Reforms to modernise Australia’s visa processing system
The Australian Government has announced it will enhance the way visa and citizenship services are delivered using the latest digital technologies. For more information visit the Department Immigration and Border Protection’s website.
Frequently Asked Questions
For a comprehensive list of frequently asked questions and answers:
Visas, Migration and Citizenship Applicants
Travellers of all nationalities, except citizens of Australia and New Zealand, will need to obtain a visa to travel to Australia. Some visas can be lodged online, while others need to be lodged at the AVAC in Singapore (details below).
If you do not know what type of visa you need or whether you can apply online, a good starting point is the “Finding a Visa” link in the main Department of Immigration and Border Protection website. This site will guide you and lead you to general visa information, and includes a self-guided “Visa Finder”.
If you have a reasonable idea of what type of visa suits your purposes, and you are planning on making an application in Singapore, you can access locally produced information about lodgement and application requirements through the Singapore AVAC website. The AVAC website includes information on all applications that can be lodged in Singapore, including:
• Visitor Visas (tourism and business)
• Transit Visas
• Medical Treatment Visas
• Temporary Work (Short Stay Activity) Visas
• Temporary Work (Long Stay) Visas
• Student Visas
• Resident Return Visas
• Migration Visas (Partner/Child/Other Family)
• Registration of Australian Citizenship by Descent
Lodging an Application in Singapore
Applicants who are not able to apply online and who are eligible to lodge their application in Singapore should do so at the Australian Visa Application Centre (AVAC) [note that the Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) and all other online applications are not handled by the AVAC - for ETA Frequently Asked Questions, see the FAQ link on this page]:
Australian Visa Application Centre (AVAC)
135 Cecil Street
Tel: +65 6224 1732
The AVAC provides convenient access to Australian immigration services for clients through greater access to information, improved facilities, extended service hours and a convenient location.
Applicants applying at the AVAC will benefit from an online application tracking facility, and for a small additional fee, tracking by SMS notification.
Applicants who require interviews (e.g. Partner Migration) also have the ability to pre-schedule interview appointments at the High Commission through the AVAC.
Note that although applications are lodged at the AVAC, all applications continue to be assessed and decided at the Australian High Commission. AVAC staff have no involvement in assessments or decisions.
Diplomatic passport holders seeking a visa should contact the Immigration section of the Australian High Commission directly.
THE AVAC WEBSITE INCLUDES ALL APPLICATION FORMS AND ALL CHECKLISTS FOR THE APPLICATION TYPES THAT CAN BE LODGED IN SINGAPORE. YOU SHOULD READ THE RELEVANT CHECKLIST FULLY AS THE CHECKLISTS IN THIS WEBSITE ARE SINGAPORE-SPECIFIC. APPLICATIONS THAT DO NOT INCLUDE ALL THE INFORMATION DESCRIBED IN THE CHECKLIST WILL MOST LIKELY NOT BE FINALISED WITHIN THE PUBLICISED SERVICE STANDARD. IT IS THE APPLICANTS' RESPONSIBILITY TO MAKE SURE THE APPLICATION IS COMPLETE AT TIME OF LODGEMENT, AS PER THE RELEVANT CHECKLIST.
You should not book flights or make travel commitments until you have a visa to travel to Australia. The department will not be liable for any financial loss incurred by clients whose visa application was finalised later than expected or where an application is unsuccessful.
WHAT AVAC and DIBP STAFF CAN DO FOR YOU
• Help guide you to where you can find the latest information for you to decide what visa best suits your purposes
• Guide you to the relevant checklist that relates to the visa/application you have chosen to apply for
• Explain the application process to you
• Run through the checklist with you at lodgement
• Assist you with other value-added services related to your application
WHAT STAFF CANNOT DO
• Tell you what visa you should be applying for
• Help you complete your application
• Tell you what answers to provide in your application
• Advise you of the likely outcome of your application
WHAT YOU CAN DO FOR STAFF
• Provide clear information about your objective in seeking a visa for Australia (e.g. to work, study, tour, migrate)
• Read the relevant checklist before applying
• Provide complete applications in accordance with the relevant checklist
• Show respect and courtesy, as will our staff when speaking with you
Application Forms and Fees
All visa applicants must submit the correct form and fee when applying for a visa or Australian citizenship. Forms and local fee information (in SGD) are available at the Australian Visa Application Centre (AVAC) and through the AVAC website under the respective Visa Types tab. For a complete list of official forms issued by the Department of Immigration and Citizenship:
See: All Forms
Note that most application fees change on 1 January and 1 July each year
For a full list of current prices, see: Fees and Charges
The AVAC website includes information on these fees in Singapore Dollars, for those applications able to be lodged in Singapore.
