COVID-19 – Current restrictions on travel to Australia and changes to visa processing services
On 20 March 2020, Australia introduced travel restrictions to protect the health of the Australian community. You cannot come to Australia unless you are in an exempt category or you have been granted an individual exemption to the current travel restrictions.
Please see the following website for more information: https://covid19.homeaffairs.gov.au/coming-australia. Travel restrictions are subject to change and you should check back regularly.
During this period:
- Visa processing will be delayed until further notice, including all applications previously lodged with the Australian High Commission.
- Citizenship by descent applications can be lodged online. For more information see: https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/citizenship/become-a-citizen/by-descent. You will be notified in writing if your Citizenship by descent application is approved.
Travel Restriction Exemptions for Visa Holders
Limited exemptions apply for some visa holders. You can enter Australia (without obtaining an individual exemption) if you are:
an Australian citizen or permanent resident of Australia
a New Zealand citizen usually resident in Australia and can demonstrate your residency
an immediate family member of an Australian citizen, permanent resident or a New Zealand citizen usually resident in Australia (spouse, de facto partner, dependent child or legal guardian)*
a Partner or Child visa holder (except for Prospective Marriage visa holders)
transiting Australia for less than 72 hours (however you may require a Transit visa)
a person who has been in New Zealand for 14 days or more immediately prior to arrival by air in Australia
a diplomat accredited to Australia, including their immediate family members (each member of the family unit must hold a valid subclass 995 visa)
a person recruited under the Government approved Seasonal Worker Program or Pacific Labour Scheme
a person who holds a Business Innovation and Investment (subclass 188) visa.
* If you hold a temporary visa or do not yet hold a valid visa for Australia, you must provide proof of your relationship (such as your marriage certificate, evidence of your de-facto relationship such as shared finances or property, your birth certificate or birth certificate for your children) to the Department before you travel to Australia. Do not travel until we advise that you can. You can find out more about how to provide this information here.
You need to carry evidence that you meet one of the above categories when travelling. Additional evidence may be requested.
If you are not in an exempt category you can request an individual exemption to Australia's travel. For more information on travel restrictions and a full list of exemptions, visit the Home Affairs website: https://covid19.homeaffairs.gov.au/coming-australia (a link to the exemption application is towards the bottom of the page).
If you do not hold a visa
If you do not hold a visa you cannot travel to Australia. Apply for a visa and provide proof of your relationship with an Australian citizen or permanent resident.
Apply for a visa through this website: https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/visas/getting-a-visa/visa-finder.
If you urgently need to travel to Australia you can email us at [email protected], if you are the immediate family member of an Australian citizen or permanent resident. We will not otherwise respond to your request unless you demonstrate compelling/compassionate circumstances that justify urgent travel. Please quote your passport number in the subject line.
If we grant you a visa you must not travel until advised that you are exempt from the travel restriction.
Apply for the exemption here: https://travel-exemptions.homeaffairs.gov.au/tep.
All visa holders and applicants should continue to monitor the Department of Home Affairs website for any changes in travel restrictions to Australia.
Electronic Travel Authority (ETA)
You can’t come to Australia at this time unless you are exempt or have been granted a travel exemption. You should reconsider your need to apply for an Australian visa at this time. See updates on travel restrictions and visa processing at COVID19 and the border.
Certain passport holders (including Singaporeans) may be able to apply for an ETA as part of the Australian ETA mobile app pilot. See: I want to apply for a visa.
For more information about the ETA and how to apply, see: Electronic Travel Authority (ETA)
After you have applied for an ETA, you should wait for a written notification which will be sent to you by email. In most cases, you will be notified of the result of your ETA application immediately. Sometimes there will be a delay before receiving your notification.
If you have been notified that your ETA cannot be processed or approved without further information, you can:
- Apply for another visa that is suitable for your travel needs: explore your visa options.
- Use the Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) Request for further processing form to contact an Australian Visa Office and provide information so we can consider whether you are eligible for an ETA. You must answer all the questions in the form and attach any supporting documents we ask for.
Please do not call or approach the Australian High Commission in person regarding your ETA application.
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.
Work and Holiday (subclass 462) visa additional 2,000 places and online lodgement from 1 July 2019
On 1 July 2019 the Department of Home Affairs opened availability for 2,500 Work and Holiday (subclass 462) visas.
Applications must be lodged online. For further information, please visit the Department of Home Affairs website.
