Important notice: The FAQs below do not take into account temporary measures/arrangements that are in place due to COVID-19.
For COVID-19 FAQs please click here.
1. How can I apply for an Australian visa or Australian citizenship?
We encourage eligible applicants to submit their application online using ImmiAccount
Certain paper applications may also be lodged in person at any of the 9 Australian Visa Application Centres (AVACs) in the Gulf region.
2. What is an ImmiAccount?
ImmiAccount is the 'front door' to all online Australian visa and Australian citizenship services.
You can use ImmiAccount to:
- apply for a visa or citizenship online
- check the progress of your online application
- upload additional documents to support your application
- update your passport, email, or address details.
For more information about the services available or to create your own account, go to ImmiAccount
3. What is an Australian Visa Application Centre (AVAC)?
The Department of Home Affairs has an agreement with our service delivery partner – VFS Global – to provide a range of Australian visa and Australian citizenship application lodgement services, at Australian Visa Application Centres (AVACs). There are currently nine AVACs in the GCC region.
The services offered at an Australian Visa Application Centre include:
- visa or citizenship application fee payment
- collection of biometrics (personal identifiers)
- tracking of visa and citizenship applications
- assistance with general enquiries about visa and citizenship applications.
Note: VFS Global is a commercial company working in partnership with the Commonwealth of Australia. Staff at AVACs are not Home Affairs employees. They do not have the authority to assess visa and citizenship applications. Applications submitted at an AVAC are assessed and processed by Home Affairs staff.
4. Do I need a visa to travel to and enter Australia?
Unless you are an Australian or New Zealand citizen, you will need a visa to enter Australia.
5. Do I need a visa to transit through Australia?
If you plan to travel through Australia to another country, you will need an Australian Transit visa (Subclass 771). This visa lets you and your dependent children transit through Australia for no longer than 72 hours.
If you are going to stay in Australia for more than 72 hours, you will not be eligible for a Transit Visa and you will need to apply for another type of visa.
You may be eligible for Transit Without a Visa (TWOV) if you hold a confirmed onward booking to depart Australia within 8 hours of your arrival and you are an eligible traveller who meets the criteria. For the list of eligible travellers and the relevant TWOV criteria, see Do I need a visa to transit through Australia?
If you are not eligible for TWOV, you will need a Transit visa to travel via Australia to another country.
6. Which Australian visa should I apply for?
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
7. How much will my application for an Australian visa or Australian citizenship cost?
For Australian citizenship application fees, click here
8. What is biometrics data collection?
As part of your Australian visa application, in most cases you will need to attend an Australian Visa Application Centre (AVAC) to provide your fingerprints and a photograph, known as biometrics.
To see how biometrics are collected, watch our online video about biometrics collection at Australian visa application centres
9. If I apply for my Australian visa online, do I need to provide my biometrics?
If you lodge your application online, Home Affairs will advise you in writing if you need to provide your biometrics. You must provide your biometrics within the required timeframe (generally 14 days) or your visa application may be refused. If you are unable to provide biometrics within the required timeframe, you should send an email to [email protected].
For more information, including where to provide your biometrics, see the list of countries and visa subclasses included in the biometrics programme
Note: Australian citizens, Australian permanent residents, and New Zealand citizens are excluded from biometrics collection.
10. Do I need to submit certified copies of my documents to support my application for an Australian visa or Australian citizenship?
No. If you apply online using ImmiAccount you do not need to submit certified copies of documents unless specifically requested to do so by Home Affairs.
Australian visa applications:
If you have been requested by a Home Affairs officer to provide a certified copy of a document in relation to a visa application, the certifier must be a person or agency recognised by the law of the country in which you reside. In the UAE this may include, but is not limited to, a legal practitioner authorised by the legal affairs department in the relevant emirate.
If you submit a paper visa application at the Australian Visa Application Centre (AVAC), AVAC staff can certify a copy of a document as 'original sighted' if the genuine ORIGINAL document is presented when you lodge your application.
Note: your supporting documentation for VETASSESS does not require certification - see: www.vetassess.com.au/skills-assessment-for-migration/general-occupations/eligibility-criteria
Australian citizenship applications:
Please refer to the designated list of occupations and professions to identify who is authorised to certify your documents.
11. Are there guidelines on how to correctly scan documents before uploading them to my ImmiAccount?
Yes. You should scan the ORIGINAL of each document. You should not scan a photocopy, a photograph or a certified copy of the original.
