Q and A

Question

Can I get a work visa for Australia if I’m HIV positive?

I am a psychiatric nurse and have been hiv positive since 2004. I am taking truvada and efivarenz.

In 2007 I was refused entry to New Zealand because they said my medication was expensive and truvada new on the market also being HIV my chances of hospitalization where high.

I want to try Australia, do they have same policy on hiv migrant workers?

Answer

Currently, as in almost every country of the world, foreigners applying for most types of Australian visas, excluding temporary visitor visas, require a health check. The certified results are a required part of their immigration documents.

The Australian government Department of Immigration and Citizenship also wrote :-

“If the applicant is found to be HIV positive, a decision on whether the applicant meets the health requirement will be made on the same grounds as any other pre-existing medical condition. The main factor to be taken into account is the cost of the condition to the Australian community of health care and community services. Standard pre and post-test counselling must be provided by the doctor who examined the applicant.”
http://www.immi.gov.au/media/fact-sheets/22health.htm

This link (updated February 2016) seems very positive about HIV not being a bar to longer visa’s, with the main criteria being to not be a cost to Australian health services. Of note, this page includes a reference to having undtectable viral load.
http://www.border.gov.au/Trav/Visa/Heal/overview-of-the-health-requirement/threats-to-publichealth

There is another link at Skilled Visa Health requirement with a section on AIDS/HIV.
http://www.visabureau.com/australia/visa-health-requirements.aspx

However, nursing is one of the professions where HIV might still be an issue. The restrictions on HIV positive poeple working as doctors, dentist and nusses were lifted in the UK so long as the person is on ART with an undetectable viral load. In other countries this might not be the case yet.

Perhaps contact an HIV organistation in Australia, such as NAPWA (www.napwa.org) in case they can help.

This answer was updated in February 2016 from a question first posted in November 2011.

89 comments

  1. Lisa Thorley

    Hi Caswell,

    Yes you can apply for a visa to study in Australia if you’re positive. Please see here for more info: http://www.hivtravel.org/Default.aspx?PageId=143&CountryId=23 Given the current situation with boarders being closed, you should get in touch with your closest Australian embassy, they’ll have more info.

  2. Caswell

    Can I study in Australia while hiv

  3. Lisa Thorley

    Hi Mimi,

    Yes people who are positive can live and work in Germany. And yes, you’ll be able to access treatment. Info about the health care system in Germany can be found here: https://www.internations.org/go/moving-to-germany/healthcare

  4. Mimi

    Hello
    Please can i travel to Germany and work
    When i am hiv positive? If yes are the health centers there to continue my treatment?

  5. Lisa Thorley

    Hi Andi.

    This is something that you’re going to need to talk to the Australian immigration services about, as your situation is very unique, ie, you’re going to be working for your government in Australia.

  6. Andi

    Hai. I am andi and indonesian. I am a positive hiv and will be posted as an embassy staff of indonesia in canberra. Will the government of australia not give the visa coz i represent of my country btw. Thanks

  7. Lisa Thorley

    Hi James,

    With regards to moving to Australia, this is what we have access to: https://www.hivtravel.org/Default.aspx?PageId=143&CountryId=23 It isn’t great, so talking to your agent sounds like the right thing to do.

  8. James

    Hello
    I am from the UK and HIV positive and undetectable for over 12 years . I am planning on moving to Australia on a skilled migrant visa (temp to perm or perm- undecided yet which is best route) with my partner (negative) and I (luckily) have a very high visa points score, I know I will fail the medical on account of my status. I am planning on consulting with an agent to get a visa health waiver on the grounds that my HIV has never prevented me from working and I am very healthy and can even provide my own meds so will not be a burden on Australian health care system financially . At this present moment is it very viable that a hiv positive professional can go to work in Australia in these circumstances? I’m hoping so based on what I have read ? Any advice appreciated . Many thanks

  9. Lisa Thorley

    Hi Ashu,

    Hong Kong doesn’t have any travel restrictions, so it’s OK to go there.

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