Australian High Commission
Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka
Also accredited to the Republic of Maldives

Visas and migration

Welcome to the website of the Department of Home Affairs in Colombo. For information on topics not featured on this site, please visit the main Department of Home Affairs website.

For information about Coronavirus and the Australian Border go to: https://www.homeaffairs.gov.au/news-media/current-alerts/novel-coronavirus

The Department's office in Colombo manages a range of visa and citizenship services for clients in Sri Lanka and the Maldives.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR VISA APPLICANTS AND VISA HOLDERS.

TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS/EXEMPTIONS

The Australian Government has imposed travel restrictions.  Temporary visa holders cannot travel to Australia at this time.   Exemptions to the travel restrictions can be approved in certain circumstances.  Exemptions will be provided for immediate family members (this does not include parents of adult children).    Travel exemptions for parents of adult children and other relatives will only be approved in the most compelling and compassionate circumstances.

Information about the travel restrictions and exemptions can be accessed here:

https://covid19.homeaffairs.gov.au/

If you do intend to apply for a travel exemption you must already have a temporary visa, or have lodged a visa application for it to be considered.  If you intend to lodge an application for a visitor visa you may apply on-line here:

https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/visas/getting-a-visa/visa-listing/visitor-600

Your visa application will only be progressed if your exemption application is approved. Travel exemptions are made at the discretion of the Australian Border Force Commissioner, and in cases not clearly falling within one of the exemption categories are only made in the most compelling circumstances.   Exemption requests are not processed in Colombo. There is no need to contact the Australian High Commission, Colombo regarding your exemption application.

VISA HOLDERS IN SRI LANKA WHO CANNOT TRAVEL TO AUSTRALIA

Please note that Australian visas cannot be extended.  If you cannot travel before the expiry of your visitor visa, and have an ongoing requirement to travel you must apply for another visa online.   The visa application charge paid for your visa cannot be refunded.  You will need to pay the visa application charge again if you lodge a further application.

BIOMETRICS/HEALTH EXAMINATIONS

The Australian Visa Centre is now closed and cannot accommodate clients for their biometrics appointment.  Applications will not be refused on the basis of non-compliance with the biometrics request during the time the centre is closed, and will provide all applicants with a reasonable opportunity to arrange an appointment once the centre re-opens.

The IOM panel doctor has re-commenced operations.  If you require a medical examination you should make an appointment through either the Call Centre No: +94 (0)11 2031700 or  through email [email protected]

Applicants do not need to contact VFS, the Australian High Commission, Colombo, or the Department of Home Affairs to request an extension of time for biometrics or medical appointment extensions.

COVID-19 FAQs for International Students and Graduates

Information for students, graduates and education providers is available here.

Important News

Caution: Do not make travel commitments

Please lodge your visa application well before your intended date of travel. 

You should not book flights or make travel commitments until you have a visa to travel to Australia. The Department of Home Affairs will not be liable for any financial losses incurred by any client whose visa application was finalised later than expected or where an application is unsuccessful.

Online lodgement for Transit visas

In line with the Department of Home Affairs commitment to improve services and expand online service delivery, we are planning to implement online lodgement for the Transit (subclass 771) Visa by the end of the financial year. The change means:

  • From 1 July 2018 online lodgement will be the only option available for Transit (subclass771) visa applications.
  • From the date of introduction of the online form, clients will no longer have access to, or be able to lodge, paper applications for this visa.
  • A transit visa online application form will be available through ImmiAccount.
  • The new form for a Transit visa will include additional questions.

Global visa and citizenship processing times

The Department of Home Affairs (the Department) is continually looking to improve client information and processing arrangements. Current processing times for the visa or citizenship type you are applying for is available on the our website

Please do not contact us to request status updates on the processing of your application as this only serves to slow processing times down. We will not respond to these enquiries where the application is within the global processing timeframes.

Please note that applications are assessed on a case-by-case basis, and that actual processing times may vary due to individual circumstances including:

  • whether the applicant has lodged a complete application including all necessary supporting documents
  • how promptly the applicant responds to any requests for additional information
  • how long it takes to perform required checks
  • how long it takes to receive additional information from external parties, particularly in relation to health, character, national security, and Assurance of Support requirements
  • the number of places available in the migration programme (for permanent migration visas)
  • surges in demand and peak periods

To ensure your application falls within the published processing times, we strongly encourage you to submit complete applications. The checklists provided on ImmiAccount will assist in making sure you have included all required documents during the application process.

Employment scam

The Australian High Commission in Colombo is aware of a scam on the internet seeking workers for various jobs in Australia. People who respond to the advertisement receive emails from a fake employer in Australia with employment application forms. After applying they are sent an employment offer letter and start receiving email correspondence which alleges to be from the Department of Immigration and Border Protection in relation to a visa application. The person is then asked to pay money into a private bank account to finalise the visa. These documents are fake and no visa application is lodged with us. If you are planning to apply for a work visa please refer to information on www.homeaffairs.gov.au. Remember that any visa application you make should be lodged directly with the Department online or through our service delivery partner, which in Sri Lanka is VFS Global. The Department does not recommend the use of unregistered third parties for lodging applications. For more information about scams and to report instances of alleged fraud see Migration fraud and scams.

Report something unlawful or suspicious

Reporting suspicious, unlawful or criminal behaviour actively helps us to protect Australia's border and manage the movement of people and goods across it. We take all reports of suspicious activity seriously and you can choose to make a report anonymously.

The immigration and citizenship fraud reporting service receives reports relating to individuals who do not hold a valid visa to remain in Australia, are working illegally in breach of their visa conditions, or have lied or provided false documents in their visa application.

To make a report of this type, visit the report immigration or citizenship fraud page where you can complete an online form and provide details of suspected offences.