Visas and Citizenship
For information on topics not featured on this site, please visit our main website: www.border.gov.au
- Reforms to modernise Australia's visa system
- Temporary activity visa framework changes
- Australia's simplified student visa framework
- Online services
- Australian Visa Application Centres in the Gulf region
- Scam alert
The Australian Government has announced it will enhance the way visa and citizenship services are delivered using the latest digital technologies. The improvements will enable us to better manage the applications we receive and the growing number of travellers to Australia.
Our goals are:
- a streamlined experience for visa and citizenship applicants
- better automated end-to-end processing
- increased use of online self-service tools
This is a long-term programme of improvement in the way we deliver our services. There are no immediate changes for current visa applicants or visa holders.
Read more about the Reforms to modernise Australia's visa processing system
On 19 November Australia introduced reforms to the temporary activity visa framework. The new framework is designed to make applying for a temporary visa easier.
Four new visa subclasses have been introduced:
- Subclass 400 Temporary Work (Short Stay Specialist) visa
- Subclass 403 Temporary Work (International Relations) visa
- Subclass 407 Training visa
- Subclass 408 Temporary Activity visa.
The following visas are now closed to new applications:
- Subclass 401 Temporary Work (Long Stay Activity) visa
- Subclass 402 Training and Research visa
- Subclass 416 Special Program visa
- Subclass 420 Temporary Work (Entertainment) visa
- Subclass 488 Superyacht Crew visa.
Note: new applications for any of the above visas lodged on or after 19 November 2016, including applications that were sent prior to 19 November but received by the DIBP office at the Australian Consulate-General Dubai on or after 19 November 2016, will be considered invalid and returned to the applicant together with payment of the visa application charge.
For more information see: Temporary activity visa framework changes
On 1 July 2016 Australia introduced a simplified student visa framework.
Under the new student visa framework:
- International students will apply for a single Student visa (subclass 500) regardless of their chosen course of study;
- Student guardians will apply for the new Student Guardian visa (subclass 590)
- All international students and student guardians will be required to apply for their visa online using ImmiAccount.
For more information see: Simplified student visa framework
Note: paper student visa applications lodged on or after 1 July 2016, will be considered invalid and returned to the applicant together with payment of the student visa application charge.
ImmiAccount is the 'front door' to our online services. After creating an ImmiAccount you can:
- apply for a visa or citizenship
- update your passport details
- update your contact details
VEVO is a free online service that allows visa holders to check the details and entitlements of their visa. You can also use VEVO to print a copy of your visa details to take with you when you travel, or email your visa details.
Visa holders may also download our free myVEVO app, which allows you to view and email your visa details via an Android or iOS mobile device.
We have a service delivery partner - VFS Global - for the provision of visa lodgement services throughout nine Australian Visa Application Centres (AVACs) in the Gulf region.
AVACs offer visa application lodgement services such as:
- biometrics collection
- application fee payment
- application tracking
- responses to general application enquiries
Applicants can lodge an Australian visa application in person at any one of the Australian visa application centres currently located in the United Arab Emirates » Saudi Arabia » Kuwait » Bahrain » Qatar and Oman
Australian visa application centres have extended client service hours. You do not need to make an appointment, however during peak travel periods scheduling an appointment online is recommended.
The Department of Immigration and Border Protection is aware of an email scam involving a mailing address designed to appear as a genuine Australian government email address.
Individuals contacted via the bogus email address - firstname.lastname@example.org - are generally informed that they have been selected by random ballot for the "2017 United Nations Global Special Humanitarian and Family Resettlement to Australia".
The person targeted is asked to respond to the email and provide personal documents to the scammer. Individuals will then be asked to make a payment via money transfer.
This is a scam. This specific programme does not exist and Australia does not select prospective applicants for resettlement by random ballots.
If you receive an email that matches this scam we strongly recommend you do not respond.
The Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) processes visa applications for Australia. If you are contacted by a person claiming to be from another organisation and promising access to an Australian visa, please report this to the DIBP
See our main website for more information and current alerts about migration fraud, scams and hoaxes.
There are a range of visa options for people who want to visit, work, study or live in Australia. We endeavour to help you find relevant visa information but we will not provide you with advice on your visa eligibility.
To see which Australian visa might suit you, use our Visa Finder
For information about the different visa categories, use the following links:
- Visiting Australia - note: passport holders from Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates are eligible to apply online for a Visitor visa (subclass e600)
- Studying in Australia
- Working in Australia
- Returning Residents
- Skilled Migration
- Family Migration
See our step-by-step guide about how to apply for Australian citizenship
Applications for citizenship by descent can be lodged online or in-person at an Australian visa application centre.
If you have lost, damaged or had your Australian citizenship certificate stolen, see our online guide to apply for proof of your Australian citizenship
Lodging your application
► Apply online
Eligible applicants should apply online by creating an ImmiAccount
► Apply at an Australian Visa Application Centre
To see which visa applications can be lodged at an Australian visa application centre, refer to Visa Types
To avoid processing delays, all documents and information to support your visa application must be submitted together at the time of application lodgement – see our information to help you prepare your application. You can expect your visa application to take longer to process if you have not provided all the required documentation when you apply.
Note: you should not finalise travel commitments until you have a visa to travel to Australia. The Department of Immigration and Border Protection will not be liable for any financial loss incurred by clients whose visa application was processed later than expected or where an application is unsuccessful.
Application processing times
The processing time for your application will depend on the visa or citizenship category you have chosen. For a detailed list of processing times, see our global visa and citizenship processing times
Processing times will be updated monthly and will be available for most visa and citizenship application types.
Police clearance certificate from Saudi authorities
If you are requested to provide a Saudi Police Clearance Certificate for an immigration/visa purpose, please contact the Australian Embassy in Riyadh via email@example.com for requirements and rates, if applicable.
Visa and citizenship enquiries are managed by our service delivery partner VFS Global:
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Telephone: +971 4 2055900 (09:00 – 17:00 UAE local time, Sunday to Thursday – see VFS Global website for business hours).
Australian Embassy in Riyadh:
- Email: email@example.com
- Tel: +966 11 2500 900, ext. 163
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