Do you need health insurance?


You’ve read that for your visa you have access to medicare – but what exactly does that mean for you?  The ombudsman explains: 

 Medicare is the basis of Australia’s health care system and covers many health care costs. You can choose whether to have Medicare cover only, or a combination of Medicare and private health insurance. Citizens and most permanent Australian residents are eligible for Medicare. The Medicare system has three parts: hospital, medical and pharmaceutical.

Hospital  Under Medicare you can be treated as a public patient in a public hospital, at no charge, by a doctor appointed by the hospital. You can choose to be treated as a public patient, even if you are privately insured. As a public patient, you cannot choose your own doctor and you may not have a choice about when you are admitted to hospital.

Medicare does not cover:

  • private patient hospital costs (for example, theatre fees or accommodation),
  • medical and hospital costs incurred overseas,
  • medical and hospital services which are not clinically necessary, or surgery solely for cosmetic reasons,
  • ambulance services.

Many choose to also opt in for private health insurance, because you can see Medicare will not cover everything.   There is further information about what medicare does not cover lower in this page.   I found private health insurance is frequently taken out by partner visa holders as many are at a time in their lives when their is the intent to start a family.  Families and health insurance seem to go hand-in-hand.

Which private health insurance provider?

Each and every time I cannot go past BUPA medical.  They are Immigration’s only chosen medical visa services provider.   I am registered with BUPA so that my clients receive clear cut information about immigration needs specifically.  In order to reach this particular service click on the image below only.

You will find everything you need to know by reaching Bupa via clicking on the above image. If you wish to obtain more information such as premiums now click on the relevant image link below.






Further detail about Medicare reimbursements and cover

When you visit a doctor outside a hospital, Medicare will reimburse 100% of the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) fee for a general practitioner and 85% of the MBS fee for a specialist. If your doctor bills Medicare directly (bulk billing), you will not have to pay anything.

Medicare provides benefits for:

  • consultation fees for doctors, including specialists,
  • tests and examinations by doctors needed to treat illnesses, such as x-rays and pathology tests,
  • eye tests performed by optometrists,
  • most surgical and other therapeutic procedures performed by doctors,
  • some surgical procedures performed by approved dentists,
  • specific items under the Cleft Lip and Palate Scheme,
  • specific items under the Enhanced Primary Care (EPC) program,
  • specified items for allied health services as part of the Chronic Disease Management Plan.

Medicare does not cover:

  • examinations for life insurance, superannuation or memberships for which someone else is responsible (for example, a compensation insurer, employer or government authority),
  • ambulance services;
  • most dental examinations and treatment,
  • most physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, eye therapy, chiropractic services, podiatry or psychology services,
  • acupuncture (unless part of a doctor’s consultation),
  • glasses and contact lenses,
  • hearing aids and other appliances.
  • home nursing.


Under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) you pay only part of the cost of most prescription medicines purchased at pharmacies. The rest of the cost is covered by the PBS. You must present your Medicare card to obtain this benefit.

The amount you pay varies with the medicine, up to a standard maximum. People with concession cards have a lower maximum payment.

Finance for your visa AND migration assistance now available!

Some of you are waiting for the right time to apply, and some of you are waiting for the funds to get started.  For you I am very excited to announce a new partnership I have established with Money for Jam and Migration Alliance.

This means you can obtain the necessary funds, with very impressive repayment amount requirements,  so you can get started as soon as possible for your visa application.

The key features are:

– Wide range of finance length
– No/Low early Termination fees
– Quick 24-48 turn around time
– Good/Bad Credit
– New to Country

What is amazing about this service is Money for Jam can take a look at any client on any visa or residency status!  I already have clients working out the finance contracts so they can now move forward and get what they truly want with far less stress.  I am simply elated for them and consider this to be a trouble free process.   They anticipate receiving the funds next Monday, only two days after applying.

Finance for $5000.00 may only  require $24 repayments per week, for $25,000 – may only required $110 per week.

And just a very important note, after attending a seminar for immigration law updates the message was loud and clear

If you have been watching the news you will now there is a lot of uncertainty now around visa pathways, now more than ever.   So take heed, if you are eligible now, do your best to apply now and of course with my help if you need it.

Take the time to look at what this new partnership offers you and your loved one, or perhaps a friend or colleague.    


Money for Jam are the finance experts – they will speak to you about this aspect of the visa application.

If you are concerned about eligibility for the visa book a  strategy session  with me as soon as you can.

If you haven’t already taken up our offer you are still eligible for a FREE 30 minute strategy session where we get clear on your goals and what is best for you in the immigration process.  If you don’t intend to take up this offer forward it onto a friend who could use the help.
Click on the blue box above  to make a booking!

Best wishes,



When should you lodge your partner visa application?

