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Immigration, Visas and Citizenship
The visa office at the Australian High Commission Colombo processes visa and citizenship by descent applications for all those resident in Sri Lanka or the Maldives.Travellers of all nationalities, except citizens of Australia and New Zealand, will need to obtain a visa before travelling to Australia.
New website - www.border.gov.au
From 1 July 2015, The Australian Customs and Border Protection Service (ACBPS) will integrate with the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (the Department) and the Australian Border Force will be established.
To support the integration, a new website will be launched at www.border.gov.au. From this date, internet searches for immi.gov.au and customs.gov.au will redirect to the new address.The links on this site will be updated, however if you are having difficulties accessing our site, please visit our new site and follow the links.
Changes to Visa Application Charges
From 1 July 2015 our visa charges have changed. Current charges are available at our Pricing Estimator.
ImmiAccount is the ‘front door’ to our online services. You need an ImmiAccount if you want to:
• apply for a visa or citizenship online
• access the My Health Declarations service
• continue a saved online application
• import a paper application (service available for certain visa subclasses only)
• attach documents to an online or imported paper application
• consent to using eMedical and answer medical related questions where required
• check the progress of an online or imported paper application
• update passport details online
• change email and address details online
• access Visa Entitlement Verification Online (VEVO) (service available for organisations only).
Please note, online lodgement of the following visas is now possible through ImmiAccount:
By lodging and paying for your application online through ImmiAccount you will be able to, among other things, track the progress of your application, change your personal details, and upload any further requested information instantly.
NOTE: Please check local document requirements on the relevant pages below prior to lodging an application and ensure you scan and upload them with your application to avoid delays.
To set up an ImmiAccount and get started straight away see: Create an ImmiAccount.
For a video on how to use ImmiAccount and the services available see our YouTube video on using ImmiAccount.
If you are unsure of which visa may be right for you, use our Visa Finder.
Visa Entitlement Verification Online (VEVO)
To check your visa details and entitlements, VEVO provides information to visa holders 24 hours a day 7 days a week.
For a fast and convenient way to view and email your visa details and conditions, download myVEVO for free from your app store.
Notice to all Visa Applicants – Acceptable Passport Copies
The Australian High Commission accepts two formats of passport copies:
1. Notarised copies of ALL pages, blank or otherwise; or
2. Copies witnessed by VFS
Clients are strongly recommended to carry their original passports with them when they lodge at VFS for VFS to copy and witness. Unacceptable copies – missing pages or un-witnessed/un-notarised pages – can lead to adverse visa decisions. There is no obligation to request acceptable copies after lodgement and your application will be delayed.
Caution: Do not make travel commitments
You should not book flights or make 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 any client whose visa application was finalised later than expected or where an application is unsuccessful.
Beware of Maritime Crew Visa scams
Have you been offered a job to work on a ship in Australia? The Department of Immigration and Border Protection has been made aware of a scam where a person is contacted by phone or receives an email with a job offer from a scammer alleging to be able to arrange an employment contract and visa for employment on maritime vessels travelling to or working in Australia. Read more.
Changes affecting the family of boat arrivals to Australia
To 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 be given the lowest 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 the sponsor is an Australian citizen.
Health processing Arrangements
Not all visa applicants are required to undertake health clearances, but if you do, you can now commence your visa health clearance process before lodging your visa application. This will facilitate faster visa processing times by ensuring that all necessary clearances are available to us as soon as we receive your visa application. For information about whether you need to undergo a health examinations as part of the visa application process, see: Health examinations.
To start your health clearance process see: My health declarations.
Three Year Ban for Fraud
Public Interest Criterion (PIC) 4020 applies to most visa applications and provides for a visa to be refused if bogus documents or false and misleading information have been provided in support of a visa application. Applicants who are refused under PIC 4020 may also be subject to a three year visa ban.
Notification of Decisions
The decision made on your visa application will be notified in writing. If you provide us with your email address, we will email the decision to you. The department cannot send decision letters by email if you have not authorised us to use electronic communication in relation to your application
Claiming Superannuation Benefits
For information on claiming any superannuation money see: How can I get my superannuation benefits?
Visa and Citizenship Options
Application forms >> Visa Application Charges>> Where do I apply >> Health requirements and medical examinations >> Visa evidencing >> Migration agents >> Client service >> Migration fraud>> Maritime Crew Visa Scams