Visas and migration
[ Important Notices ]
Mandatory online Lodgement for Transit Visa from 1 July 2018
From 1 July 2018, applications for the Transit (subclass 771) must be lodged online, via ImmiAccount. The changes do not affect applications lodged before 1 July 2018. Paper visa applications must have been received by the Australian Visa Application Centre (AVAC) by close of business (COB) on Friday 29 June 2018. Applications received after that time (for example, mailed before that date but received after) will not be valid.
Mandatory online Lodgement for Partner and Prospective Marriage Visa from 1 July 2018
From 1 July 2018, applications for the Partner (subclass 309/100 and 820/801) and Prospective Marriage (subclass 300) must be lodged online, via ImmiAccount. The changes do not affect applications lodged before 1 July 2018. Paper visa applications must have been received by the Australian Visa Application Centre (AVAC) by close of business (COB) on Friday 29 June 2018. Applications received after that time (for example, mailed before that date but received after) will not be valid.
Whilst not mandatory we encourage applications for Sponsorship associated to Partner and Prospective Marriage applications to also be lodged online via ImmiAccount, in addition to supporting documents which can also be attached to applications through ImmiAccount.
Mandatory appointments at the Australian Visa Application Centre from 1 November 2017
From 01 November 2017 it is mandatory to have an appointment for the submission of visa applications or enrolment of Biometrics at the Australia Visa Application Centre (AVAC) in Hong Kong. You will need to bring your appointment letter with you to the AVAC at the scheduled date and time, and must arrive 10 minutes prior to your appointment. If you are late or have missed your appointment on the scheduled day, the system will not allow you to reschedule or cancel and you will be required to book a new appointment after 24 hours. For more information or to schedule an appointment at the AVAC please see the following link http://www.vfsglobal.com/australia/hongkong/Schedule_an_appointment.html
Alternatively you can lodge your visa application online via our website https://www.homeaffairs.gov.au/.
Visa applicants in China who are planning a trip to Australia over the Christmas / Chinese New Year Holiday period (between November 2017 and February 2018) are advised to lodge their visa applications well in advance of their intended travel date. Visa applicants should apply early to avoid disappointment. We recommend lodging your visa application online today at http://www.homeaffairs.gov.au/immiaccount.
The Australian Government has announced it will enhance the way visa and citizenship services are delivered using the latest digital technologies. For more information visit the website of Department of Home Affairs. https://www.homeaffairs.gov.au/Trav/visa-reform
Domestic workers accompanying their employer/family household travelling to Australia for tourism or a business visit should apply for the subclass 600 Visitor (Business Visitor stream) visa until further notice.
Domestic workers need to accompany their employer when travelling to Australia and should have the same travel itinerary as their employer.
Any subclass 400 domestic worker visa applications already lodged will continue to be processed under subclass 400 visa requirements.
Important changes are coming into effect on the 19 November 2016 for applicants applying for a visa as a member of a family unit or applying for a visa which includes members of their family. Information is available at: https://www.homeaffairs.gov.au/News/Pages/member-of-the-family-unit-changes.aspx
From 19 November 2016, applications for subclass 400 visas (including domestic helpers) must be made on-line through ImmiAccount. Paper applications will no longer be accepted after this date.
More information regarding changes to the subclass 400 and other Temporary Activity Visas can be found at: https://www.homeaffairs.gov.au/Trav/Work/temporary-activity-visa-changes
From 18 November 2016 new limitations on the approval of sponsorships for Partner and Prospective Marriage visa applications are being introduced. Sponsors are now required to provide police clearances. For further information about these changes please consult our website at: http://www.homeaffairs.gov.au/Trav/Visa/Char. Sponsor requirements for Partner and Prospective Marriage visa applications are at: https://www.homeaffairs.gov.au/Trav/Brin/sponsor-requirements
We are concerned by recent scam phone calls, claiming to be from the Department of Home Affairs, with the caller requesting money to progress visa applications. Please click here for more details http://www.homeaffairs.gov.au/Trav/Visa/migration-fraud-and-scams.
Important changes to the student visa programme – 1 July 2016
New Student Visa and Student Visa Guardian Applicants (all subclasses)
From 1 July 2016, there will be only one student visa available to study in Australia – the Student visa (subclass 500).
After 1 July 2016, if you want to study in Australia, you will need to apply for the Student visa (subclass 500) regardless of your field of study.
Student Guardian visas are now lodged under subclass 590.
All applications must be made on line through ImmiAccount.
Please visit the following website for further information regarding the upcoming changes : http://www.homeaffairs.gov.au/Trav/Stud/changes-student-visa
From 22 May 2015, the Department of Home Affairs has commenced collecting biometrics from clients applying for Australian visas in Hong Kong.
Holders of Hong Kong SAR, Macau SAR, Taiwan (ROC), British National Overseas, and People’s Republic of China passports DO NOT need to provide biometric data when applying for visas to Australia in Hong Kong.
Biometric data is collected through a quick, discreet and a non-intrusive process that captures a facial image and a 10-digit fingerprint scan on a dry scanner machine.
The Biometrics in Offshore Visa Processing Programme is an Australian Government initiative that introduces biometric collection into the offshore visa application process. Since December 2010, the Australian Government has introduced biometrics to 24 countries across Africa, Asia, Europe, the Middle East and South America.
