eHealth speeds up Australian partner visa applications
The Australian Government has introduced a new scheme which is set to speed up a considerable number of visas. The eHealth scheme will, in most cases, be applied to prospective migrants seeking to obtain various types of partner visas, including fiancee (prospective marriage) visas (subclass 300), spousal visas and unmarried (de facto) partner visas (subclass 309).
An online system, eHealth has been designed with the aim of recording the health examination results of visa applicants who have completed their health checks outside Australia. With the expected benefits of the scheme including faster visa processing, more accurate recording of data and the provision of an online record of such information, it is likely to be heavily promoted as a convenient solution.
For those people undertaking partner migration to Australia, including those seeking an Australian marriage visa or Australian fiancée visa, the eHealth scheme is expected to be a positive change. Most notably, the scheme predicts it will enable Australian visa applicants to reduce their visa processing time by a considerable margin: paper-based medical examination results tend to take between six to eight weeks for processing, whereas the eHealth scheme should automatically process up to 75% of cases, with the remaining 25% likely to be processed within 48 hours, if not sooner.
While the eHealth scheme has been available for some time, the Australian Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DAIC) is keen to expand its activity by making it easy to use and with the benefit of a vastly improved processing time.
eHealth works by making the whole pre-visa health check process quicker and easier through increased automation: eHealth enabled clinics allow doctors to submit examination results online, including digital x-rays, with results sent to the Global Health office electronically. This also means that photos and medical forms no longer need to be taken to the clinic.
Those who have made their Australian visa application electronically are entitled to use eHealth, and those who have not can use the scheme if they have a Health Examinations List and their visa will be processed in Australia or an approved country, which includes the UK, India, Bangladesh and Hong Kong.