The visa office at the Australian Embassy in Moscow, Russia closed on 15 March 2019. The responsibility for processing applications for clients residing in Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan will transfer to the Australian Embassy in Belgrade, Serbia.
You can continue to lodge your application online and it will be automatically directed to the relevant visa office for consideration and decision.
Any residual caseload remaining in Moscow on 15 March 2019 will be transferred to the Australian Embassy in Belgrade for consideration and decision.
For further information, please see the frequently asked questions
Please help the Australian Government improve its new Digital Assistant online chat for Visa and citizenship enquiries
We are currently trialling a new Digital Assistant online chat that will make it easier and faster to find answers to Australian visa and citizenship questions.
The Digital Assistant trial will be available on the Australian Government’s Immigration and Citizenship website pages (https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au) for approximately three months. You can open the Australian Visa and Citizenship Digital Assistant by clicking on the ‘Digital Assistant’ orange tab located at the bottom right hand side of the screen on our Immigration and Citizenship webpages.
We are asking for your help to improve the Digital Assistant by using it as much as possible throughout the trial for your Australian visa and citizenship questions, and sending any feedback you have on the Digital Assistant. Feedback can be provided by clicking on the blue feedback tab at the bottom of the screen.
For more information on our trial Digital Assistant go to www.homeaffairs.gov.au
What's New: Biometrics Requirements
From 19 November, the Department of Home Affairs will start collecting biometrics from people who are in Russia or Kazakhstan at the time they lodge their application or who are usually resident in Russia or Kazakhstan.
Biometrics are collected through a quick and easy process that captures a photograph of your face and a 10-digit electronic fingerprint. Applicants will be required to provide their biometrics each and every time they apply for a visa (where biometrics is required).
Visa applicants in Russia who lodge their applications from 19 November 2018 will receive a letter requiring them to attend one of the six Australian Biometric Collection Centres located in Moscow, St Petersburg, Vladivostok, Novosibirsk, Rostov-on-Don and Almaty in person to provide their biometrics within 14 days of lodging their application. If you are outside Russia or Kazakhstan and are required to undertake biometrics, please visit the department's website for information on your nearest biometrics collection centre.
Delays in providing biometrics will cause delays in the processing of visa applications and failure to provide biometrics may result in your application being refused.
For more information on Biometrics, please visit the VFS - Australian Biometric Collection Centre website.
Choose your visa
The Visa Finder may assist you to decide which visa best suits your circumstances and provide advice on associated requirements.
Please ensure the activity you intend to undertake in Australia is appropriate for your chosen visa. There are no refunds of the visa application charge if you apply for the wrong type of visa, or if your visa has been refused.
Applicants are strongly encouraged to lodge visa applications at least six weeks before their intended travel.
You should not book flights or make travel commitments until you have a visa to travel to Australia. The department will not be liable for any financial loss incurred by clients whose visa application was finalised later than expected or was unsuccessful.
Apply for your visa
Once you have decided on a visa type, select the visa subclass here to view useful information about the subclass you are applying for and a step by step guide on how to lodge your application.
You can apply for most visa types on line. It is strongly recommended that where an application has an online lodgement option, applicants choose this option. By lodging online you will be able to monitor your application progress, view the information provided in your application, reuse some of the information you provide for future applications and update your information or provide further information straight into your application.
It is strongly recommended that you provide all documentation listed in any relevant checklists (even suggested information) at time of lodgement or by the next business day following the lodgement of your application. A decision can be made solely on the information that you provide with your application.
Can I apply for more than one visa at a time? Applicants can apply for multiple visas at the same time, however it is important to note that the grant of a visa may cease other visas held by the applicant. Depending on the reasons for applying for multiple visas, it may be better to request a multiple entry visa rather than applying for multiple visas.
Stay Period vs Validity – what is the difference? The stay period is how long you can stay in Australia on each trip while the validity is the expiry date of the visa. An applicant may stay in Australia a few times during the validity of their visa if the visa has a multiple entry condition. If an applicant wishes to travel to Australia on multiple occasions, they should do the following:
- request a stay period covering the period of their longest single visit; and
- in their application, specify other future travel they would like considered and the length of the visa validity.
