Our service charter

​What you can expect from us

We individually and collectively uphold the Australian Public Service values and demonstrate core service behaviours in our dealings with you. We are:

  • committed to service – we are professional, objective, innovative and efficient, and we work collaboratively to achieve the best results for the Australian community and the Government
  • accountable – we are open and accountable to the Australian community under the law and within the framework of Ministerial responsibility
  • respectful – we respect all people, including their rights and their heritage
  • ethical – we demonstrate leadership, are trustworthy, and act with integrity and honesty to deliver results to the community
  • impartial – we are apolitical and provide the Government with advice that is frank, honest, timely and based on the best available evidence.

As officers of the Department we will:

  • work as a professional service to deliver improved client service while managing areas of risk
  • treat you with courtesy and respect and work to connect colleagues, partners and clients to enhance the quality of Australia's society, economy and national security
  • explore opportunities to leverage existing common platforms, common services and other capabilities across government to improve the client experience
  • invest in innovative and digital solutions to promote process improvement and allow clients to access our services at a time, place and on a device convenient to them
  • be fair, open and reasonable in all that we do
  • give you clear, accurate and timely information or help you to find it
  • collect, store, use and disclose your personal information in accordance with relevant Australian law.

We work in partnership with organisations that deliver services on behalf of the Department to ensure appropriate levels of service are provided.

Consistent with the Government's digital service standard, we are committed to continuously improving the Department's digital channels. We will encourage and support you to use these to access our services - at a time and place convenient to you.

How you can help us

To help us help you, we ask that you:

  • familiarise yourself with the relevant Departmental requirements in relation to your enquiry
  • comply with Australian Government requirements relevant to your enquiry
  • be open and honest with us
  • be courteous and respectful towards our staff and work with us to solve problems
  • submit all information and documents required at the time of lodgement and by the due date
  • keep accurate and complete paperwork and be able to provide copies or reference numbers if necessary.
  • give us details of changes in your circumstances as soon as the changes occur
  • let us know if you have special requirements, such as needing an interpreter or any assistance in understanding or accessing our services
  • provide us with feedback on our service to you, whether it is positive or otherwise, to help us improve our services and recognise staff
  • not offer us gifts, money or other favours
  • report corruption, misconduct and behaviour that is unethical or lacking in integrity.

Processing times

We assess applications on a case-by-case basis, and actual processing times can vary due to individual circumstances. See Visa Processing Times for more information.

Your feedback – compliments, complaints and suggestions

We value your compliments, complaints and suggestions. Your feedback is used as an indicator of our performance against our service standards and helps us to provide better service.

You can provide feedback by completing an online feedback form.

Report complaints concerning corruption, misconduct and unethical behaviour to Integrity and Professional Standards using our online feedback form.

If you are not satisfied with our resolution of your complaint, contact the Commonwealth Ombudsman, Office of the Australian Information Commissioner or the Australian Human Rights Commission.

We take reports made by the community seriously.

Report something suspicious if you are aware of suspicious activity such as someone who might be working illegally, have no right to be in Australia or is potentially involved in smuggling or other criminal activities. 

Need help contacting us?

If you need help interacting with us, you can access telephone interpreting services through the Translating and Interpreting Service by calling 13 14 50.

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