Lodging certain humanitarian applications in Australia

Electronic lodgement of Special Humanitarian Programme applications

Special Humanitarian Programme (SHP) applications can now be lodged electronically. Electronic lodgement offers a number of advantages for applicants and their proposers. Application processing times have been reduced, applicants’ information does not need to be sent via inaccessible, unreliable or insecure postal networks overseas, and applicants who would otherwise have paid for a courier have lower expenses and the certainty and peace of mind that their application has been delivered safely.

To lodge an application electronically:

Step 1

Complete and save the required approved fillable forms and save on your computer or device.

Step 2Scan all accompanying documentation requested on the approved forms including a passport style photograph of each applicant. Ensure that the photo is saved as the name of the person depicted in the photo.
​Step 3

Lodge completed forms and associated documentation.


After your application has been submitted, your proposer will receive an email confirming receipt.

You and your proposer will receive an email from us acknowledging receipt of your application within 10 working days. This acknowledgement will also confirm whether your application is valid. 

You can contact us after 10 working days if you do not receive a confirmation email at: SHP.enquiries@border.gov.au. This mailbox is for enquiries only.  Any visa application lodged by email at the enquiry mailbox will be returned to the sender.

To lodge a paper application:

If you are unable to lodge your application electronically, completed applications can be sent to:

Special Humanitarian Processing Centre
Department of Home Affairs
GPO Box 9984


(courier deliveries only, no hand deliveries)
Special Humanitarian Processing Centre
Department of Home Affairs
Level 3, 26 Lee Street

Note: all SHP applications are now processed at the Special Humanitarian Processing Centre in Sydney.

What will happen to applications lodged incorrectly?

If the application is lodged incorrectly it might be invalid. We cannot process invalid applications.

What happens after applications have been lodged?

For information on what happens after you lodge your SHP application read after an application is lodged.

After receiving applications, the SHPCs will:

  • advise your proposer that the application has been received and that the application is valid or invalid
  • assess applications against the legislative criteria for these visas, including all relevant subclasses
  • refuse applications that do not meet the criteria
  • refer applications meeting the legislative criteria to one of the department’s offices overseas for further processing.

Who can I contact to track the progress of the application?

At each stage of processing, both applicant and proposer will be contacted by email. It is therefore important that you advise us if you or your proposer change your email address.

Further queries

You can contact us by email: SHP.enquiries@border.gov.au.

Note: This email address is for enquiries only. Any visa application lodged at this email address will be returned to the sender.