Visa applicants forced to buy medical insurance?

health insurance obligatory when applying for a visa

Make sure you know whether your visa requires medical insurance.

A recent report from the Australian Medical Association (AMA) revealed that 30,000 non-residents were treated in Australian hospitals between June 2010 and June 2011. Many of these people were from countries without multi-national reciprocal health agreements with Australia.

As some Australian visas don’t require the holder to have medical insurance the person can leave the country without paying any bills. The economic effects of which are worrying medical professionals. The AMA is campaigning for travel medical insurance to be mandatory for all visa applicants.

Are you aware that if you are applying for certain visas you are required to have travel medical insurance?

Schengen visa

This allows holders to travel around several European countries on one visa. To apply however, you need to take out travel medical insurance according to the following guidelines:

  • It must cover you for any health emergencies while in a Schengen country.
  • You need to be covered for up to €30,000 in medical expenses.
  • Full medical repatriation coverage must be included.

Student visas

The rules with student visas and travel insurance vary from country to country. The majority of countries do require students to have some form of cover before they will issue a visa.

  • Australia and New Zealand require student visa applicants to have insurance.
  • For courses in the UK students from outside the EEA will need international student medical insurance. Check if you are eligible for free healthcare on the Department of Health website.
  • The standard F1 student visa for the USA does not include insurance. Individual schools have their own regulations regarding coverage.