How to buy OSHC cover
It’s your choice
Your health is important. And we’re here to help you make the right decision when you buy OSHC.
IDP gives you the freedom to choose. It’s easy to buy Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) online yourself, or you can do it with the help of an IDP counsellor. Our counsellors know exactly what to do, and they can recommend some great options that fit your needs.
When do I need to get it?
Health insurance is a requirement for your Student Visa, and you must be covered from the day you arrive in Australia. You must have suitable health insurance for the duration of your visa.
If you are extending your study period, you must buy a new OSHC and make sure that when one OSHC expires, the next one begins immediately.
Why can’t I use the insurance I already have instead of getting OSHC?
You can’t use health insurance from an overseas insurer or use travel insurance to cover your medical expenses while you are here. You must be covered by an Australian-registered private health insurer. This is so that the Australian Government can monitor and regulate insurers covering people who are living in Australia temporarily.
How do I pay for my OSHC?
You’ll need a credit card to purchase OSHC. If you don’t have a credit card, your IDP counsellor may be able to assist you with an alternative payment option.
How long do I need to buy OSHC for?
When you are selecting your start and end date, remember that student visas are granted according to the expiry date of your OSHC.
Select the date you’ll arrive in Australia. If you are unsure, choose a date up to 28 days before the start date of your course. If you are switching from another OSHC provider, choose the day after your OSHC expires.
To keep your visa valid, you must be covered for OSHC continuously. You must not arrive in Australia before your OSHC starts. If you are in Australia and do not have adequate health insurance, you are in breach of visa condition 8501.
Your OSHC must cover the full period of your visa. Your student visa can be granted up to the maximum periods shown in the table below.
Duration of the course
Duration of visa
10 months or longer and finishing at the end of the Australian academic year (November–December)
Your visa will usually be granted to March 15 of the following year.
If your course is from 1 January 2020 to 30 November 2020 (11 months), your visa will be granted to 15 Mar the following year. And you want to arrive in Australia two weeks prior to 1 January 2020.
In this example your OSHC date would be 15 December 2019 to 15 March 2021
10 months or longer (finishing January–October)
Your visa will usually be granted for two months longer than the duration of your course.
If your course is from 1 January 2020 to 1 October 2020, add two months to the course end date. And you want to arrive in Australia two weeks prior to 1 January 2020.
In this example your OSHC date would be 15 December 2019 to 1 December 2020
Less than 10 months
Your visa will usually be granted for one month longer than the duration of your course.
If your course is from
In this example your OSHC date would be 15 December 2019 to 1 October 2020
Source: Australian Government, Department of Home Affairs.
Can I use another name to purchase OSHC?
You must enter your name as per shown in your passport. OSHC certificate of purchase will be required as part of your visa application so ensure both passport and OSHC certificate shown the same name.
Can I get a refund if my visa is denied?
Yes, you can get a 100% refund. You’ll need to contact your OSHC provider and show them a copy of the denial letter you received from the Australian Government Department of Home Affairs.
What should I do if my family grows?
If you have a child after you arrive in Australia, and you only have a couple OSHC policy, you must switch to a family policy. If any family members join you after your arrival in Australia, they will have to demonstrate that they have an OSHC policy for the duration of their visas.
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