Australian Embassy
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Frequently Asked Questions

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The Department of Home Affairs website has a quick guide to common questions.

 

COVID-19 travel restriction FAQs

What impact does COVID-19 have on travel to Australia?

My visa was granted before the travel restrictions.  Will I still be able to travel?

How can I apply for an exemption from travel restrictions?

How can I escalate my request for exemption from travel restrictions?

Can I use my current visa after the travel restrictions are lifted or will I need to apply again?

Can I extend my visa if I cannot enter Australia due to the travel restrictions?

What support is available for international students affected by travel restrictions?

What can I do if I miss the Initial Entry Date that is a condition on my visa due to the travel restrictions?

If I cannot travel due to COVID-19 travel restrictions, can I get a refund for my visa charge?

What if I cannot depart before my visa ceases?

 

General visa FAQs

Which visa should I apply for?

How long will my application take to process?

I need to travel urgently. What can I do?

I have applied for Australian citizenship and need to travel to Australia urgently. Can I travel on my current passport?

Can I apply for more than one visa?

What are the visa requirements for minors?

Are there any additional requirements for older applicants?

What are the character requirements to enter Australia?

What are the health requirements to enter Australia?

Which doctors can do medical exams?

Which vaccines are required to travel to Australia?

Who can assist with my application?

Do I need to provide translations or certified copies?

How can I check the status of my application?

How can I check my visa details?

What travel document is required to enter Australia?

Should I notify changes in my circumstances, such as a new passport?

How can I correct an error in my application?

How can I withdraw my application?

Why was my visa application refused?

Can I apply again after a refusal?

What are the conditions on my visa?

How can I ask for a refund?

 

Visitor visa FAQs

I have been granted a visa. Why haven’t my family received their visas?

Can I apply for an Electronic Travel Authority (ETA)?

I hold an ETA eligible passport but when I tried to apply, I received a message saying that the application cannot be assessed. What do I do now?

 

Student visa FAQs

What is happening to my student visa application, which was affected by COVID-19?

I was granted a student visa, but due to COVID-19, I was unable to complete my course.  Am I able to get a refund for the visa application fee or apply again at no charge?

What is being done to support recent eligible graduates affected by COVID-19?

How can I apply for a Student visa?

What documents are required for a Student visa?

What is the Genuine Temporary Entrant (GTE) requirement?

How much money do I need to study in Australia?

What are acceptable forms of evidence of financial capacity?

Who can support me financially to study in Australia?

What are the requirements for accompanying family?

 

Citizenship FAQs

My child was born outside Australia. How can he/she become an Australian Citizen?

I have applied for Australian citizenship and need to travel to Australia urgently. Can I travel on my current passport?

 

Customs FAQs

Can I bring my medication to Australia?

What kind of food and goods can I take to Australia?

Which vaccines are required to travel to Australia?

 

Notifying Home Affairs

How can I correct an error in my application?

How can I withdraw my application?

Should I notify changes in my circumstances, such as a new passport?

How can I report someone breaching, or intending to breach, Australian visa, customs or border rules?

COVID-19 travel restriction FAQs

What impact does COVID-19 have on travel to Australia?

Information about travel restrictions and quarantine rules due to COVID-19 is available here. All travellers to Australia are required to isolate themselves upon arrival for at least 14 days, practise good hygiene and social distancing, and follow rules regarding public gatherings. Further information can be found on the Department of Health website.

 

My visa was granted before the travel restrictions.  Will I still be able to travel?

The Australian Government has implemented a number of travel restrictions due to COVID-19.  Currently only travellers exempt from the travel restrictions can travel to Australia.  This means that most individuals who are not Australian citizens, permanent residents or their family members will not be able to travel to Australia unless they successfully apply for an exception to the travel restrictions - even if they hold a valid visa. For a list of categories currently exempted see https://covid19.homeaffairs.gov.au/travel-restrictions.

Individuals may apply for an exemption if they meet any of the designated criteria. Information on how to apply for an exemption is available at travel restrictions. All requests must be include passenger details, flight details, details of grounds for exemption and evidence of the same.

Monitor travel restrictions for current information. 

 

How can I apply for an exemption from travel restrictions?

