Applying for a visa - general instructions
Who needs a visa?
If you are not an Australian citizen, you will need a visa or travel authority to travel to Australia, regardless of your reason for travelling.
How to apply for a visa
To obtain a visa you will need to make an application and pay the scheduled fee (where applicable) for the type of visa which matches the purpose of your travel to Australia. For help in choosing the right visa for your circumstances, see: Visa Finder
Some visa applications can be made on the internet or through travel agents, others can be made by mail (or courier) or by personal appointment at our office; some applications must be sent directly to Australia. For more information and instructions about:
- which visas you can apply for at our office or online, and where to apply for other visas, see: Visa types
- how to make an appointment to lodge a visa application at our office, see: Contact us
(Please note that if you choose to apply in person we may not be able to make a decision on your application the same day.)
- fees and how to pay, see: Fees
Online (electronic) visas - information & help
For information about online visa (eVisa) applications (including eVisitor) and help desk contact information, see: Online visas - information and help
Forms and booklets referred to on this website are provided as PDF files, and can be downloaded from this site provided you have Adobe Acrobat Reader on your computer.
Department of Home Affairs forms referred to on this website can be downloaded from the Home Affairs website.
Please be aware that forms are changed regularly - before you submit a visa application please check that you have completed the most current form.
From 13 March 2017, you will be able to view current global visa and citizenship processing times for most visa subclasses and citizenship types. To view current processing times, click here or visit the product page for the specific visa subclass or citizenship type you are applying for. You can navigate to any product from Individuals and Travellers or Visa Support. On the product page, two processing times will be displayed, indicating how long it takes to finalise 75 and 90 per cent of all applications submitted globally.
Processing times apply from the date your complete application is lodged.
You can also use the Visa Finder to compare processing times for up to three different products.
Please note that applications are assessed on a case-by-case basis, and that actual processing times may vary due to individual circumstances including:
- whether the applicant has lodged a complete application including all necessary supporting documents
- how promptly the applicant responds to any requests for additional information
- how long it takes to perform required checks
- how long it takes to receive additional information from external parties, particularly in relation to health, character, national security, and Assurance of Support requirements
- the number of places available in the migration programme (for permanent migration visas)
- surges in demand and peak periods
To ensure your application falls within the published processing times, we strongly encourage you to submit complete applications. The checklists provided on ImmiAccount will assist in making sure you have included all required documents during the application process.
Additional requirements for persons under 18 years of age
In all applications for a person under 18 years of age except for an eVisitor or ETA (Electronic Travel Authority), all people with custody of the child (usually the parents) who are not travelling to Australia with the child must provide consent for him/her to travel to Australia.
In such cases, applicants are requested to provide:
- the original / certified copy of the child(ren)’s birth certificate, AND
- a copy of the passport identification page of the parent(s) not travelling with the child, AND
- Form 1229 (Consent form to grant an Australian visitor visa to a child under the age of 18 years) signed by the non-travelling parent. .
See: www.homeaffairs.gov.au/Forms/Documents/1229.pdf OR
- a legal document (such as a court decision) depriving the non-travelling parent of parental rights, OR
- if unable to obtain the non-travelling parent’s consent, please contact our office to discuss available options.
See: Contact Us
Providing further information
If you are requested by the Embassy to provide additional information after you have lodged an application, please make sure that you provide, in writing, your name, date of birth and file reference details with the requested information.
If you are considering using a migration agent to help you lodge a migration visa application, further information is provided on this website to assist you with your decision.
See: Migration Agents
Any document provided in support of your application may be checked. If false or fraudulent supporting documents/declarations have been provided, the visa application can be refused.
Personal information and advice about decisions
Personal information cannot be released unless the law permits it. In general, this means that we are unable to discuss visa applications (including reasons for decisions) with friends or relatives, unless we have specific authorisation from the visa applicant. Where a decision is made to refuse to grant a visa, the applicant is sent a letter setting out the reasons for that decision.
Client Service Charter & Feedback
The Client Service Charter of the Department of Home Affairs is available by clicking here.
Your compliments, complaints and suggestions are valuable to us and will help us to provide better products and services. Please click here if you would like to provide feedback.
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.