After your application has been lodged, you may receive a letter asking you to provide Personal Identifiers (PIDS). You will need to make an appointment to enrol your biometrics at VFS. See: https://www.vfsglobal.com/australia/singapore/biometric_collection.html
Beware of Visa Scams
There are Australian registered migration agents working all around the world. These agents are subject to the same Code of Conduct, professional development and regulations as registered migration agents based in Australia. More information about Australia’s efforts to ensure the integrity of the migration advice profession is available at: www.mara.gov.au
Visitor Visa (subclass 600) - Long Validity Option for Singapore Nationals
Singaporean citizens now have access to a long validity Visitor visa (subclass 600) that allows multiple entries and has a validity period of up to six years. Refer to the Australian Visa Application (AVAC) website for further information.
Visa, Migration and Citizenship Applicants
Travellers of all nationalities, except citizens of Australia and New Zealand, need a visa to travel to Australia. Most visas can be lodged online, while some can be lodged at the Australian Visa Application Centre (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 Visa Finder on the Department of Home Affairs website.
Lodging an Application in Singapore
Applications for most visas can be lodged online through ImmiAccount, a self-service web portal that allows users to create, submit, pay for and manage all online applications in one online system.
To create an account or to log into an existing account, see: ImmiAccount
Applicants who cannot apply online may lodge an application at:
Australian Visa Application Centre (AVAC)
Level 8, MYP Plaza
135 Cecil Street
Tel: +65 6224 1732
Note that although applications are lodged at the AVAC, all applications are assessed by the Department of Home Affairs. AVAC staff have no involvement in assessments or decisions.
IMPORTANT NOTE s
The AVAC website includes application forms and checklists for applications that can be lodged in Singapore. You should read the relevant checklist carefully. Applications that do not include all the information in the checklist may be delayed or, in some cases, refused. It is the applicant's responsibility to make sure the application is complete at the time of lodgement.
WHAT AVAC 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 apply 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 (for example, 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
Methods of Payment
All visa applicants must submit the correct form and fee when applying for a visa or Australian citizenship. Details of payments methods are included in the Australian Visa Application Centre (AVAC) website.
VFS service fees paid at the AVAC can only be paid by cash or bank draft (drawn on local banks only). The service fee can only be paid by these methods.
Visa Application Charge
The Visa Application Charge (VAC) may be paid by the above methods or by credit card online through the 'My Payments' option in ImmiAccount. If you wish to pay the VAC by credit card for a paper application, you will need to do this before lodging your application at the AVAC and provide the receipt number and a copy of the receipt to the AVAC at the time of lodgement.
For more information, see: How to Pay
For a full list of current prices, see: Fees and Charges
Note that most application fees change on 1 January and 1 July each year
Visas for Diplomatic Passport Holders
Diplomatic passport holders travelling to Australia on official business should contact the Immigration section of the Australian High Commission directly. Diplomatic passport holders travelling for tourism or personal travel should apply for a visa online or at the Australian Visa Application Centre (AVAC) but are not required to provide their biometrics.
Australian Citizenship Applications
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. See: https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/citizenship/become-a-citizen/by-descent
All other types of citizenship applications (for example, grant of citizenship, resumption of citizenship) must be lodged in Australia. For details, see the Department of Home Affairs website.
To request evidence of citizenship or a replacement citizenship certificate, see: https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/citizenship/certificate
For information on giving up (renouncing) Australian citizenship, see: https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/citizenship/give-up-citizenship
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 citizenship requirements in relation to expatriate adoption and inter-country adoption on the Department of Home Affairs website. Australian migration requirements for 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.
Updating Passport Details
Australian visa holders must notify the Department of Home Affairs 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.
Visa holders (other than ETA holders) can update their passport details online through ImmiAccount or by completing Form 929 (Change of address and/or passport details) and emailing it to [email protected]. Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) holders with a new passport will need to apply for a new ETA.
If you have a valid visa (other than an ETA) associated with an expired passport, and 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.
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.
Check Your Visa Status Online (VEVO)
The Visa Entitlement Verification Online (VEVO) system is a free online service that allows holders of Australian visas, employers and other registered organisations to check current visa details and conditions. You can also use VEVO to obtain proof of your visa conditions to send to others.
Health Requirements and Medical Examinations
Detailed information about health requirements for visa applicants can be found on the Department of Home Affairs website.
See: Health Requirements
Overseas medical examinations are only acceptable if conducted by approved panel physicians or clinics. A panel physician 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
Requesting Travel Records and Visa Cancellations
For visa cancellations, see the Frequently Asked Questions link below
Frequently Asked Questions
For a comprehensive list of Frequently Asked Questions, click here.