Please note that applications are assessed on their individual circumstances and there are no guarantees that because a long stay, long validity or multiple entry condition has been requested, that it will be granted.
Further tips on lodging an online application and using ImmiAccount can be found on the department's website.
If you encounter technical problems with ImmiAccount (for example, the system freezes or won't let you complete the relevant fields, please email: [email protected]
Applicants who are in Russia or Kazakhstan at the time they lodge a visa application will be required, irrespective of their nationality, to have their biometrics collected unless they are excluded or exempted.
Biometrics must be provided for each and every application made, regardless of whether you have lodged a visa application in the last few years.
If you are a visa applicant in Russia or Kazakhstan (regardless of nationality) you may receive a letter requiring you, within 14 days of lodging your application, to attend one of the six Australian Biometric Collection Centres located in:
- St Petersburg
If you are outside Russia or Kazakhstan and are required to undertake biometrics, please visit the department's website for information on your nearest biometrics collection centre.
The Australian Biometric Collection Centre, operated by VFS, will charge a fee for this service.
Please note that the Australian Biometric Collection Centre receives visitors by appointment only. In order to submit your biometrics at the Australian Biometric Collection Centre you must book an appointment. Applicants can make an appointment on the VFS - Australian Biometric Collection Centre website.If you are having issues with the VFS website, please do not contact the Australian Embassy, we are unable to assist you with making an appointment. Instead please contact VFS directly (Russia: [email protected] or Kazakhstan: [email protected]))
If you have received a written request to provide biometrics, you must attend one of the Australian Biometrics Collection Centres to submit your biometrics. Delays in providing biometrics will cause delays in the processing of visa applications and failure to provide biometrics can result in your application being refused.
The individual visa subclass pages on the department’s website contains checklists on documents you should attach to your application. It is strongly recommended that you include even the suggested documents and not just the mandatory documents.
Applicants should provide any information they wish the processing officer to consider at time of lodgement or by the next business day following the lodgement of your application. Do not wait for the department to contact you if information is missing as we may make a decision without contacting you. If you have not provided information that explains the reasons for your travel and demonstrates your circumstances, a decision may be made to refuse your application.
Please do not send your original passport when lodging a visa application (either online or on paper). You must only provide photocopies of the personal details page of your passport (bio page) and any page with a stamp or label on it. Please do not provide copies of blank passport pages (i.e. with no visa labels or entry/exit stamps).
In addition to lodging an application online, you can attach supporting documents to your ImmiAccount and do not need to send physical documents. If for some reason you need to send a physical document to the Embassy, the Embassy is unable to arrange customs clearances for documents sent by courier to the Embassy from outside of Russia. Please verify clearance procedures with your chosen courier company prior to sending documents. The Embassy does not accept responsibility for any delays in the delivery of documents due to issues with your chosen courier company or with Russian customs clearance procedures.
Other tips for documents you should consider providing with your application include:
- Certified Copies (By a notary) must be provided for child custody documents (Birth Certificates, parental consent, parents’ marriage/divorce/death certificate etc).
- Non Certified photocopies of passports and other supporting documents.
- The content of any documents or photos must allow the documents or content in an image to be easily read.
- English translations must be provided (in addition to) documents not in English (Unofficial translations are sufficient).
- Written consent if you want another person/agent to act on your behalf, receive information about your application or make enquiries for you. This can be done by completing Form 956 or Form 956A which are available here.
- Curriculum Vitae (CV) template fully completed in English, reflecting your employment and education history from the age of 18. See CV and Form 80 tab for further information on how to complete this template.
- If the application contains minor children – a certified copy of the child’s birth certificate, photocopy of the non-travelling parent’s passport (or other photo ID if they do not have a passport) and a completed Form 1229 by any non-travelling parents or legal guardians.