Information how to apply for an exemption is available at travel restrictions. All requests must be include passenger details, flight details, details of grounds for exemption and evidence of the same.

The Commissioner of the Australian Border Force has the authority to approve exemptions from the travel restrictions. Individuals will only be able to travel after receiving approval by the Commissioner. The Commissioner is considering a large volume of requests for exemptions.  

There is no guarantee of approval for exemption or a decision on your request for exemption prior to your flight, and individuals may only receive a response to requests for exemption from the travel restrictions very close to the flight departure time. If you arrive at the airport early and you have not received a response from the Commissioner, airlines may escalate a request for exemption with Australian Border Force.

 

How can I escalate my request for exemption from travel restrictions?

Staff at the Australian embassy cannot assess your request for an exemption.

The Commissioner of the Australian Border Force is considering a large volume of requests for exemptions. Individuals will only be able to travel after receiving approval by the Commissioner.

There is no guarantee of approval for exemption or a decision on your request for exemption prior to your flight, and individuals may only receive a response to requests for exemption from the travel restrictions very close to the flight departure time. If you arrive at the airport early and you have not received a response from the Commissioner, airlines may escalate a request for exemption with Australian Border Force.

Only lodge a new application for exemption if you need to include further information or if your circumstances change. Include your enquiry form number in the new application.

 

Can I use my current visa after the travel restrictions are lifted or will I need to apply again?

Once travel restrictions are lifted, you may use your visa to enter Australia provided it is still within the validity period and is for the correct purpose for travel. If you intend to enter or stay in Australia after the validity of your visa, or travel for a different purpose, you will need to apply for a new visa.

You can access our online Visa Entitlement Verification Online (VEVO) to check your visa conditions.  If your visa was granted after 1 February 2020 and you are affected by current travel restrictions, you will not be able to check your visa details and conditions using VEVO until the restrictions are lifted.  You should refer to your visa grant letter or access your ImmiAccount for this information.

 

Can I extend my visa if I cannot enter Australia due to the travel restrictions?

Australian visas cannot be extended. If you intend to enter or stay in Australia past the validity of your visa, you will need to apply for a new visa. The Australian Government is currently considering measures to reduce the impact of COVID-19 measures for travellers. Please monitor our website regularly for the most up to date information.

 

What support is available for international students affected by travel restrictions?

The Australian Government has implemented measures to reduce the impact of COVID-19 for international students. Discuss your options with your education provider and monitor the www.australia.gov.au website.

 

What can I do if I miss the Initial Entry Date that is a condition on my visa due to the travel restrictions?

If unable to travel Australia before the Initial Entry Date (IED) due to the travel restrictions, visa holders may contact the department to request facilitation of a later entry date if the visa is still valid. You will need to provide the new intended travel details, and can only request facilitation after the IED has passed. Requests for entry facilitation will be considered on a case-by-case basis and may require additional evidence, such as new health examinations or police clearances to be provided.

 

If I cannot travel due to COVID-19 travel restrictions, can I get a refund for my visa charge?

Visa application charges (VACs) are a legal requirement for most visa applications. A VAC is payable regardless of visa outcome or travel details. Visa holders and applicants who have changed their travel plans due to COVID-19 are not eligible for visa application charge refunds under existing legislation. This includes applicants that have delayed travel and are not able to enter Australia before their visa ceases. You may request a refund on Form 1424. However, refunds are only available in very limited circumstances, as indicated on question 21 of Form 1424.

What if I cannot depart Australia before my visa ceases?

If visa holders wish to remain in Australia beyond the expiry date of their current visa, they must apply for a further visa. Information on staying in Australia beyond their current visa expiry date can be found at: https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/visas/visa-about-to-expire/stay-longer

 

General visa FAQs

Which visa should I apply for?

This depends on your purpose for travel and other factors. Our website has a visa finder tool, which can help you determine which visa will be most suitable for your travel purpose. Information on applying for visas is available on the embassy website in English and Portuguese.

If you are unable to locate information you require on our website, you may telephone the Global Service Centre in Australia at +61 2 6196 0196. Spanish and Portuguese interpreting services are available. International call charges apply.

Information about who can help with your application is available on the Department of Home Affairs website.

 

How long will my application take to process?

