Review of Australia’s visa Significant Cost Threshold (SCT)

The aims of the migration health requirement as set out in the Migration Regulations 1994 are to:

(a) protect the Australian community from public health and safety risks

(b) contain public expenditure on health care and community services

(c) safeguard the access of Australian citizens and permanent residents to health care and community services that are in short supply, (currently this is dialysis and organ transplants).

Learn more about meeting the Migration Health Requirements.

The Significant Cost Threshold is the underpinning policy to ‘contain public expenditure on health care and community services’. The Significant Cost Threshold is the cut-off amount where we determine a visa applicant’s estimated health and community service costs to be ‘Significant’ and therefore do not meet the Migration Health Requirement. The Significant Cost Threshold is currently $51,000.

The Australian Government established the Significant Cost Threshold policy in 1995. We determined that significant costs should be interpreted as a cost that is ‘higher than average annual health and community services costs for an Australian’.

Whilst the government has since updated the Significant Cost Threshold amount on a number of occasions to align with the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare data, the definition of ‘significant’ has remained unchanged. 

Learn more about the Significant Cost Threshold.

The Department sought the views of the Australian public on the policy settings for the Australian visa Significant Cost Threshold, during a consultation that closed on 17 November 2023.

Submissions are found here: Review of Australia’s visa Significant Cost Threshold (SCT) (homeaffairs.gov.au)

Written by Ross Ahmadzai

23 Feb, 2024

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