Biometrics will be collected from visa applicants, irrespective of their nationality, who are in Hong Kong at the time of making a visa application to enter Australia unless they are excluded or exempted from the Programme*. For example, Holders of People’s Republic of China, Hong Kong SAR, Macau SAR, and British Nationals Overseas passports will be excluded from biometric collection in Hong Kong. Heads of Government and all serving government ministers and government officials travelling to Australia in the course of acting as a representative of the Government of the People’s Republic of China and the Government of the Hong Kong SAR will be exempt from providing biometrics.
All applicants should be aware that while they may generally be exempt, they may still be requested to undertake biometrics collection.
Visa applicants in Hong Kong who lodge their applications at the Australian Visa Application Centre (AVAC) in Hong Kong, will be asked to provide their biometrics at the same time. Visa applicants who mail their applications to the Australian Consulate-General or to the AVAC in Hong Kong, will be sent a letter requiring them to attend the AVAC, in person, to provide their biometrics.
Some applicants lodging their visas online may be sent a letter informing them that they need to attend the AVAC in person to provide their biometrics.
The AVAC will charge a service fee for the lodgement of applications and collection of biometrics. Please see the Service Delivery Partner (SDP) website below for more details.
Submitting a complete visa application with all required supporting documentation at the AVAC and providing biometrics at the same time, is the quickest and most efficient way to lodge a visa application in Hong Kong.
The details of the AVAC in Hong Kong are as follows:
Australian Visa Application Centre
Unit 10-11, 27/F, Prosperity Millennia Plaza
663 Kings Road, Quarry Bay
On 25 February 2015, a change in the Australian Citizenship legislation (The Citizenship (inter-country adoption) Act amendment) was made to allow children adopted through the bilateral adoption program in Taiwan and South Korea to become eligible to apply for Australian citizenship directly after finalisation of the adoption process and the issuance of an adoption compliance certificate.
We are pleased to announce the opening of an Australian Visa Application Centre (AVAC) in Hong Kong from 13 October 2014. The introduction of an AVAC is part of a number of service delivery improvements in Hong Kong.
The Visas and Citizenship Office will no longer be open to clients without appointment. Please see the Australian Visa Application Centre for more information.
From 9 May 2014, the Australian Government is providing online access to passport holder of Macau SAR and British National (Overseas) to apply for a Visitor Visa (visa subclass 600). All applicants must attach supporting documentation at the time of lodgement of the application online. Please refer to http://www.homeaffairs.gov.au/Trav/Visa-1/600- for the required documents. Failure to attach documents will lead to a delay in processing of the application.
All Other Family visa applications lodged by clients who are resident in in the East Asia Region are now processed by the Visa Section, Australian Embassy, Seoul, Republic of Korea. Other Family visas include Aged Dependent Relative, Remaining Relative and Carer visa.
ImmiAccount provides a single entry point to the department\'s online visa application systems. ImmiAccount is a self-service web portal that enables you to create, submit, pay for and manage all online applications in one easy online system
Online Lodgement for Partner visa applications. After creating an ImmiAccount, eligible clients on and offshore will be able to complete and lodge their partner or prospective marriage visas online (subclasses 300, 309/100 and 820/801). For more information about partner visas, please visit the department’s website at http://www.homeaffairs.gov.au/Trav/Brin/Part.
Subclass 600 Visitor and Subclass 400 Temporary Work visa applications can be lodged via ImmiAccount for many countries. For eligible countries, please see Subclass 600 eligible countries or Subclass 400 eligible countries. An online lodgement option for Visitor Subclass 600 visas is available for Hong Kong SAR and Taiwanese passport holders. Online lodgement option for Temporary Work Subclass 400 visas is available for Hong Kong SAR, British National Overseas, Macau SAR and Taiwan passport holders.
From 23 March 2013 significant changes were introduced for Visitor visas (including short stay business visas) and Medical Treatment visas. Visas granted under the old arrangements pre-23 March 2013 are still in effect until they expire.
Further information is available at:
Introduction of the Significant Investor Visa from 24 November 2012. For further details please refer to: http://hongkong.china.embassy.gov.au/hkng/VISMG_SigInvestorVisa.html.
From 24 November 2012, if travellers request a visa label they will need to pay a fee for it. For further details please refer to: http://hongkong.china.embassy.gov.au/hkng/VISMG_VEC.html.
For information on the ongoing changes to the Student Visa Program as part of the Knight Review please refer to: http://www.homeaffairs.gov.au/Busi/Migr/Agen/Resources/knight-review-legislation-and-policy-5-november-2011.
The Department of Immigration and Border Protection introduced an electronic health processing system that significantly reduces health processing times. Clients applying for Australian visas that require health checks should only attend a panel medical clinic for health examination after lodging their visa application. After lodgement, clients will be notified by the Visa and Citizenship Office of the Australian Consulate-General Hong Kong about their e-health reference number (or HAP ID). The advice will be contained in a document called "Health Examinations List". Clients are encouraged to arrange to complete their health examination as soon as possible on receipt of the "Health Examinations List" to avoid processing delays.
Please note that we are unable to accept emails with total files size larger than 10mb. Under current arrangements, no notification will be generated for emails exceeding 10mb which are not successfully received. If you need to send large emails, please consider sending these as several, smaller documents, and another email informing the relevant area that the emails have been sent.
Page Last Updated: 3 September 2018