Federal Register of Legislation - Australian Government

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This instrument extends Medicare eligibility to any person who is an unauthorised maritime arrival, and who is the holder of a Bridging E (Class WE) visa.
Administered by: Health
Registered 22 Jun 2018

Health ref. no.807





Health Insurance (Eligible persons unauthorised maritime arrivals and holders of Bridging E (Class WE) visa) Order 2017





I, GREG HUNT, Minister for Health, pursuant to subsection 6(1) of the Health Insurance Act 1973 (the Act) hereby DECLARE that:



(a)           Every person included in the specified class of persons:


(i)                 is an unauthorised maritime arrival; and

(ii)               who is the holder of a Bridging E (Class WE) visa,


being a person who, but for this Order, would not be an eligible person for the purposes of the Act shall, during any period in which the person was, or is, in Australia on, or after, 25 November 2011, be treated as having been an eligible person for the purposes of the Act.


(b)          In this Order the term unauthorised maritime arrival has the meaning given by the Migration Act 1958, as in force from time to time.


(c)           This Order shall have effect from the date of signature.




Dated this    26th   day of October 2017



















Health Insurance Act 1973

Class Order under subsection 6(1)




ORDER NO:                                                     807


DATE OF ORDER:                                         2017


RELATED ORDER:                                       775, 776, 777


NAME OF PERSON/GROUP:                      Unauthorised maritime arrivals holding a Bridging E (Class WE) visa



An “unauthorised maritime arrival” is a person who has entered Australia by sea, at an excised offshore place at any time after the excision time for that place, or at any other place at any time on or after the commencement of the Migration Amendment (Unauthorised Maritime Arrivals and Other Matters) Act 2013, and they became an unlawful non-citizen because of that entry and they are not an ‘excluded maritime arrival’, as defined in section 5AA of the Migration Act 1958 (the Act). The Migration Amendment (Unauthorised Maritime Arrivals and Other Matters) Act 2013 abolished the term ‘offshore entry person’.


Under section 195A of the Act the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection may grant bridging visas to certain persons currently in immigration detention, so that they can live in the Australian community lawfully while their claims for protection are being assessed. Since 25 November 2011, various Ministers for Immigration and Citizenship and the current Minister for Immigration and Border Protection have exercised their power under section 195A of the Migration Act 1958 to grant bridging visas to certain persons.


The Report of the Expert Panel on Asylum Seekers was released on 13 August 2012 and the Government endorsed, in principle, all of its recommendations. Recommendation 1 identified principles which should shape policy making on asylum seeker issues, including the application of a ‘no advantage’ principle to ensure that no benefit is gained through circumventing regular migration arrangements.


The then Minister for Immigration and Citizenship determined that the ‘no advantage’ principle would be applied to people arriving in Australia by boat after 13 August 2012 and who could be sent to Nauru or Manus but who will remain in Australia for logistical, capacity or other reasons. These persons will be issued a Bridging E visa with visa condition 8101 attached (i.e. the holder must not engage in work in Australia). The Department of Immigration and Border Protection has requested that they have Medicare access and this continues to be the case taking into account the removal of the term ‘offshore entry person’ from the Act and the substitution of the term ‘unauthorised maritime arrival’.


The continuation of Medicare eligibility to this cohort supports the whole-of-government approach to dealing with the legacy caseload of illegal maritime arrivals, specifically by extending health care to those whose protection claims are processed while they are in the Australian community. 


Medicare eligibility (excluding compensable patients) confers access to no cost health and hospital services through the public hospital system under the National Health Reform Agreement, Medicare benefits for out-of-hospital services, and drugs under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme. 

Note: The name of this instrument was amended on registration as the instrument as lodged did not have a unique name (see subsection 10(2), Legislation Rule 2016).