Global processing times for all visa and citizenship applications are published on the Department of Home Affairs website each month, providing an indicative timeframe for processing applications.  These are average times and actual processing times can vary considerably. Processing times are impacted by changes in application volumes, seasonal peaks, complex cases, operational demands and incomplete applications.

Avoid processing delays by lodging applications complete with all requirements at the time of lodgement and by responding to any requests in a timely manner.

 

I need to travel urgently. What can I do?

The Department of Home Affairs generally processes visas in the order that we receive them. However, special consideration may be given for genuinely compelling or compassionate reasons.

If you have not done so, lodge a visa application and ensure all required evidence is uploaded to ImmiAccount. Attach a letter explaining the nature of the compelling or compassionate circumstances, and provide any available supporting evidence (for example a letter from a doctor if a family member is ill). If necessary, telephone the Global Service Centre in Australia on +61 2 6196 0196. International call charges apply.

If visiting someone in hospital, a health examination will be required before we can assess your application.

We strongly recommend that 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 applicants whose visa application was finalised later than expected or where an application is unsuccessful.

 

I have applied for Australian citizenship and need to travel to Australia urgently. Can I travel on my current passport?

Australian citizens must enter and depart Australia on an Australian passport. If you are not yet an Australian citizen, you can apply for a visa on a Brazilian (or other non-Australian) passport. Please advise us of your travel plans via ImmiAccount.

 

Can I apply for more than one visa?

Yes, you can re-apply for the same visa or apply for multiple visas at the same time. However, there are a couple of important points to note:

·       If you have previously been refused a visa, you must declare this in your new application.

·       You will need to provide all relevant information and documentation for each application.

·       You can only hold one visa at any time, a new visa will replace a visa granted earlier. Therefore, you should withdraw pending visa applications if you do not wish for a current visa to cease.

 

What are the visa requirements for minors?

In addition to the regular visa requirements, if minors (less than 18 years of age) are not travelling with both parents, appropriate arrangements must also be in place for the child’s welfare in Australia, and we must be satisfied that the grant of the visa is in the best interests of the child.

Minors need to demonstrate that both of parents (or guardians) consent to the grant of the visa. A birth certificate, adoption papers or other custody documentation will be required.

Both parents (or guardians) must complete Form 1229 and provide a scanned copy of an official form of identification that includes their signatures (usually a passport or ID card).

Alternatively, legal documentation may be provided to demonstrate that the child is permitted to travel to Australia.

 

Are there any additional requirements for older applicants?

Health examinations and health insurance are required for applicants 75 years of age or older.

 

What are the character requirements to enter Australia?

Everyone who wishes to enter Australia must be assessed against the character requirement. Not all applicants are required to provide police clearances.

Residents of Brazil must provide certificates from both Justice Federal (Justiça Federal) and the State Justice Department (Justiça Estadual or agencies such as Tribunal de Justiça Estadual and Secretaría de Segurança Pública). Applicants who reside or formerly resided in Brazil on Visitor visas are required to provide police checks from the Brazilian Federal Police (Polícia Federal).

 

What are the health requirements to enter Australia?

All visa applicants must meet the health requirement, but not all applicants are required to undergo health examinations.

 

Which doctors can do medical exams?

Information on panel physicians is listed under Offices outside Australia for your country of residence. Only listed panel doctors are authorised to conduct medical examinations for visa applications.

 

Which vaccines are required to travel to Australia?

The Department of Health website has information about yellow fever and other vaccinations. You may need to undertake health examinations before being granted a visa.

 

Who can assist with my application?

You can apply for a visa or citizenship by creating your own ImmiAccount.

If you need help, information about who can help with your application is available on the Department of Home Affairs website.

If you wish to appoint a registered migration agent to act on your behalf, complete and provide Form 956.

If you wish to appoint any other person to receive correspondence on your behalf, complete and provide Form 956A.

 

Do I need to provide translations or certified copies?

All documents in a language other than English, including Portuguese, must be translated. Provide the original language document and the English translation.

However, passports, bank statements and annual income tax declarations do not require translations if information would be clear to a person who only understands English.

In Australia, documentation must be translated by a translator accredited by NAATI.