“My partner is on a tourist visa and going back to the UK next month. So we are just going to apply  while Meg is in the UK. She has all her documents and photos  there so its going to be much easier that way for us. Meg needs to go to a wedding there plus she wants to spend more time with her family before settling here”

I gasp, thinking of all the ways I can possibly think to convince him not to do that, without sounding like I’m rail roading him into changing an important decision, going against what they believe is best for them.

This is because if Meg applies in the UK she is most likely going to have to stay outside Australia throughout the entire processing of the visa application.  Now this can be a year or more (although I proudly claim for some of my clients I have had partner visa grants within 4 weeks).  This means that there will be perhaps an entire year or more that Meg cannot enter Australia!  No, Meg can’t even come over on a tourist visa unless there is strong and convincing evidence that Meg would leave before a tourist  visa expired.   The reason is due to immigration’s policy.

Policy holds that a case officer, the person who assesses any visa application,  must refuse a tourist visa if they doubt an applicant intends to come to Australia for just a visit.  They will most likely not believe that an applicant is just going to visit Australia if they are in a relationship with an Australian citizen or permanent resident. They will very likely write back, acting on the policy:

Decision-makers are are guided to consider…whether there any other more suitable visa options for the visa

Subsequently Meg is most likely to be advised to apply for a partner visa, if it has not been lodged yet. If it has been lodged Meg will most likely be told that they do not believe Meg’s intentions are to visit Australia only and then refuse the visa.  Usually this is devastating for couples.  A visit visa might be granted if strong and convincing reasons can be established showing Meg would return to the UK before the visit visa expired.  However, so many people in this situation return back to their home country to no job, and no intention to apply for a job because they plan to settle in Australia. Not being able to show significant employment to a case officer very much goes against a positive tourist visa application assessment.

Meg and her Sponsor could try what they want to do which is wait for Meg to go back to the UK, lodge a partner visa application while over there, and then apply for a visit visa to come back to Australia. But the chances of a visit visa refusal is high could easily lead to much disappointment and heartache.

I have seen countless numbers of visit visas refused where couples have opted to apply outside Australia (sometimes this is their only option of course).  It is usually heartbreaking and distressing for all family and friends involved.   I hate to see couples separated due to immigration law and policy even for brief periods of time – so will always urge the following strategy, if possible, and of course based on eligibility for the partner visa.

STEP 1 Strive to collect all the minimum ‘time of application’ requirements to be able to lodge a Partner Visa before Meg leaves Australia. If there are any mandatory documents that Meg does not have in Australia she should ask family or friends to obtain them, scan and email them to Meg.  (There are different requirements for ‘time of application’ and ‘time of decision’ on whether or not to grant the visa).  

STEP 2 Use the Bridging Visa A details obtained when the partner visa is lodged to apply for a Bridging Visa B.  The Bridging Visa A is granted to allow Meg to stay in Australia, after her cuurent visa expires, while a decision is being made on the partner visa application. This visa will allow Meg to leave Australia but not re-enter.  The bridging visa which allows Meg to leave and re-enter is the Bridging Visa B. This usually needs 2 weeks to process so you can see how quickly Meg and her Sponsor should take action if she wishes to go back to the UK a month later.  I will most likely be able to help clients achieve a bridging visa more quickly if necessary.  You cannot apply for a Bridging Visa B without the Bridging Visa A.

STEP 3 Meg goes back home to the UK continuing to gather significant documents to add to the partner via application. All the’ time of application requirements’ would be submitted so it’s about sending documents to meet the’ time of decision’ requirements.   They should be sent to immigration as soon as possible.  Requests for extensions of time to provide documents can be made also.  Meg has a great time and after a month she returns back to Australia easily.  In Meg’s case she  will have full work rights and can commence employment while waiting for an outcome on the partner visa application.

So in this case, it is far better to lodge sooner, rather than later, and before leaving Australia.




FAKE NEWS and bridging visas


I’m giving  you the right advice so you truly know your travel options and rights if you happen to be, or are soon to be, holding a Bridging Visa A.

I have encountered countless examples of people who believe they cannot apply for a Bridging Visa B if their Bridging Visa A is ‘not yet in effect’.   If you have a Bridging Visa A you can leave Australia but cannot return.  So you need to apply for a Bridging Visa B if you want to leave and return. You cannot apply for a Bridging Visa B (BVB) if you do not have a Bridging Visa A.    What if you have a Bridging Visa A (BVA)  but it is not yet in effect? Many think they cannot apply for a BVB.

I include an image below of a question in a popular online forum.    So this person, I will call him Mr X, has heard that he cannot get a BVB until his student visa expires.  What has happened here is Mr X would have received a BVA grant letter stating the BVA will not ‘come into effect’ until the student visa expires. He would have received a BVA when he applied for the Subclass 485 visa.   Someone has told Mr X that he has to wait until the BVA comes into effect (at the time the student visa expires) to be able to apply for a Bridging Visa.

