Who can get a Medicare card

You must live in Australia or Norfolk Island to get a Medicare card.

And, you must be either:

  • an Australian citizen
  • a New Zealand citizen
  • an Australian permanent resident
  • applying for permanent residency - conditions apply
  • covered by a Ministerial Order, or
  • a Resident Return visa holder

You may also get a Medicare card if you’re visiting from a Reciprocal Health Care Agreement country.

If you live on an Australian dependency island

You’re eligible for Medicare services you get in Australia if you can give us evidence you’re a citizen or permanent resident of:

  • Cocos (Keeling) Islands
  • Christmas Island
  • Lord Howe Island

What may be different

If you live in Australia and have applied for permanent residency, you may get a Medicare card. This doesn’t include applying for a parent visa. You must:

  • be on a visa allowing you to work, or
  • prove your parent, spouse or child is an Australian citizen, permanent resident, or a New Zealand citizen living in Australia

You adopt a child from overseas

If you adopt a child from overseas, you can add them to your card if:

  • they hold a permanent resident visa, and
  • you have a letter proving the adoption is finalised

You adopt a child from Australia

If you adopt a child from Australia, you can add them to your card if:

  • you have their birth certificate, and
  • a letter proving the adoption is finalised, and
  • your Medicare card

Page last updated: 12 October 2017