Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC)

OSHC covers the cost for out-of-hospital and some hospital medical treatment, pharmaceuticals and emergency ambulance services.


The Department of Home Affairs requires applicants for a student visa to have Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) in place for the duration of their visa. Most students from Belgium, Sweden and Norway are exempted; the Australian Department of Health website has more detail on OSHC exemptions.

Unacceptable health insurance that is not approved by the Australian Department of Health will not satisfy the criteria for getting a student visa.

How to get OSHC

Use the University’s provider

The University of Melbourne can arrange visa-length OSHC provided by Bupa. Review the Bupa OSHC policy details.

To arrange cover:

  1. Complete the International Student Acceptance and Payment Agreement, provided with your Offer Letter.
  2. Tick the ‘yes’ box under section D, question 1, to indicate that you require the University to arrange a visa-length Overseas Student Health Cover policy for you.
  3. Pay the OSHC premium and tuition deposit.
  4. Return the signed Agreement to the University.

The University will inform Home Affairs that OSHC is in place for you and your family members and will indicate this on your Confirmation of Enrolment (COE).

If the University has arranged OSHC on your behalf, you will be covered from the date you arrive in Australia. You can order your OSHC card when you are in Australia.

Use another provider

You can purchase OSHC from an approved Australian health insurance provider. You will need to contact the provider directly to set up an insurance policy.

When you accept your unconditional offer of place, you must indicate that you have purchased OSHC for the duration of your visa.

Other temporary visa types

Only applicants or holders of a student visa are eligible for OSHC. It is recommended and often a visa requirement that you have adequate health insurance when travelling on a temporary visa.

Find other Bupa insurance options for visiting, working, or working and holidaying in Australia.

Reciprocal arrangements

Australia has reciprocal health care arrangements with a number of countries, including Great Britain, Finland, New Zealand, Ireland, Italy, Malta and the Netherlands. Visitors from these countries are entitled to limited subsidised health services.

More information on reciprocal health care arrangements

Permanent visas

Most applicants for or holders of a permanent visa are eligible to enrol in Medicare, Australia's health care system.