G'day all

After submitting an application for an Australian student visa (subclass 500; for a 7-month university exchange), I was prompted to undertake a health examination. Due to my medical history, there is a moderate/high risk of failing the health requirement, and therefore having the visa refused.

To prevent complications during future applications for short-term visas for other countries, I'm considering to cancel my university exchange and withdraw the visa application. Doing so would suck for several reasons, but perhaps it's better than having problems with future applications.

Q1: How could an Australian visa refusal due to 'medical inadmissibility' impact future (short-term) visa applications for countries other than Australia?

Q2: Would withdrawing the current application be a good solution to prevent negative effects on future (short-term) visa applications, or would it be ineffective?

The medical background is outlined below for context.

Cheers I look forward to your opinions


Medical background: I've had three brief psychotic episodes over the past eight years, all of which have required hospitalisation. In-between episodes (and for the past three years) I've had perfectly normal mental health. For various reasons I have never sought treatment after those psychotic episodes (though the present situation has motivated me to do just that!), and thus haven't been diagnosed with Bipolar or any other permanent mental health disorder. Nevertheless, I expect that both the history of psychoses and the lack of subsequent treatment increase the visa refusal risk.

  • This is speculation so not posting this as an answer but Australia and others may require you to get health insurance even for short-term visits.
    – jcm
    Dec 30, 2019 at 21:52
  • Please make sure you are fully aware of the health requirements. You may not be ineligible, or may be eligible for a waiver. At least in the US, the criteria are based on the likelihood to recur, and the "associated harmful behavior", ie danger to yourself or others. This is best determined by a professional. Please don't discount yourself without having sought out an evaluation. Dec 31, 2019 at 2:22

1 Answer 1


You'll have to declare a refusal on any future visa application, and give details. Don't be tempted not to declare it: Australia shares immigration data with the Five Eyes treaty countries (Australia, New Zealand, Canada, United States and UK). You should assume all five will know, and perhaps others by association.

Whether a refusal on medical grounds will adversely affect your future applications is a different question. Each country has different health requirements, and those requirements can vary depending on what sort of visa you're seeking. A short term tourist visa is likely to have less stringent health requirements than an application for permanent residence.

A known but untreated condition is likely to be viewed less favourably than if you are receiving treatment. Psychosis covers a wide range of symptoms, so the actual effect on your visa will be down to reports by your doctors. Something that has required hospitalisation is clearly serious so you should seek treatment anyway.

Withdrawing your application now will certainly ensure that you're not refused a visa. It will also guarantee that you won't get one that might otherwise be granted. It won't help with health declarations on future applications, and if you leave your condition untreated, you'll come up against your current problem again, sooner or later.

Only you can decide whether to withdraw. If you're already seeking treatment ask your doctor for advice.

Consider also whether your university exchange can be deferred while you receive treatment. It might be appropriate to withdraw now and reapply in the future.

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