About Us

Top questions

The answers to the most commonly asked questions about the services offered by the Department of Home Affairs.

Note that some pages on our website also contain additional frequently asked questions that are located at the bottom of the page.

How can I update my passport details with the department?

If you need to make any changes to your address or passport details you can notify us by one of the following methods:

What visa should I apply for?

Use our Visa Finder tool to identify the right visa for your situation. This is an easy-to-use tool that provides you with extensive information on visa options, including how to apply for an application.

What do I do if my visa is about to expire?

If you are in Australia, you must hold a valid visa for the duration of your stay and comply with the conditions of your visa.

For information on your options, visit My visa is about to expire or has expired

How do I check the status of my application?

Prior to contacting the Department please check the global visa and citizenship processing times. Officers at the Service Centre are unable to provide updates on applications within these processing times. Processing times are impacted by changes in volumes, seasonal peaks, complex cases and incomplete applications.

How can I apply to extend my Visitor Visa to stay in Australia?

Applicants can apply for the Tourist stream of the Visitor visa online provided you currently have a valid visa that does not have condition 8503 imposed.

Applicants must be in Australia at the time of lodgement and decision. You must be able to show that you are travelling to Australia as a genuine visitor, for example as a tourist, for recreation or to visit your family and friends.

If you have already been in Australia on a tourist visa (including working holiday and work and holiday visas) for 12 months you will need to show compelling and compassionate circumstances as to why our stay should be extended.

I have been given a Border Visa for 30 days. What do I need to do now?

A permanent visa holder who is granted a Border visa upon re-entry to Australia, must apply for a Resident Return visa to reinstate their permanent resident status. You will be eligible to lodge RRV online through ImmiAccount as long as your Border Visa (773) is valid. 

How long do I need to wait to apply for permanent residency if I have a temporary partner visa (Subclass 309/820) visa?

You are not automatically considered for the permanent visa (stage 2). You must lodge additional documentation two years from the date of lodging the temporary residency visa (stage 1). Once you meet this requirement, it is preferred you lodge the stage 2 application online through the ImmiAccount and attach the relevant documentation to prove the continuing genuine nature of the relationship. Further information including the stage 2 checklist is available on the Partner (Permanent) Calculator.

How do I apply for citizenship if I don’t have a birth certificate?

If you have exhausted all options to obtain a birth certificate to provide as part of your application for citizenship, you will need to provide a Statutory Declaration detailing why you are unable to obtain it. The processing centre will assess the application and may contact you for further information.

What are the list of occupations I can either be sponsored to work or apply as a skilled migrant?

The occupations that are available depend on which visa program you are applying for. The skilled occupation list gives further details of what occupations may be eligible for a skilled work visa.

I am currently on a 457 visa and have found a new employer under the same nominated occupation. When can I start working with the new employer?

If you cease employment with your current sponsor you must:

  • not cease employment with your nominated employer for a period of more than 60 consecutive days – if your visa was granted on or after 19 November 2016
  • not cease employment with your nominated employer for a period of more than 90 consecutive days – if your visa was granted before 19 November 2016.

If you stop working for your nominating employer, you must do one of the following:

  • find another employer who is a registered 457 sponsor and have them lodge a new nomination, which must be approved before you can start working for them
  • find an employer who is willing to register as a 457 sponsor and nominate you. You must await the approval of the nomination before you can start working for them
  • be granted a different visa
  • depart Australia.

How do I upload documents to ImmiAccount?

Once you have submitted your online application, you can attach documents through ImmiAccount until the application has been finalised.

Please check the relevant document checklist for the subclass you are applying for to see which documents to attach to your application. These should be scanned colour copies.

For more detail about how to upload files to ImmiAccount, see Attaching documents to your application.

There are limits on the number of files which can be uploaded for each application. However, you may incorporate multiple documents in each file to minimise the total number of files you upload. Please note that files must not exceed 5MB in size.

How can I get my Visa Grant Number or Transaction Reference Number (TRN) so I can access VEVO?

You will be able to find your TRN and Visa Grant Number in your ImmiAccount if you lodged your application online or have previously imported your application into your ImmiAccount. Your visa grant number can also be found on your visa grant letter. If you don’t have any of these reference numbers you can request it through the VEVO Request for Reference Number Form. This may take up to one week to process.