Outside Australia, official documents must be translated by a sworn translator (tradutor juramentado in Brazil). Examples of official documents include:

·       Marriage and divorce certificates

·       Birth certificates

·       Child custody documentation

·       National ID cards

·       Police clearance certificates

·       Military discharge certificates

Accurate translations must be provided for other documentation. ‘Accurate translations’ do not need to be completed by sworn translators, but must accurately reflect the content of the document. We do not accept translations which are inaccurate or of poor quality, such as online translations. If in doubt as to whether the translation should be from a sworn translator or just an ‘accurate translation’, provide a sworn translation.

You do not need to provide certified copies of documents.

 

How can I check the status of my application?

Log into your ImmiAccount to check the progress of an online application.

 

How can I check my visa details?

Visa Entitlement Verification Online (VEVO) is a free online service that gives visa holders, employers and other registered organisations access to visa entitlements and status information 24 hours a day.

You can check your visa details, including validity and visa conditions, online using VEVO.

 

What travel document is required to enter Australia?

Everyone applying for a visa or entering Australia must present a valid and approved official travel document as evidence of their identity and nationality – usually a passport issued by the holder’s country of citizenship.

Australian visas are electronically attached to the valid passport used on the visa application. You may not be allowed to travel on a passport that the visa is not linked to. Therefore, it is essential that you advise us of any new passports.

 

Should I notify changes in my circumstances, such as a new passport?

Yes, you should notify the department of any changes in your circumstances.

Update your passport details by providing Form 929 and a colour scan of your new passport bio-data page (the page with the photograph).

If your visa application has not been finalised, upload these documents to your ImmiAccount.

If you have already been granted a visa, email these documents to: [email protected]

 

How can I correct an error in my application?

Use Form 1023 to notify of an incorrect answer in your application. If your application is has not been finalised, attach the form to ImmiAccount. If your application has been finalised, email the form to [email protected].

 

How can I withdraw my application?

You can withdraw an application by completing and providing Form 1446 via ImmiAccount. Once withdrawn, an application cannot be considered further or reinstated.

 

Why was my visa application refused?

We send a notification letter explaining the reasons for the refusal and any rights you may have to apply for review of the decision with the Administrative Appeals Tribunal in Australia. Once a visa application has been refused, the department is not able to review the decision.

If you did not receive a notification letter, check that your contact details in ImmiAccount are accurate, check your junk email folder and whether the letter is in your ImmiAccount. If you cannot locate the letter, telephone the Global Service Centre in Australia on +61 2 6196 0196.

 

Can I apply again after a refusal?

You can apply for another visa if you are outside Australia. If you are in Australia, have had a visa refused or cancelled since your last entry into Australia, and do not hold a substantive visa, you may be subject to limitations on applications.

If you have a visa refused for providing misleading information or a non-genuine document, you may not be eligible for a visa for 3 years.

Each application is treated as a new application and assessed on its own merits. However, if you had an application refused, it was because the department was not satisfied that you met at least one of the visa criteria. Therefore, if your circumstances and evidence have not changed, you may not satisfy the same criterion. If you apply again, you should address the reasons for the previous refusal in the new application and provide a clear explanation and evidence as to why you believe that you meet the criterion.

You must declare any previous refusals in any new applications. Failing to declare a previous refusal may be considered misleading information and is a ground for refusal of the new visa application and any future visa applications for several years.

 

What are the conditions on my visa?

You can check your visa conditions on your visa grant notification letter or via VEVO.

 

How can I ask for a refund?

Visa application charges (VACs) are a legal requirement for most visa applications. A VAC is payable whether the application is granted, refused or withdrawn. You may request a refund on Form 1424. However, refunds are only available in very limited circumstances, as indicated on question 21 of Form 1424.

 

Visitor FAQs

See the Department of Home Affairs website for further information about Visitor visas. Additional information for applicants in Brazil is available here.

 

I have been granted a visa. Why haven’t my family received their visas?

All visa applications are considered individually, even if you apply as a group. In particular, visas for children or the elderly may take longer than average processing times. We strongly recommend submitting complete applications and not making travel plans until all travellers have obtained visas.

