How to enrol in Medicare if you’re an Australian permanent resident

To enrol as an Australian resident you need to have a permanent resident visa or have applied for one.

If you’re an Australian permanent resident

You can enrol in Medicare if you live here on a permanent resident visa.

Find out what documents you need to enrol.

Living overseas after you enrol

You’ll remain enrolled in Medicare for 12 months from the date you first left Australia.

You can’t use Medicare services from outside Australia. You may have some cover under a Reciprocal Health Care Agreement. If so, you’ll need a Medicare card for this.

If you live overseas for more than 12 months, you’ll no longer be enrolled in Medicare. You also won’t be able to use a Reciprocal Health Care Agreement.

You’ll need to enrol in Medicare again when you move back here. Find out what documents you need to register again.

If you’ve applied for permanent residency

You can enrol in Medicare if you live in Australia and have applied for either:

  • a permanent residency visa, except for a parent visa
  • a permanent protection visa.

You must also be any of the following:

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

This includes if you’ve applied for a combined spouse visa 309/100 or 820/801.

You can enrol in Medicare from either:

  • the date you applied for permanent residency
  • the date you arrived here to live if you applied outside Australia.

The date you apply for permanent residency may be different to the date you got your temporary 309 or 820 visa.

Find out what documents you need to enrol.

If your permanent resident application fails

If you lodge an appeal, you can apply to stay enrolled in Medicare.

If you haven’t lodged an appeal, you’re not eligible for Medicare. You may have some cover under a Reciprocal Health Care Agreement.

If you’ve applied for a parent visa

You can’t enrol in Medicare if you’ve applied for an 804 or 103 parent visa. You may have some cover under a Reciprocal Health Care Agreement.

You can enrol if either:

  • you’ve applied for a contributory parent visa and have a temporary 173 or 884 visa
  • you have a permanent contributory parent visa subclass 143 or 864.

You may be able to enrol if you have a temporary contributory parent visa.

Page last updated: 11 July 2019

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