Medicare while on a Bridging Visa

A question we are being asked regularly now the subclass 804 Aged Parent visa has been re-opened for new applicants relates to the availability of Medicare once a Bridging Visa has been granted.

To recap, once a valid Aged Parent visa application has been lodged a Bridging Visa A will be granted straightaway – at the time of writing BVAs are being issued by the Parents Visa Centre within 3 business days of the application being lodged.

Our understanding is that upon production of the Bridging Visa grant advice from the Department of Immigration at a local Medicare office a temporary Medicare card will be issued with a 5 year validity period, where the visa applicant previously resided in a country which has a Reciprocal Health Care Agreement (RHCA) with Australia.

See here for a list of countries which have a RHCA agreement with Australia.

Anecdotally we have been advised by our clients that they have been told there are no Medicare restrictions attaching to this card.

In other words, the same entitlements to Medicare are available to BVA holders with an 804 visa application in the system as are available to the generality of Australian citizens and permanent residents.

We recommend that those who are concerned about the extent of Medicare cover should contact Medicare Eligibility, and not the local Medicare office. Send an email to us if you would like a phone number in this regard.