Medicare eligibility for applicants for permanent residency

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Medicare eligibility of applicants for permanent residency

In this part

  • Applications for permanent residency lodged onshore (in Australia) or offshore (outside of Australia)
  • Medicare eligibility for applicant prior to 1989
  • Importance of visa type

A person is eligible for Medicare if they have both a current:

  • visa authorising their stay in Australia
  • application for permanent resident status, and the application for permanent residency is neither a:
  • parent visa application
  • protection visa application, lodged on or after 1 January 2001, and they have at any time applied for a parent visa (whether or not it is finally determined).

and they have either:

  • been granted permission to work
  • a parent, spouse or child who is an Australian citizen or holder of a permanent resident visa.



Where members of the same family apply for either a protection visa or a permanent resident visa and only one person has been given permission to work, only that family member is eligible for Medicare, see Protection visas. Persons that meet the above eligibility criteria are issued with a blue interim Medicare card. Eligible applicants have the same Medicare entitlements as a person who holds a green Medicare card. The only difference is the blue interim Medicare card has a shorter expiry date. The expiry date is determined by the policy and procedures that surround the particular entitlement type.

See also:

Issue replacement blue interim card

Applications for permanent residency lodged onshore (in Australia) or offshore (outside of Australia)

A person can lodge an application for permanent residency offshore (outside of Australia) or onshore (in Australia). They are eligible for Medicare providing they meet the eligibility criteria. Where an eligibility criterion is met, the applicable Medicare entitlement start date is:

  • onshore (in Australia) – date the permanent residency application was lodged
  • offshore (outside of Australia) – date the applicant entered Australia to reside.


An applicant may be in Australia (onshore) whilst their application is being processed outside of Australia (offshore). In these cases, the applicant is eligible from the date the application is processed offshore. Evidence of this date must be provided.

Medicare eligibility for applicant prior to 1989

A person who:

  • applied for permanent resident status prior to 1989 and was rejected


  • has lodged a request for reconsideration with the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP)
  • is an applicant for permanent resident status if they meet the usual criteria for permanent residency applicants.

Importance of visa type

The legislation states that an applicant for permanent resident status must hold a valid temporary visa, but does not specify the type of visa. Where an applicant for permanent resident status does not hold a ‘bridging visa’ but has a valid temporary visa, this is acceptable provided all other criteria are met.