- Evidence of Travel Insurance if you are over 75 or if you are seeking a long stay visitor visa (3 year validity for parents of Australian citizens or permanent residents
The Australian Department of Home Affairs is moving towards a global visa processing model. This means that any application may be processed in an office around the world. As such it is important that all supporting documents attached to the application which are not in English, be accompanied by an English translation.
Please note that the translation does not have to be certified, however it does need to be accurate. This approach will assist in processing applications expeditiously.
Please ensure that when providing an English translation, that a copy of the original document is also provided. Failure to provide an English translation of supporting documentation may delay processing and result in the document not being considered as part of the visa application.
During the processing of your application you may be requested to provide the department with a completed Curriculum Vitae (CV) or Form 80. It is strongly recommended that rather than waiting for this request, that you provide the completed template with your application at time of lodgement. Providing this information up front may reduce the processing of your application by up to a week.
When completing the CV template please ensure you include the following information:
- Full details of all your education and employment since leaving school, including all dates (month/year) commenced and completed, all education providers, employer/business details, occupation and job descriptions, and education qualifications.
- For employment (including paid or unpaid), please provide the date commenced (MM/YY), date ceased (MM/YY), employer/Business name, nature of business, occupation and position description. Please note that any gaps in employment or tertiary education history will need to be recorded.
- For education, please provide the date commenced (MM/YY), date completed/withdrawn (MM/YY), Course name, Course provider and qualification obtained for each period of study.
- Please ensure all gaps in the education/employment are accompanied by an explanation.
- Please note that all abbreviations / acronyms must be deciphered.
- For military service (compulsory or professional), please provide military unit name and military unit number for each of the military units the applicant has served in. If you were exempt from military conscription, you should provide the reason for exemption.
- Patronymic name must be included (if applicable).
- If you have not provided your personal email address in your application, please provide us with details of your personal email address on the CV template. Please note, the department will continue to contact you using the preferred email contact you provided in your application, however for processing purposes we also require details of your personal email address.
All visa applicants must meet health. For some visa applicants, this may mean you may have to undergo a health examination.
If you need to undergo a medical examination in order to meet these requirements, the visa office will advise you. You should wait to undergo medical examinations until after you have applied for your visa and we have provided you with an individual ID number (HAP ID) to provide to the Panel Doctor.
All medical examinations and chest x-rays for Australian visas MUST be undertaken with an approved Panel Doctor. Panel Doctors will charge you directly for the examination and will send the reports electronically to the department. For further information on panel doctor locations please visit the department’s website.
You may be asked to undergo a medical and/or x-ray examination if:
- you are applying for a stay of greater than three months;
- you are likely to enter a hospital or health care area (including nursing homes);
- you are likely to enter a classroom situation for more than twelve weeks;
- you are aged 75 years or older; or
- there are indications that you may not meet the health requirement.
Please note that if you are 75+ years of age or are seeking a temporary stay period of 12 months or more you will also be required to provide evidence of medical insurance covering the whole period of your proposed stay in Australia.Further information on the health requirements including information on who needs a health examination or how to arrange an examination can be found on the department’s website.
Everyone who wants to enter Australia must be of good character and will be assessed against the character requirements. As part of your visa application, you might be required to provide a police clearance certificate or other evidence to satisfy the character requirements.
When applying for a visa, it is important to declare all criminal offences including any expunged or removed convictions. It is also important to truthfully answer all questions. We consider all circumstances of a case and even if you do not meet the character requirements, we, or the Minister for Home Affairs can choose to grant your visa. However if you are not completely honest about your criminal history, we may refuse your application and you may be subject to exclusion periods.
Further information on the character requirements for Australian visas is available on the department’s website.
After you submit your application
You can view current global visa and citizenship average processing times for most visa subclasses and citizenship types here .
Alternatively, you can view the product page for the specific visa subclass you are applying for here . On the product page, two processing times will be displayed, indicating on average how long it takes to finalise 75 and 90 per cent of all applications submitted globally. Please note that these are average processing times and some cases will always be processed outside these time frames.
