New measures to mitigate the risk of polio transmission to Australia
Threats to public health
To protect the Australian community from public health and safety risks, visa applicants must be free from any disease or condition considered a threat to public health or a danger to the Australian community.
Polio is a highly infectious virus that invades the nervous system.
On 5 May 2014, the World Health Organization declared that the transmission of wild poliovirus is a Public Health Emergency of International Concern and identified 10 countries as being of risk. These countries are Afghanistan, Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Iraq, Israel, Nigeria, Pakistan, Somalia and Syria.
Due to the very high vaccination coverage against polio in Australia, the risk of polio spreading in Australia is considered to be low. It is nevertheless considered appropriate for measures to be put in place that mitigate that risk.
Polio – New measures for visa applicants
If you have spent a period of 28 days or longer on after 5 May 2014 in Afghanistan, Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Iraq, Israel, Nigeria, Pakistan, Somalia or Syria, or any combination of these countries, you should provide your polio vaccination certificate. If you are lodging a new application, this should be provided at the time you apply.
Applicants attending a medical appointment with a panel physician should bring their vaccination certificate to the medical appointment.
If you do not provide the vaccination certificate at the time you apply, or at the time you undertake your medical appointment, your case officer may request the certificate. Otherwise, the Department may request your certificate separately and this could delay your application.
For more information on polio, see the Australian Department of Health website.
For further immigration about the migration health requirement, including the requirement for evidence of polio vaccinations, see: http://www.border.gov.au/Trav/Visa/Heal/overview-of-thehealth-requirement/threats-to-public-health