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  1. petrpanteleev

    Hepatitis C and skilled visa

    Could you please consider my case? While I for sure can score many more than 60 points in SkillSelect due to my experience and proficient English and clearly can get all the needed official confirmations, I have a big trouble in my family - my spouse has chronic Hepatitis C, genotype 1. Here are the disease specific parameters: a. The active Hepatitis C took place about 12 years ago and it then developed into its chronic form. b. My partner is 30 now. c. The viral load is 560 000 (which is low to medium as I understand) d. The ALT is 1.5 times the normal level. e. The liver is mostly ok (FibroScan shows F1) f. The chronic disease has never been treated - doctors suggested that it should wait for more modern medicals to appear. Our little daughter and I are Hep C negative. We were going to move to Australia together, however, after investigation of the official documents, I have found that MOC most probably will estimate overall treatment costs over my partner's remaining life expectancy too high (i.e. “significant”) to grant a Permanent Visa. The treatment may potentially cost more than $16K-20K per 5 years periods (if they count NOT ONLY the first period, I presume). Comments regarding Hep C are really scarce over the Internet - they range from "with Hep C forget about a skilled visa" to "if Hep C is not damaging your liver right now then the visa should be ok". Thus, our situation is not 100% clear – for example, some people wrote they got their visas with Hep C. Would you please comment some potential ways to achieve our immigration goals? 1. Arrange a treatment before applying for visas - it would take 1 - 1.5 years. The probability to recover is 40-50% with traditional cures and 80% with the newest ones (very expensive). Unfortunately, the maxim that can be achieved is a long disease remission - the Hep C virus itself remains in liver for term of life. 2. Apply for visas as soon as possible and declare the chronic Hepatitis C: any thoughts how to persuade DIAC / MOC that the treatment costs will be not very high? Don’t you know what paperwork can be done to show that we will not be a drain on Australian Medicare and other social welfare, and that we are able to maintain my spouse's health very well? 3. Somehow arrange appropriate (close to MOC or performed by MOC itself) medical assessment up front, i.e. before investing into the visa process. Any ideas how this can be done? 4. Ask immigration lawyers / migration agents who are known to deal with medical issues. Probably you can suggest ones, e.g. among the following names I have collected on Internet: Peter Bollard, Allan Collet, Westly Russell, Stephen O’Neil, Mark Webster, Les Mighalls, George Lombard 5. Think about getting a "skilled health waiver" – however, I believe, it can be granted only in highly exceptional and/or high profile situations. 6. Other approaches? Thank you very much, Petr
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