Methods of Payment
Full details of payments methods are included in the AVAC website. You should note that payment for applications lodged at the AVAC is by cash or bank draft (drawn on local banks only). Unfortunately, credit card payments are not available for the moment. Note that bank drafts drawn on international banks outside Singapore are not acceptable as they take longer to be cleared and often incur additional charges for clearing.
See also: How to Pay
Credit Card Surcharge
The Department of Immigration and Border Protection has introduced a credit card surcharge to recover costs associated with providing a credit card facility.
This surcharge is only applicable to any Visa Application Charge paid in AUD using a credit card and to all online applications.
Visa, MasterCard, American Express, JCB and Diners credit cards will all incur the surcharge, including pre-paid credit cards.
The surcharge will vary by card type and full details of all costs are available on the Department’s website on the 'How to Pay’ pages at the following link: www.border.gov.au/Trav/Visa/Fees
A Visa Application Charge paid in SGD only using a credit card will not incur the surcharge as in Singapore; imposition of a surcharge on credit card transactions is not lawful.
Online lodgement for Visitor visas (Subclass 600) and Temporary Work (Short Stay Specialist)(Subclass 400)
The online visa lodgement system is available to applicants at their convenience, seven days a week, without the need to apply in person. Applications can be made at www.border.gov.au (see: Online Services). Please note that you will need access to a credit card to pay for an online application. A third party may complete an online application on your behalf with your consent. For more information about online visas and which nationalities are eligible to make online applications, see:
ImmiAccount is a self-service web portal that enables users to create, submit, pay for and manage all online applications in one online system. It provides a single entry point to the department's online visa application systems.
To create an account or to log-into an existing account, see: ImmiAccount
Applying for an ETA if you are the holder of an ordinary Taiwanese passport and are living in Singapore
If you are a Taiwanese ordinary passport holder, you are eligible to apply for an Electronic Travel Authority (ETA). Taiwanese ordinary passport refers to a passport that shows the Personal Identity Number in the bio-data page.
Taiwanese ordinary passport holders in Taiwan are eligible to apply for an ETA through authorised travel agents.
Taiwanese nationals in Singapore are now required to lodge an application for an ETA at the Australian Visa Application Centre (AVAC). To lodge an application, please provide:
- a scanned copy of the information page of your passport;
- a completed ETA additional information form;
- your Singapore NRIC/FIN card (front and back sides).
For further information, including the address and opening hours, please refer to the AVAC website: http://vfsglobal.com/australia/singapore/
You will be advised of the outcome of your ETA application by email. The processing time is 3 working days.
The ETA will be valid for travel to Australia for 12 months from the date of issue and will allow for multiple entries and a maximum stay of three months on each arrival. See: https://www.border.gov.au/Trav/Visa-1/601-
Please Note: Taiwanese compatriot passports and official/diplomatic passports are not acceptable travel documents for travel to Australia. Taiwanese compatriot passports do not show the Personal Identity Number in the bio-data page of the passport.
However, if Taiwanese compatriot passport holders have evidence of a right of re-entry to the country of origin or a third country they can use their compatriot passports to travel to Australia.
If you hold a Taiwanese compatriot passport and have evidence of a right of re-entry to the country or original or to a third country, you need to apply for a Visitor visa (subclass 600). See: https://www.border.gov.au/Trav/Visa-1/600- or the AVAC website above.
Australian Citizenship Applicants
The only citizenship applications that can be lodged in Singapore are applications for Registration of Australian Citizenship by Descent.