But it is not true! Mr X could have applied for the BVB and travelled back home when he wanted! I will explain: 

A person can be a holder of a Bridging Visa A even if it is not in effect.

A person is granted a BVA on the basis of a substantive visa application.  Yes it is true that it does not come into effect until the expiry of the previous visa however that person is a holder of the Bridging Visa A.   A holder of a BVA can apply for a BVB.

From Immigration’s own Procedures Advice Manual (what the case officers should be following and understanding)

[P Sch2.BV-29.2] Bridging visa can come into effect and cease to be in effect during visa period.
Although a bridging visa is ‘held’ for the visa period, it can be in effect or not in effect during the visa period. It is ‘in effect’ on those occasions during the visa period when the holder does not hold a substantive visa or another bridging visa that is more beneficial than the first-mentioned bridging visa (refer also to Most beneficial bridging visa).
The BVA example below illustrates this:
• when a BVA is granted, it will not come into effect until the substantive visa (if any) held by the person ceases to be in effect — refer to 010.511(a)(ii), 010.513(a)(ii) and 010.514(a)(ii)
• this means that the visa period has started and the person ‘holds’ the BVA even though it is not in effect until the substantive visa ceases”

To really emphasise this point and to show how common this misunderstanding is look at the inaccurate professional advice (image) below:  “if you are on a Bridging Visa A …it is in effect…you can apply for a Bridging Visa B”.   No-  there is no need to include as a condition that the BVA is is in effect. 


This is what the law says:

020.211 The applicant is the holder of:

  • (a) a Bridging A (Class WA) visa; or
  • (b) a Bridging B (Class WB) visa. 
Note that the regulations state that an applicant for a BVB is a holder of a BVA, it does not require that the BVA is also in effect.  Recently I was told by a person that they called Immigration’s own information number to be told the opposite.  I was exasperated!   I ended up obtaining written confirmation from Immigration that the BVA does not need to be in effect to apply for a BVA.  The Bridging Visa legislation is quite complex, even conditions that may seem clear to you can be easily misinterpreted.   It’s a logical mistake to make – that you can’t apply for a BVB if your BVA is not in effect (reminder: you can) – but the consequence of that mistake is such a disadvantage.  I hate to think of those who needed to return home for a significant family event and were unable due to this misunderstanding.

Partner Visa Application Fee: How much is too much to lose?


There are all kinds of risks in relationships and love – asking a person on a first date,  telling a person you love them for the first time, relocating to be with your girlfriend.  We all know sometimes romantic relationships last a life time and sometimes they don’t.   The process of going through a partner visa application can place a great deal of  negative pressure on keeping a relationship going.  More times than not I see people who won’t let an immigration process get in their way.  But I’ll often hear a common fear, ‘What if the visa is refused?

What recently struck me when I considered  visa applicants over the last several years  is that since the immigration fees have increased to nearly $7000 another fear is admitted, ‘What if the visa is granted,  but then our relationship doesn’t even last? There goes the visa fee, relocation fees, a job…’

Years ago I would never experience a client admit this fear to me. If the fear is ever revealed I think it usually would be to a close family member or friend.  Since the partner visa fee increase I do sometimes hear a client admit a strong fear of financial loss.   The total cost of relocating countries to live with a loved one can be huge when considering airfares, wrapping up work commitments, insurances, immigration assistance fees, medical costs and so on.   What if things don’t work out?  What if the partner migrating to Australia doesn’t like it here, or misses their family too much?  This is huge emotional and financial pressure.

There are many couples who have a ‘whatever it takes’ commitment to make sure they can be together.   I have to agree that I would take the same approach moving forward in a way where the ultimate decision is not about money.  Beliefs and attitudes around money, abundance mindsets or lack is not something I am confident to give advice about. I do know that, simply put,  if we work we can gain money in addition to borrowing from friends, family or banks.  Generally speaking I think we eventually find the funds to do what we need to do. For that reason money pressure can be taken out of the decision whether or not to apply for the partner visa.

Several months ago I sat down face to face with a client for a lunch hour.  There were legitimate concerns as to why he thought their relationship wouldn’t last long term.  I loved his approach, because although he was clearly worried at the thought of losing a lot of money if the relationship didn’t work out he said, “I love her.  Even if after she gets here she falls out of love or doesn’t like it here she deserves this chance.  I love her and she’s a good person, I’m happy to put the money into it.”

I wish it were easier and cheaper for those embarking on the partner visa process, especially when there are no guarantees.  The faster you commit to a process the faster your partner could be in Australia including earning Australian money.  After that, more experiences and challenges to come!  Read on for tips to help you through (click on images below).


JENNIFER KHAN how to blog image

Jennifer Khan Partenr Visa application refused

Migration Assistance

The Partner Visa Application Package

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