We do not advise applicants to make any irreversible/non-refundable travel and accommodation arrangements until a visa has been granted. While you may wish to book your airfare and/or accommodation for your Australian trip and attach evidence to your application, this is not a requirement for visa grant. It will not increase the chance of a visa grant and there is no guarantee a visa decision will be made on your application before the date of your bookings. The existence of travel bookings is not grounds for prioritising applications and applicants should lodge their application well in advance of their intended travel to avoid disappointment.
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
If you have lodged your application online, you can monitor the progress of your application through your ImmiAccount.
We request that you do not make progress enquiries about your application within the advertised global visa and citizenship processing times applicable to your visa application as this diverts resources away from focusing on processing applications.
Applications will not be expedited simply because you have made bookings/arrangements within the advertised global visa and citizenship processing times. If there are compelling reasons for which you need to travel urgently (such as a death in the family), you may wish to contact us using the information in the Contact Us section below.
If you realise you have made a mistake in your application, you must let us know as soon as possible by completing Form 1023 - Notification of Incorrect Answers and attach it to your ImmiAccount. If you had lodged a paper application or can't update this information online, you can email the completed form to [email protected] For a copy of the form, please go to: Department of Home Affairs - Forms.
If your passport or contact information changes during the processing of your application or during the life of any visa you may hold, it is important that you advise us of these changes ASAP. Failure to update the department of any changes may result in you having issues when trying to use your visa or may prevent you from receiving important information from the department.
Updating this information is now easy to do if you applied for your visa online - as you can do this through your Immi Account on the 'update us' tab. If you had lodged a paper application or can't update this information online, you can find further information on the form you will need to complete and how to send this information to the department on our website: Department of Home Affairs - Changes in your Situation.
If your circumstances change before we make a decision on your application and you wish to withdraw your application, you should complete Form 1446 - Withdrawal of a visa application and attach it to your ImmiAccount. If you had lodged a paper application or can't update this information online, you can email the completed form to [email protected] For a copy of the form, please go to: Department of Home Affairs - Withdraw a Visa Application.
People residing in the following countries must now lodge applications for Citizenship by Descent at the Australian High Commission in London:
For information on how to make an application for citizenship by descent, please visit either Department of Home Affairs - Citizenship by Descent or Australian Embassy, UK - Visa, Migration and Citizenship information.
The Department of Home Affairs website has a range of information that may be able to assist you with your enquiry. If after checking the website, you still have further questions or require more information please call our Global Service Centre (GSC). The GSC can be contacted on:
- Tel: +61 2 6196 0196 (international call to Australia) between 9am to 5pm (in your local time zone), Monday to Friday except on Australian public holidays.
The GSC is a multilingual service and if you do not speak English and require an interpreter - please select option six (6) when you call the GSC. You will then be asked to specify the language you would like the interpreter to speak.
Please note that the Australian Embassy Moscow is unable to answer questions regarding visas or citizenship and will simply advise you to call the GSC.
Visa and relationship scams target people of all backgrounds, ages and income levels. The department of Home Affairs (HA) provides detailed information including warning signs, tips on how to protect yourself and also information on how to report incidents. For further information please see the department's Visa Scams page on the website.
All applicants for visas should be aware that if your application includes false or fraudulently obtained documents, or information that is false or misleading, your application may be refused. This includes information given by you, a member of your family, or another person acting on your behalf (such as a travel agent). If we detect fraud in a visa application, the applicant and their family members may be barred from entering Australia for three years, which would include being considered for other visa types.
This applies to both temporary visas (such as Visitors and Students), and permanent visas (such as Partner, Child and Other Family visas). It also applies where an applicant has used a third party (such as a travel agent) to lodge the application on their behalf and that agent provided false and misleading information regardless of whether the applicant was aware of the fraud or not.
If you would like to provide information to the department about an instance of fraud, criminal conduct or illegal activities you can email the department using the department's reporting tool . We take all reports of suspicious activity seriously and you can choose to remain anonymous.