that bit of encouragement from access to an internationalised curriculum to prove their creative worth.” Surprisingly, the situation could be rectified fairly quickly, according to Gothard, who said a legislative instrument issued by immigration minister Peter Dutton, could cease the practice of assessing services and health costs against a student’s visa applications “There is a precedent because there are some commonwealth services which are not costed against temporary residents. That was done a few years ago on the basis that these temporary residents were not eligible for these services,” she said. “That principle hasn’t been taken far enough.” But Honeywood was pessimistic about the reality of that occurring and encouraged the industry to take the lead in helping international students with significant needs enter Australia. “As international students do not vote and are perceived to be not paying taxes, elected politicians in Australia are not likely to be motivated to proactively put supportive policies in place. At the end of the day, any change to policy in this vexed area will need to come from the educators.”
  2. Hi,:biggrin: Hello to everyone on here, this is my first post and I would appreciate some relevant advice. I meet the criteria of a skilled application and acheive 60 points, but I have a health condition/s that hang over me and prevent me furthering my application. I have CF and am 38 years old, I also have CF related diabetes. Both conditions are very well controlled and I am fortunate to only have mild CF whereby I take pancreatic enzymes and oral antibiotics only. In my lifetime, I have never been hospitalised by the condition and have always maintained excellent lung capacity and I am not restricted when excersising or in day to day life at all, infact, it's my little secret, you probably wouldn't know that I have the condition, it's that mild (thankfully). I have longed to live in Australia since spending a year there is 2000/2001, but there are obvious health issues that prevent me applying. I wondered if you could advise if you are aware of anyone who has succesfully applied or if you think it may be worth while, albeit I understand that the decsion lies with a pannel of medical professionals. Thank you all so much for reading my post and responsding
  3. Hi everyone I'm hoping someone here may have some knowledge and advice....My husband and I are looking to emigrate under skilled migration, we pass points test, very positive meeting today with our proposed migration agent... However we realise that the medical assessment needed involves an eye test, and this also includes fundoscopy (which looks at the back of the eye) My husband has an eye condition which is progressive. He was diagnosed with it 14 or so years ago during a routine eye test for his glasses. No cause for concern before this point, it was a huge surprise as he had not noticed any change in his vision. It is where pigment appears on the retina which worsens over time There is no known treatment, and no cure. There are certain things you can take which have been proven to slow its progression (which he does take). In severe cases, people can have seriously impaired vision. My husband however is one of the 'lucky' ones, and hasn't been seriously affected by this so far. Since he was diagnosed: - the progression of his disease has been very VERY slow (compared to some with this condition who have it from childhood)- minimal changes each year, it is not going to get better however - He needs no visual aids or assistance to live his life independently and actively - It does not impair his capacity to do his job - In the forseeable future, based on his medical history thus far and opticians monitoring - he has yearly eye examinations to monitor it - he won't need any assistance to live an independent life We are concerned as you can imagine that this condition will mean we are refused a visa on health grounds. He does not have a condition which poses a threat to the people of Oz, he is not going to be a financial cost for Oz (there is no treatment), he can still do his job.... At the moment we are very very early in this process but we don't want to spend the £10k going through this visa process is there is a chance of us being refused at the final hurdle. I'm conscious that this retinal pigment will be picked up his eye test, the panel doc here in the UK will state it's 'abnormal' and 'further testing' is needed.... Our migration agent has recommended that we have a private consultation with a former panel doc in Manchester which he recommended (who doesn't do Oz medicals anymore but still does NZ ones), to see what he says, before we progress any further. He is not an ophthalmologist however, and probably won't know much about this condition. So should we try to find an ophthalmologist who can help? We can always ask the one who does my husband's current testing, we would need to anyway I'm sure in order to take a full report to a panel doctor if we had submitted our visa application. He would confirm my points above: Very slow progression, doesn't impact daily life, can still do his job etc - which I assume is what the MOC/DIAC want to know. Would we be able to go to him for the 'further testing' if needs be when the time comes, or does it have to be someone of the DIAC choosing? I've searched for cases of others who have eye conditions in terms of visa approvals but have had no joy. Can anyone give us some advice please? I know we can't get an idea of what the MOC/DIAC would say (we can't even apply for an early medical to see if we're wasting our time) as they take into account your personal diagnosis.... Does anyone know of an ophthalmologist in the UK who has given them advice? And when considering implications financial and community services wise, when looking at an applicant's health condition, does anyone know how far in advance does the MOC/DIAC look?? Based on my hubby's history so far (14 plus years since diagnosis), we can safely say the slow progression will continue...but we cannot assume or predict anything with this condition....it affects everyone so very differently! Am I right in understanding that when looking at health issues, the MOC/DIAC can only consider the next 5 years or so, and only provable facts (ie. Mr xx WILL need hospital treatment/community care/ etc) - not assumptions? As we can't say (and any ophthalmologist will say the same) exactly how this is going to progress....we don't have a crystal ball!!! I'm so so sorry for the long post. Anyone who has got this far...I thank you for bearing with me. As you can imagine this has been whirling around our heads today since our meeting this morning.
  4. TheEscapePlan

    Moving to Aus with a chronic condition

    I'm Australian by birth, and have lived in the UK for almost 15 years. Me and my other half are planning to put his application (47SP/ 40SP) in in November with the view of moving this time time next year. I have a chronic condition - hypopituitarism - which I developed in the UK after a pituitary tumour was found and treated. I need full spectrum hormone replacement. My Endocrinologist has told me I need to be under the care of a consultant Endocrinologist at a teaching hospital when we move. Does anyone else have experience of moving with a chronic condition? How did you negotiate getting the right care/ consultant for your condition? I have previously tried seeing an endocrinologist near where my parents live in Australia, but they were less than helpful. I'm a bit nervous of moving over without having anything set up before we leave... Any advice will be greatly received.
  5. Dear Friends, I am a mother of 3 from Karachi Pakistan. I would like to inquire about the migration policy regarding children with genetic disorders. One of my sons has cystic fibrosis which is not an environmentally threatening disorder and he acquired it as his parents are first cousins. What are our family's chances of making it thru the medical procedures without getting halted for this particular reason? My primary focus to opt for Australia is to seek better and improved environment for my child , along with state of the art medical facilities. Will my focus prove to be detrimental or helpful to my yet-to-be-lodged application? Would require a through help. Thanks.
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