Visa applicants must demonstrate that they have an acceptable standard of health.
The general rule is that you will need to submit a medical certificate and a chest X-ray certificate with your visa application, if you intend to stay in New Zealand for more than 12 months.
Immigration New Zealand considers you to have an acceptable standard of health if you are:
• unlikely to be a danger to public health
• unlikely to impose significant costs or demands on New Zealand’s health services or special education services
• able to perform the functions for which you have been granted entry.
Showing that you have an acceptable standard of health
To show that you have an acceptable standard of health you may have to complete a medical certificate and submit it with your application. There are four different medical certificates:
• General Medical Certificate
• Limited Medical Certificate
• Chest X-ray Certificate
• Recognised Seasonal Employer Scheme Supplementary Medical Certificate
There are also tailored medical certificates for mandated refugees and Refugee Quota Family Reunification Category applicants, who are outside New Zealand.
Children under 11 years of age and pregnant women are not required to have an X-ray, unless a special report is needed.
Requirements for different visa applications:
Resident visa applications under Skilled Migrant Category:
You have to submit an Expression of Interest before you provide a residence application. If you are invited to apply for residence, each family member included in the application must provide a medical and chest X-ray certificate with the application.
Temporary entry class visa applications:
Medical and chest X-ray certificates do not need to be provided for temporary visas – including work, student, visitor, working holiday, military, diplomatic, consular, or official visas, limited visa applications and visas related to the Antarctic Treaty – unless requested by the immigration officer in charge of your application, if you
• intend to be in New Zealand for less than six months, or
• are applying for a Working Holiday Extension visa, or
• have been recognised as a refugee or protected person in New Zealand and are eligible to apply for a permanent resident visa, or
• are applying for a military visa, diplomatic, consular or official visa.
Where can you get a medical certificate?
You have to see a recognised medical practitioner to obtain your medical clearance.
In New Zealand any medical practitioner holding a current annual practising certificate issued by the New Zealand Medical Council may conduct the medical examination and complete the medical certificate.
In most countries outside New Zealand, there is a panel of medical practitioners, called panel doctors, or institutions which must be used for your medical examination.
Immigration New Zealand (INZ) has now established eMedical in New Zealand. A total of 133 New Zealand-based medical and radiology clinics are now able to use the electronic health processing tool to record immigration medical examinations.
How long are medical certificates valid for?
A General Medical Certificate, Limited Medical Certificate, or a Chest X-ray Certificate (and associated reports) must be less than three months old at the time you lodge your application.
However, there are a few exceptions, too numerous to list here. Please ask one of our Licensed Immigration Advisers, if you want to know further details.
What will Immigration New Zealand do with information about your health?
When you have submitted your visa application, Immigration New Zealand will assess your health status, using the information that you have provided in your application form and your medical certificates. In some cases, your immigration case officer may refer your medical certificates to an Immigration New Zealand medical assessor for advice.
What happens if you do not have an acceptable standard of health?
If you or any family member included in your application do not have an acceptable standard of health, your application will be declined, unless Immigration New Zealand will grant you a medical waiver.
Can you get a medical waiver?
For residence visa applications, medical waivers will only be considered, if you meet all of the other requirements for approval of your application.
For temporary entry class visa applications, medical waivers will only be considered, if you meet all of the other requirements for approval of your application, and:
• you are the partner or dependent child of a New Zealand citizen or residence class visa holder, or
• you have applied for a temporary visa as a seconded business person, or
• you have been recognised has having refugee or protection status in New Zealand.
When will a medical waiver not be granted?
You will not be able to obtain a medical waiver, if you or any family member included in your application:
• requires dialysis treatment, or an Immigration New Zealand medical assessor has indicated that dialysis treatment will be required within five years from the date of the medical assessment, or
• has severe haemophilia, or
• has a physical, intellectual, cognitive and/or sensory incapacity that requires full-time care, including care in the community, or
• currently has tuberculosis (TB) (any form including pulmonary, non-pulmonary, multidrug-resistant and extensively drug-resistant TB) and has not completed full treatment for TB as outlined in the New Zealand Guidelines for Tuberculosis Control, or
• has a history, diagnostic findings or treatment for multidrug-resistant or extensively drug-resistant TB, unless they have been cleared by a New Zealand respiratory or infectious diseases specialist upon review of their file or review of the applicant as outlined in the New Zealand Guidelines for Tuberculosis Control.
If you have any health problems and think that you might have difficulties demonstrating that you have an acceptable standard of health, please talk to one of our Licensed Immigration Advisers. They are experienced in assisting our clients with applying for medical waivers.