See our main website for detailed information about scanning and attaching documents to your application in ImmiAccount
12. How do I get a statutory declaration or a Form 888 statement witnessed to support my application for an Australian visa?
Outside Australia a Commonwealth statutory declaration or Form 888 statement can be witnessed by a person on the list of authorised witnesses who holds an official, administrative connection to Australia. For example, a doctor who is registered to practise medicine in Australia can witness a Commonwealth statutory declaration when they are overseas. Alternatively, a lawyer admitted as a legal practitioner in Australia can witness a statutory declaration outside Australia.
The list of authorised witnesses is available online at: www.ag.gov.au/Publications/Statutory-declarations/Pages/List-of-authorised-witnesses.aspx
If you are not an Australian citizen or permanent resident and you reside outside Australia, your statement cannot be considered a statutory declaration under Australian law, even if it is made using Form 888 or the template provided by the Attorney-General's Department. Under Home Affairs policy, your statement should be witnessed or certified according to the legal pratices of the country in which you make the statement. In the UAE this may include, but is not limited to, a legal practitioner authorised by the legal affairs department in the relevant emirate.
The Home Affairs office at the Australian Consulate-General in Dubai can witness the signing of a statutory declaration in relation to an Australian visa or citizenship application or Form 888 by appointment only. Please note that a limited number of appointments are available each day. To schedule an appointment please email your full name, date of birth, passport number and transaction reference number (if applicable) to: [email protected]
13. How long will it take to process my application for an Australian visa or Australian citizenship?
Our global visa and citizenship processing times are now available online. Processing times will be updated monthly and will be available for most visa and citizenship application types.
Note: the processing timeframe commences only after a complete application has been received by Home Affairs. Please be aware processing times can vary due to a range of factors including but not limited to:
- whether you have provided all necessary supporting documents when you lodge your application;
- how accurately and how promptly you respond to any requests for additional information;
- how long it takes to complete any required checks on information you have provided to support your application
- how long it takes to receive additional information from external parties, particularly in relation to health, character and national security requirements.
For a detailed list of processing times, see our global visa and citizenship processing times
14. Do I need a visa label in my passport to enter Australia?
No. Australia no longer issues visa labels on passports. Australian visa holders can travel to, enter, and stay in Australia without a visa label in their passport.
Your Australian visa grant number is electronically linked to the passport details you provided in your application. You can find your visa grant number in your visa grant notification letter.
At the airport when you check-in to fly to Australia, airline staff will confirm that you have a valid Australian visa before you board the plane. For more information, see Australia's electronic visa record
15. How do I check if I have a valid Australian visa without a visa label in my passport?
After your Australian visa has been granted, you may use Visa Entitlement Verification Online (VEVO) to check the validity of your Australian visa. VEVO is a free service you may use to check your visa status and entitlements online.
You may also download our free myVEVO app which allows you to view and send your current visa details by email via an Android or iOS mobile device.
To login to VEVO you will need your passport number plus one of the following:
- Transaction Reference Number (TRN) – We give you a TRN if you applied online.
- Visa Grant Number – You can find this on your visa grant notification.
16. Where do I find my Australian visa grant number?
Your Australian visa grant number is on the visa grant notification we sent you by email or post. If you applied for your visa online using ImmiAccount you may find your visa grant number after checking your ImmiAccount.
If you cannot find your visa grant number, complete the Request for Reference Number Form. We will email you the number which you can then use to login to Visa Entitlement Verification Online (VEVO) to view your visa details.
17. What if I have been issued with a new passport since my Australian visa was granted?
You must notify us if your passport details change because your Australian visa details are linked to your passport. After you have submitted your visa application, depending on the type of change, you may be able to use your ImmiAccount to update your passport details online. You may also complete Form 929 Change of Address and/or Passport Details and send the signed and completed form by email to: [email protected]
18. How do I request for an International Movement Record (IMR)?
Australian citizens and permanent residents of Australia may request International Movement Records (IMR) by sending the documents listed below via email to: [email protected]
- Completed Form 1359 Request for International Movement Records
- Copy of your passport or other photo ID (e.g. Australian driving licence)
- Your preferred email address to which we will send your IMR.
The IMR processing time is approximately 10 working days. However, requests for IMRs prior to 1990 may take longer.
19. How do I obtain further information regarding a visa or citizenship application?
General enquiries about Australian visa or citizenship applications are managed by our service delivery partner VFS Global: