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Important Changes - November 2016

From 18 November 2016, a number of significant changes will take place to Australia's immigration and citizenship legislation, as well as upgrade to our systems.

More comprehensive information can be found at www.border.gov.au, but a summary of these changes follows:

Change to Immigration Contact Number

From 03 October, the local access number in Serbia and Russia will no longer work and it will not be possible to contact the Europe Service Centre with those numbers. You will need to make an international call to the UK number.

The decision to cease local access numbers for certain countries has been made following a review of the Department’s current service offer.

In reaching this decision, the following factors were considered:

  • International rates to the UK are competitive;
  • Most pre-lodgement and some post-lodgement information is available on our website and we encourage clients to maximise the use of these resources before calling;
  • We expect that by removing local access numbers from some countries, call volume will drop. This will lead to reduced waiting times and therefore potentially lower call costs.

For more information, click here.

Change to Student Visa Framework

Australia has simplified its student visa framework. It has been designed to make the process of applying for a student visa simpler to navigate for students.

From 1 July 2016:

  • international students will apply for a single Student visa (subclass 500), regardless of their chosen course of study
  • student guardians will apply for the new Student Guardian visa (subclass 590)
  • all students and student guardians will generally be required to lodge their visa application online by creating an account in ImmiAccount

For more information, please click here.

Change to Panel Physician List

As of 01 July 2016, Tashkent International Clinic will no longer be conducting medical examinations on behalf of the Australian government. The Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection is currently reviewing alternative options.  From 01 July 2016, clients can locate a panel clinic convenient to them via www.border.gov.au

The closest panel clinic to Tashkent is located at the Office of the International Organization for Migration in Almaty, Kazakhstan (6A Zverev Street, Almaty 050060 Kazakhstan (+7 727 2345 0044, +7 727 2582 240, +7 727 2919 030).

Online Visa Lodgement for Russian Nationals

Access to electronic (online) lodgement for Visitor visas (subclass 600) and Temporary Work (Short Stay Activity) visas (subclass 400) is now available to passport holders of the Russian Federation who want to visit Australia for tourism or business purposes.

See our announcement or get answers to frequently asked questions.

Label-Free Visas (No More Visa Stickers)

On 1 September 2015, Australia ceased issuing visa labels to holders of Australian visas. Nationals of all countries who are granted an Australian visa by the Embassy are able to travel to Australia without a visa label (sticker) in their passport. Visa applicants who are granted a visa are no longer required to forward their passport to the Embassy in order to obtain a physical label as evidence of their visa. Online checking of visa details can be performed by visa holders, registered Australian organisations and airline staff. Your visa is linked to your passport through its unique identification number.

Applicants who are granted visas will receive a visa grant notice, which explains the validity and conditions of their visa.

See more info on visa label-free travel.

Ukraine Processing Arrangements

All new visa and citizenship applications from Ukrainian nationals residing in Ukraine will now be processed by the Australian High Commission in London. Applications received prior to 16 February 2015 will continue to be processed by the Australian Embassy in Moscow.

Please visit the website of the  Australian High Commission in London for further information.

Increase to Visa Application Charges (1 January 2016)

From 1 January 2016,  visa application charges have increased.

New Immigration Website

On 1 July 2015, the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service integrated with the Department of Immigration and Border Protection and the Australian Border Force was established.

To support the integration, a new website was launched at www.border.gov.au. Internet searches for immi.gov.au and customs.gov.au will redirect to this address. Any links, bookmarks or favorites on your computer will need to be updated.

Adoption and Surrogacy

If you are planning to adopt a child overseas, please be aware that the Embassy cannot provide advice or information on the adoption requirements or processes in any country. See more info on adopting children from outside Australia.