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Immigration, Visas and Citizenship
The Immigration Section of the Australian High Commission receives and processes visa and citizenship applications for people intending to travel to Australia.. Travellers of all nationalities, except citizens of Australia and New Zealand, will need to obtain a visa to travel to Australia.
Please Note: The pages on this (Australian High Commission, Colombo) website contain information on local documentation requirements, locally produced checklists and advice regarding the main visa programs. Greater detail and application forms for the full range of the Department's services can be obtained from the Department of Immigration and Border Protection website, www.immi.gov.au
If you are unsure which visa fits your circumstances, the Visa Wizard << http://www.immi.gov.au/visawizard/ >>can help you
The Department of Immigration and Citizenship is on youtube. For video clips about various topics
If you arrive in Australia unlawfully you will not be granted a protection visa
The Australian government has introduced a new regulation that prevents anyone who came to Australia illegally by boat from being able to obtain a protection visa. This new regulation came into effect on 14 December 2013, and applies to anyone who arrives in Australia unlawfully. This new regulation is designed to discourage people from attempting to make the dangerous journey to Australia by boat. DO NOT TRAVEL TO AUSTRALIA BY BOAT, AS YOU WILL NOT BE GRANTED A PROTECTION VISA.
Changes affecting the family of boat arrivals to Australia
To further discourage those thinking about travelling illegally to Australia by boat, the Australian government has now decided that “Family Stream” visa applications (for example, applications for partner/spouse and child visas) sponsored by “illegal maritime arrivals” (IMAs) will now be given the lowest possible processing priority. This means that these applications will not be processed for several years, and that families will not be able to reunite in Australia for many years. This lowest processing priority does not apply if your sponsor is an Australian citizen.
For more information on this change, please refer to the following: http://www.immi.gov.au/News/Pages/changes-to-family-stream-visa-processing.aspx
New Visa Charges from 1 September 2013: New visa application charges will apply to most visa subclasses from 1 September 2013. For more information, please refer (on or after 1 September 2013) to the following webpage: http://www.immi.gov.au/fees-charges/visa-application-charges.htm
The Department of Immigration and Border Protection has released its new My Health Declarations (MHD) service, which for the first time will enable clients to complete immigration health examinations electronically before lodging their visa applications. This will facilitate quicker processing times by allowing DIAC to receive decision ready visa applications.
We recommend that all new visa applicants use this service to ensure priority processing.
Information on this new service and other developments in the immigration health systems space are available on DIAC’s website.
See: www.immi.gov.au/allforms/health-requirements/my-health-declarations.htm and www.immi.gov.au/allforms/health-requirements/arranging-health-exam.htm
Three Year Ban for Fraud
From 1 July 2013 Public Interest Criterion (PIC) 4020 applies to all Family Stream visas. PIC 4020 will apply to all new applications and also to applications lodged prior to 1 July 2013 which have not yet been finally determined. This PIC already applies to many temporary visas such as visitors, skilled and students.
PIC 4020 enables a visa to be refused if bogus documentation or false and misleading information have been provided as part of the visa application. Applicants who are refused under PIC 4020 may also be subject to a three year bar on any visa that includes PIC 4020.
New Visa Charges from 1 July 2013: New visa pricing arrangements will be introduced on 1 July 2013. For more information, please refer to the following webpage: http://www.immi.gov.au/allforms/new-visa-charges-1july2013/
Delays in the Processing of Medical Clearances - The Department of Immigration and Border Protection’s Health Operation Centre (HOC) in Sydney is currently experiencing a global backlog in the assessment of medical examinations. While the majority of visa medical reports uploaded electronically by the panel doctor are assessed within 2 weeks, some reports, including follow-up medical reports, are taking longer to finalise and the current processing times are between 2 weeks to 4 months. Please note that the delays in processing medical reports are impacting on all Australian visa applications across the globe. The Australian High Commission in Colombo does not play a role in the medical assessment process. Applicants are asked to note the current processing time frames, limit progress inquiries to a minimum, and to lodge applications requiring medical examinations well in advance of the intended date of travel.
- Notification of Decisions - The decision made on your visa application will be notified in writing. If you have authorised the department to communicate with you electronically, please provide a correct email address to which the decision letter is to be sent. The decision will be sent only to the email address provided on the application form. The department cannot send decision letters by email if you have not authorised electronic communication.
- If you do not wish to communicate with the department by electronic means, please provide the address to which all correspondence is to be forwarded in the field “address to for correspondence”.
Introduction of Visa Evidence Charge from 24 November
- On 24 November 2012 there will be a significant from change to the Temporary Work visa options. Many current Temporary Work visa subclasses will no longer be open for new applications. Five new Temporary Work visa subclasses will be introduced. Further information can be found at the link - http://www.immi.gov.au/visas/temporary-visa/
- Government extends tourist visas for parents of Australians
- Label free travel arrangements from 1 October 2012:
- Changes to boost international education
- Location for Lodgement of Refugee and Special Humanitarian Proposals
- Changes for student visa applications lodged on or after 5 November 2011.
- Student Living Expenses Increase in line with CPI from 1 July 2012
The department regularly reviews the Student visa living cost amount (and amend the amount based on the Consumer Price Index or another measure) was made by the Hon Michael Knight AO in his 2011 report on the Strategic Review of the Student Visa Program. The Minister subsequently agreed that the living cost be reviewed annually and adjusted according to movements in the CPI, and that the living cost amount be increased from $18 000 to $18 610 (to align with CPI) from 1 July 2012.
Visa and Citizenship Options