About 403 Visas in Australia

The Temporary Work (International Relations – Subclass 403 Visa allows individuals to travel to Australia on a temporary basis. This visa has six streams:

  • Government Agreement stream: to come to Australia under the terms and conditions of a bilateral agreement between the Australian Government or an Australian state or territory government and the government of another country
  • Foreign Government Agency stream: for a representative of a foreign government who will not be given official status in Australia by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), or a person who is to be employed as a foreign language teacher by a foreign government in an Australian school
  • Domestic Worker (Diplomatic or Consular) stream: to do domestic work in the household of someone who holds a Diplomatic (Temporary) visa (subclass 995)
  • Privileges and Immunities stream: for a person with privileges and immunities under the International Organisations (Privileges and Immunities) Act 1963 or the Overseas Missions (Privileges and Immunities) Act 1995
  • Seasonal Worker Program stream: to come to Australia to work as a seasonal labourer in selected industries for Australian employers who cannot source local labour You must be invited by an approved Temporary Activities sponsor to participate in the Seasonal Worker Program. This program is limited to selected countries only.
    • Agriculture 403 Visa: to come to Australia to work in the Agricultural sector and alleviate labour shortages in the industry

8501 – Health Insurance Condition

The Department of Home Affairs imposes specific conditions to the range of visas available to those travelling to Australia.

Condition 8501 requires that visa holders must have and maintain adequate health insurance for the whole of your stay in Australia.

This condition applies to all streams of the Temporary Work (International Relations) – Subclass 403 visa.

Overseas Visitor Health Cover – FAQ

What is Overseas Visitor Health Cover (OVHC)?

OVHC is health cover that complies to a standard set by the Australian Department of Home Affairs (DoHA).  It’s part of the requirements for a range of visas when coming to Australia.

Why is OVHC important?

Overseas Working Visa Requirement

As most overseas visitors or workers are not eligible for Medicare (Australia’s publicly funded healthcare for residents and citizens), maintaining adequate health insurance is a requirement for a range of working visas. Overseas workers with visa condition 8501 must purchase and provide proof of adequate OVHC when applying for their visa.

Maintaining adequate OVHC is a mandatory condition

The Australian Government through the Department of Home Affairs (DoHA) requires all holders of an overseas working visa to maintain adequate OVHC for the entire time they are in Australia until their visa expires.

Medical treatment can be expensive

Most overseas workers who come to Australia to work cannot access Medicare, our publicly funded healthcare system, which may lead to large out-of-pocket costs to pay if they require medical treatment. Depending on the type of cover you choose, your OVHC will keep you covered for some of the costs of medical treatment if you get sick or have an accident.

What is a Reciprocal Healthcare Agreement?

Some countries have a Reciprocal Healthcare Agreement (RHCA) with Australia that entitles their citizens to Medicare eligibility, but even citizens who are eligible for Australian Medicare under an RHCA are only covered for public hospital treatment that is medically essential and cannot wait until you get home. RHCA’s do not cover treatment in private hospitals.

Working or temporary graduate visa visitors to Australia who want private hospital cover in Australia (or who are citizens of countries that do not have an RHCA with Australia) must obtain a Department of Immigration-approved overseas visitor health cover before they arrive in Australia.

Health Insurance Providers

Choosing the relevant health provider for insurance can be overwhelming. In Australia, the relevant insurance for Student visa holders is known as: Overseas Visitor Health Cover.

We have put together some information on the different OVHC policies that are available, see our pages below:

Book an appointment today for a commitment free briefing with our Registered Migration Agents to find more about your visa options.