You may lodge an application for Citizenship by Descent online. Please follow this link for more information:
Please note the Singapore-specific application checklist on the AVAC website.
All other types of citizenship application (for example, grant of citizenship, renunciation of citizenship, resumption of citizenship and evidence of citizenship) must be lodged in Australia. For details, see Australian Citizenship.
Update - Australians adopting in Singapore
Australians considering adopting a non-Singapore citizen child whilst living in Singapore are advised to refer to the information on immigration and citizenzship requirements in relation to expatriate adoption and inter-country adoption on the Department of Immigration and Border Protection website: https://www.border.gov.au/Trav/Life/Adoption-of-children. Australian migration requirements in respect of adopted children are quite specific, and an adoption that does not meet these legal criteria may result in the child not being able to migrate to Australia or acquire Australian citizenship. To meet migration visa requirements, amongst other criteria, Australians would be expected to have adopted a non-Singapore citizen child through the formal and legal adoption process in the child’s home country – a Singapore court adoption order for a non-Singapore citizen child is unlikely to meet Australia’s migration requirements.
The Department of Immigration and Border Protection no longer provides a "letter of no objection" or "to whom it may concern letter" and applicants are advised to refer to the information sheet at the link : https://www.border.gov.au/Trav/Life/Adoption-of-children/australians-overseas.
This webpage has been designed to print out as an information sheet that can be provided to government officials explaining that the Australian Government does not provide "letters of no objection" and outlines the immigration process for adopted children.
Australia’s visa label policy
The Australian Government does not require holders of Australian visas to have a visa label in their passport.
Australian visas are granted electronically and stored in a central database, enabling visa holders, registered Australian organisations and airline staff to check visa details online. Australian visa holders can provide evidence that they have the authority to travel to, enter and/or remain in Australia by showing the passport or ImmiCard that is linked to their electronic visa record.
Australian visa holders must notify the Department of Immigration and Border Protection of their new passport details to ensure that their record is up-to-date. Failure to update their passport details will result in delays when travelling to Australia. Visa holders or registered Australian organisations will be unable to check visa details online.
If you have a valid visa (other than an ETA) associated with an expired passport, i.e., you have been issued with a new passport since your current valid visa was granted, you may travel carrying your old and new passports together and the airline will arrange to have the details updated at the time of check-in.
Visa holders (other than ETA holders) can update their passport details by completing Form 929 (Change of address and/or passport details) and emailing it to email@example.com or they can update it online if they have an ImmiAccount. Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) holders with a new passport will need to apply for a new ETA.
Check Your Own Visa Status and Entitlement Online - VEVO
The Visa Entitlement Verification Online (VEVO) system is a free online service that gives holders of Australian visas, employers and other registered organisations quick and easy access to visa entitlements and status information, 24 hours a day.
Holders of current and valid Australian visas can use VEVO to see their visa validity and entitlements. Organisations including employers, migration agents, education providers and government agencies can use VEVO to see a visa holder’s entitlement and status information. Organisation users need to provide a reason and a valid Australian Business Number to register for VEVO. They also need to obtain the permission of the visa holder before they conduct an entitlement or status check through VEVO.
For further information, see: VEVO
Health Requirements and Medical Examinations
Detailed information regarding health requirements for visa applicants is explained thoroughly on the main website:
See: Health Requirements
Medical examinations conducted overseas are only acceptable if conducted by approved panel doctors. A panel doctor is a doctor or a radiologist who has been appointed by the Australian Government to perform medical examinations on visa applicants who have applied from outside Australia. For a list of Australian approved Panel Doctors.
See: Panel Doctors
Not all applications require a medical examination. You should not have a visa medical examination until you have been formally requested to do so by the Australian High Commission or other office processing your application.
In some cases, you may be required to provide penal clearances to meet our character requirement from countries in which you have resided for 12 months or more during the last ten years. For further information on how and where to obtain these clearances
Updating New Passport Details, Requesting a Copy of Travel Records, and Requesting Visa Cancellation
Please see these topics under the Frequently Asked Questions link above.