Visas, Migration and Citizenship
How long will it take to process my visa application?
Due to COVID-19, some visa processing times have been affected and applications may take longer to finalise. Average global processing times for applications can be found on the Department of Home Affairs website. Visitor visa application peak periods are May–June and October–January, so apply early during these times.
You can help to obtain the fastest decision possible by lodging a complete application with all recommended supporting information. Please refer to the visa checklist to identify the supporting information to submit with your application. For Visitor visa applications there is no requirement for the visa decision maker to seek further information before making a decision.
A small percentage of applications take longer due to complicating factors; for example, where additional background checking is required, where health checks are needed that require specialist follow-up, where there are character considerations, or a variety of other factors. If an application will take longer than the usual processing time, you will be notified of what to expect.
If your application is urgent, you may include a covering letter explaining your circumstances and any relevant dates. In fairness to all applicants who apply in good time, requests to expedite applications will only be made in exceptional circumstances. Poor planning of travel arrangements is not an exceptional circumstance. It is strongly recommended you apply well in advance of your intended travel date (at least one month in advance is recommended for Visitor visas) and that you do not make any irreversible travel arrangements until your visa has been granted.
What is my application status?
If you applied online you can check your visa application status in ImmiAccount.
If your application progress enquiry is still within average processing times, your application is still being assessed by the Australian Visa Office and generally no status update is provided. If anything is required to progress your application you will be advised in writing.
It is advisable that you do not make final travel arrangements until your visa has been granted.
Do I need a visa label in my passport to travel to Australia?
No. Australian visas are recorded electronically. You do not need a visa label in your passport to travel to, enter or stay in Australia.
The vast majority of people travelling to and residing in Australia do so without an Australian visa label in their passport. While most countries accept travellers without an Australian visa label in their passport, it is your responsibility to check with the relevant government authorities regarding specific exit or transit requirements. The Australian Government cannot advise on other countries’ requirements. Some foreign governments recommend that you carry your visa grant notification letter and travel itinerary when you travel.
How will my visa be checked at the airport?
Airlines that fly to Australia must provide details of all passengers to Australia’s immigration and customs authorities ahead of their arrival in Australia.
When you check in for your flight to Australia, airline staff will use your passport details to check if you have a valid visa to travel to Australia before allowing you to board the aircraft. This typically only takes seconds to complete. This is completed electronically and there is no need for a visa label in your passport.
I applied for a visa online but made a mistake — what should I do?
If you have lodged a visa application online but have recorded your bio-data details incorrectly, do not lodge a new application. Instead, you should upload Form 1023 Notification of incorrect answer(s) to your application through ImmiAccount.
I am a flight crew member — how do I apply for a visa for a holiday to Australia?
If you hold a Crew Travel Authority and you wish to travel to Australia for tourism, you should apply for a visa or an Electronic Travel Authority (ETA). For more information see: Crew Travel Authority (homeaffairs.gov.au)
I did not get an arrival/departure stamp in my passport when I went to Australia — why not?
From 1 December 2012, the Australian Government ceased date stamping travellers’ passports on arrival and departure from Australia unless a stamp is requested by the traveller. This brings the stamping processes in line with those currently undertaken for Australian citizens and complements the department's move away from physical visa evidence. Australia issues electronic visas and electronically records all movements of passengers into and out of Australia. All visa records and travel movements are stored on a central database in Australia. If you need evidence of your own travel movements into and out of Australia, you may apply for your travel movement records by completing Form 1359 and emailing it to [email protected] with a clear copy of your passport identity page.
Can I travel to Australia if my passport is valid for less than 6 months?
Yes. Unlike some countries, Australia does not insist on six months passport validity. However, it is recommended that it should not expire when you are in Australia. You will need a valid passport to leave Australia as well as enter. Some airlines may decline to carry passengers with less than six months validity — you should check with your airline whether this will be an issue for them. You should also be aware of any requirements for the country you will be returning to.
I’d like to migrate to Australia — where can I find more information?
All skilled migration applications are processed in Australia. For more information about eligibility and visa requirements please refer to the main Department of Home Affairs website.
For information on the range of visa options available under the Skilled Migration Program, see: Skilled Program.
For Family and Special Eligibility please see information on the range of visa options under Family and spousal visas.
Do I have to use a migration agent?
No, but if you wish to do so it is recommended that you use an agent registered with the Migration Agents Registration Authority
How do I provide additional supporting information after lodging an application?
If the Australian Visa Office has asked you to provide additional information, you should attach additional supporting information to your online application through ImmiAccount.
Who can certify copies of my documents?
Most applications lodged in Singapore do not require copies of documents to be certified.
Some applications may require copies of certain documents lodged with applications to have been notarised. Copies should be certified by a Notary Public in Singapore or a Registered Migration Agent (in Australia). A list of Singapore Notary Publics can be found in the Yellow Pages. For details, refer to the document checklist for the visa or citizenship application you are lodging — see the Department of Home Affairs website.
Documents in languages other than English should be accompanied by an English translation undertaken by a qualified professional translator in Singapore or Australia. To find a translator, you may refer to the Yellow Pages.
Can I request to have my visa cancelled?
Some temporary visa holders may find that their current visa prevents them from applying for a further visa online (for example, a Student visa holder who is seeking an ETA). Other visa holders who have left Australia may wish to have their visa cancelled to access their Australian superannuation funds. We will only cancel a visa in these circumstances.
Visa cancellation requests should be lodged through ImmiAccount. There is no fee for this service.
For information on how to cancel your visa and claim Australian superannuation, see: Before and after you leave Australia (homeaffairs.gov.au).
Can I request a review of a decision to refuse a visa application?
Most temporary visa decisions do not have a review right and this will be stated in the letter notifying you of the decision to refuse you the grant of a visa.
If there is a right of review with the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) this will have been indicated in your decision notification letter. More information about lodging an application for merits review can be found on the AAT website: Review Tribunals. You should note that where the right to seek merits review exists, there are strict time limits and an application may not be accepted by the AAT after the expiry of this period.
If you are considering lodging a new visa application, it is important that you read carefully the reasons for your visa refusal. It is unlikely that a different decision will be made if the information you provide is substantially the same as what you had previously provided.
Do I qualify for a visa?
In order to be granted a visa you must meet the Australian government requirements for the visa. If you do not meet these requirements, your application will be unsuccessful. There is no refund of visa application fees or charges if a visa application is unsuccessful.
To assist you to self assess whether you will meet the requirements for the grant of visa, comprehensive information about visa criteria and eligibility is available on the main Department of Home Affairs website.
If you are not certain what type of visa will most likely meet your circumstances, see: Explore visa options.
If you do not feel confident in lodging an application or if your case is complex, you may engage a registered migration agent to help you in your dealings with the department. If you choose to use a migration agent, you should use a registered migration agent. Registration gives you protection and helps ensure people working as migration agents are aware of current laws and procedures and give correct advice. Information about using a migration agent is available from the Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority.
My circumstances have changed before my visa application is finalised — what do I need to do?
You are required to notify the department of any changes in your circumstances, or of any changes that affect any answer to a question in your application form, for example, marriage, birth of a baby, name or address change.