 

I am travelling on Business. Should my family apply for a Business Visitor or Tourist visa?                                                                                                               

Family accompanying a Business Visitor to Australia should apply for a Tourist stream Visitor visa unless they also intend to partake in business activities, in which case they would apply for a Business Visitor.

 

Can I apply for an Electronic Travel Authority (ETA)?

Only specified passport holders are eligible to apply for an ETA. Brazilian passport holders are not eligible to apply for an ETA. Individuals who hold a non-citizen passport, certificate of identity or other travel document cannot apply for an ETA.

 

I hold an ETA eligible passport but when I tried to apply, I received a message saying that the application cannot be assessed.  What do I do now?

This means that the application is one of a small number of applications that cannot be approved over the internet due to checks required by the Australian Government.  Do not submit the application again. If you do, the result will be the same and your credit card will be charged again.

If you have had any criminal convictions in any country, you should obtain police checks and other relevant character documents then may apply for a Visitor visa (subclass 600). If you may not meet the health requirements, you may apply for a Visitor visa (subclass 600).

If necessary, you may contact the Global Service Centre in Australia on +61 2 6196 0196.  You will need to provide your ETA reference number and passport details.

 

Student FAQs

See the Department of Home Affairs website for further information about Student visas. Additional information for applicants in Brazil is available here.

What is happening to my student visa application, which was affected by COVID-19?

The Australian government implemented travel restrictions on 20 March 2020 that prevent the entry of travellers to Australia, unless exempt. Since this date, the department has prioritised the processing of visa applications from exempt travellers. 

We are recommencing granting student visas lodged outside Australia in preparation for the opening of Australia’s borders. Keep information in your ImmiAccount current. If you need more time to obtain information, let us know via ImmiAccount.

Visa processing times depend upon a number of factors, including COVID-19 safety precautions. Student visa holders will only be able to enter Australia when Australia’s border restrictions are relaxed. This will only occur when it is safe to do so, and we do not currently have a timeframe. Monitor the website for information: https://covid19.homeaffairs.gov.au/student-visa.

 

I was granted a student visa, but due to COVID-19, I was unable to complete my course.  Am I able to get a refund for the visa application fee or apply again at no charge?

Refunds are only available in very limited circumstances. You are not eligible for a refund, but may be eligible for a VAC-waiver for a new student visa application.

We will waive the VAC if you satisfy all of the following criteria:

o   apply for a Student visa online after 5 August 2020

o   held a student visa on or after 1 February 2020

o   were unable to complete your studies within your original visa validity due to COVID-19; and

o   include a completed Form 1545 COVID-19 Impacted Student (PDF - 228 KB) signed by your education provider when you apply.

Further information is available at: https://covid19.homeaffairs.gov.au/student-visa.

 

What is being done to support recent eligible graduates affected by COVID-19?

Recent graduates who held a student visa may be eligible to apply for a post-study work visa outside Australia if they are unable to return due to COVID-19. Student visa holders studying an approved course online outside Australia due to COVID-19 may be able to use that study to count towards the Australian study requirement for a post-study work visa. See further information on Temporary Graduate visas.

 

How can I apply for a Student visa?

Check the document evidence list online, gather the relevant documentation and translations, then lodge online via ImmiAccount. See visa applications and Student visas for further information.

 

What documents are required for a Student visa?

Required documentation can vary significantly. The document checklist tool available in the ‘step by step’ tab of the Student visa page provides personalised information about documentary requirements. Note that some items in the checklist only apply to minor students, family members, special categories and research students. If these do not apply to you, they may be disregarded. The department may request additional documentation.

 

What is the Genuine Temporary Entrant (GTE) requirement?

The Genuine Temporary Entrant (GTE) requirement is used to ensure that the Student visa program is used as intended. To be eligible for a Student visa, applicants must satisfy the GTE requirement. Check the document evidence list for more information.

Students must provide a ‘Genuine Temporary Entrant’ (GTE) statement with their application, explaining the value of the course(s) to the student’s future and detailing the circumstances of the student (and family). The GTE statement usually discusses the educational, employment and financial circumstances of the applicant (and family) and is accompanied by evidence of the same.

For information on the GTE requirement is assessed, refer to: Direction No. 69 – Assessing the Genuine Temporary Entrant Criterion for Student Visa and Student Guardian Visa Applications.

