Medical Waiver – an acceptable standard of health

Queen City Law are experts in securing medical waivers for potential migrants or new residents who have medical issues.

Under current immigration residence criteria all individuals included in an application for New Zealand permanent residence are required to demonstrate that they have an acceptable standard of health for the grant of New Zealand residence, or, failing this, they qualify for a “medical waiver”.

There are two levels of qualification Immigration New Zealand in relation to determining whether or not an individual is able to demonstrate an acceptable standard of health in a residence application.

Immigration NZ have compiled a list of medical conditions that will be deemed to not meet the acceptable standard of health and therefore will require a medical waiver in order for the application to be approved.

  • The current list of health conditions which indicate that an individual is not of the acceptable standard of health is as follows:
  1. HIV infection
  2. Hepatitis B surface antigen positive, with abnormal liver function
  3. Hepatitis C, RNA positive, with abnormal liver function
  4. Malignancies of solid organs and haematopoietic tissue, including past history of, or currently under treatment.
  • Exceptions are:
  1. Treated minor skin malignancies (not melanoma);malignancies where the interval since treatment is such that the probability of cure is > 90%, eg: early stage (I & IIA) breast cancer at 5 years.
  2. Low risk prostate cancer at 5 years; early stage (Dukes A & B1)
  3. Colorectal cancer at 5 years; childhood leukaemia at 5 years.
  4. Solid organ transplants, excluding corneal grafts more than 6 months old;
  5. Chronic renal failure or progressive renal disorders.
  6. Solid organ transplants, excluding corneal grafts more than 6 months old.
  7. Diseases or disorders such as osteoarthritis with a high probability of arthroplasty in the next four years.
  8. Central Nervous System disease, including motor neurone disease, complex partial seizures,
  9. Poorly controlled epilepsy, prion disease.
  10. Alzheimer’s and other dementia, and including paraplegia and quadriplegia.
  11. Cardiac disease including ischaemic heart disease, cardiomyopathy or valve disease requiring surgical and/or other procedural intervention.
  12. Chronic obstructive respiratory disease with limited exercise tolerance and requiring oxygen;
  13. Genetic or congenital disorders: muscular dystrophies, cystic fibrosis, thalassaemia major, sickle cell anaemia if more than one sickle crisis in 4 years, severe haemophilia, and severe primary immunodeficiencies.
  14. Severe autoimmune disease, currently being treated with immuno-suppressants other than prednisone
  15. In a person up to the age of 21 years, a severe (71-90 decibels) hearing loss or profound bilateral sensori-neural hearing loss.
  16. In a person up to the age of 21 years, a severe vision impairment with visual acuity of 6/36 or beyond after best possible correction, or a loss restricting the field of vision to 15-20 degrees.
  17. In a person up to the age of 21 years, a severe physical disability, where they are unable to stand and walk without support, and cannot independently dress, eat, hold a cup, or maintain their stability when sitting.

If these medical conditions are evident (in most instances further reports from specialists are required to confirm this), then the applicant’s condition will be deemed to impose a significant cost and/or demand on the provision of New Zealand’s health services and therefore the individual will fail the requirement to demonstrate a satisfactory standard of health.
Waivers may also be needed if, over the predicted course of the condition or group of conditions, there is a relatively high probability that the migrant will require health services costing in excess of NZ$25,000.00. If you have any doubts about your eligibility or requirement of assistance in securing a waiver on medical grounds contact the team at Queen City Law who are experienced in this field.

It is very important therefore that accurate informed advice is received in the event that an individual understands or knows that there will be a health issue with their application before the submission of an application. Let the team at Queen City Law help you navigate your immigration to New Zealand, read more about our immigration experts here.