 

How much money do I need to study in Australia?

Student visa criteria is revised regularly. Go to Step by step, under the ‘Gather your documents’ section, click on ‘Show steps’, and find ‘Evidence you have enough money for your stay’.

There are multiple ways of demonstrating your financial capacity to study in Australia.

·       sufficient funds in a money deposit*

·       evidence that your spouse or parents are willing to support you and that they have an annual income that meets the minimum requirements

·       an Acceptance Advice of Secondary Exchange Students form (for secondary exchange students only)

·       a letter of support from the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade or the Department of Defence.

*If demonstrating sufficient funds in a money deposit, you need access to sufficient funds to cover your travel to and from Australia, your tuition and your living costs in Australia for the first 12 months. If you have accompanying family members, you also need to have sufficient funds for the travel and living costs of the family members and tuition for any school-aged children. If you intend to stay in Australia for less than 12 months, you need the pro-rata amount.

Not every applicant will need to provide evidence of financial capacity. Check the document evidence list for more information on what evidence you need to provide.

 

What are acceptable forms of evidence of financial capacity?

The acceptable forms of evidence of financial capacity are either:

·       money deposit(s) with a financial institution

·       loan with a financial institution

·       government loan

·       scholarship

·       financial support.

Check the document evidence list for more information.

 

Who can support me financially to study in Australia?

If the person (or people) providing you with financial support is not a close family member, you must satisfy us that you will have genuine access to the funds. We consider the relationship between you and the financial supporter, their general financial circumstances, and assess whether it is plausible that the funds would be genuinely accessible by you during your stay in Australia.

 

What are the requirements for accompanying family?

You can include your spouse or de facto partner and dependent children (unmarried and under 18 years of age) in your Student visa application.

Family members who apply for the visa must meet visa requirements including:

·       Health

·       Character

·       Health insurance (Overseas Student Health Cover)

·       Genuine Temporary Entrant (GTE)

·       Sufficient funds

·       Educational arrangements (for school-age children)

·       Genuine family relationship (birth certificates, marriage certificates or evidence of de facto relationship).

You must declare your family members in your student visa application even if they do not plan to travel with you to Australia. If you do not do this, your family members will not be eligible for a student visa to join you in Australia. Declared family members can also apply as a subsequent entrant (at a later time, separate from your application) in ImmiAccount.

Check the document evidence list for more information.

 

Citizenship FAQs

See the Department of Home Affairs website for further information about Australian citizenship by descent. Additional information for applicants in Brazil is available here.

 

My child was born outside Australia. How can he/she become an Australian Citizen?

If at least one parent was an Australian citizen at the time the child was born, you can apply for citizenship by descent online.

 

I have applied for Australian citizenship and need to travel to Australia urgently. Can I travel on my current passport?

Australian citizens must enter and depart Australia on an Australian passport. If you are not yet an Australian citizen, you can apply for a visa on your current passport. For assistance, contact the Global Service Centre in Australia on +61 2 6196 0196.

 

Customs FAQs

Can I bring my medication to Australia?

This depends on the medication type and quantity. Australia has strict rules in relation to products that can be brought into Australia. Refer to What you can or cannot bring to Australia.

 

What kind of food and goods can I take to Australia?

Australia has strict rules in relation to products that can be brought into Australia. It is essential that you declare all food when travelling. Refer to What you can or cannot bring to Australia.

 

Notifying Home Affairs

How can I correct an error in my application?

Use Form 1023 to notify of incorrect information in your application. If your application is has not been finalised, attach the form to ImmiAccount. If your application has been finalised, email: [email protected]

 

Should I notify changes in my circumstances, such as a new passport?

Yes, you should notify the department of any changes in your circumstances.

Update your passport details by providing From 929 and a high quality colour scan of your new passport biodata page (the page with the photograph).

If your visa application has not been finalised, upload these documents to your ImmiAccount.

If you don’t have a visa application currently under assessment, email: [email protected]

 

How can I report someone breaching, or intending to breach, Australian visa, customs or border rules?

If you have information about suspicious or illegal immigration, customs and border-related activities, report it to Border Watch.

For privacy reasons, we cannot advise you of the outcome of any related actions we take.