Frequently Asked Questions
This section provides answers to many of the frequently asked questions by clients about the visa application process.

Who needs a visa for Australia?
 
All persons, other than Australian citizens require a visa or authority to enter Australia. All Indian citizens require a visa to enter Australia.
 
 
How can I find out what kind of visa to apply for?
The category of visa you apply for depends on the purpose of your visit. You can use the Find Visa facility of the Department of Immigration and Border Protection website to assist you with determining which visa category to apply for and the requirements for that category of visa.
See: Find Visa  
 
 
When should I apply for a visa?
Clients should lodge their applications as early as possible keeping in mind the average processing times and prior to their intended date of travel.
The average processing times of visa applications depend on the category of visa being applied for.
See: Current Average Processing Time – Australian High Commission
 
 
Should I purchase my airline ticket before travelling?
You should not purchase non-refundable tickets or accommodation prior to the grant of a visa. Any such purchases are the sole responsibility of the visa applicant. The Department of Immigration and Border Protection recommends that you lodge your visa application well ahead of your proposed travel date and finalise travel arrangements after visa issue.
 
 
What is the processing time for visa applications?
The processing time for visa applications depends on various factors. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that an application is complete and accompanied by full and relevant information. An incomplete application form and/or the absence of required or relevant information may result in delays in processing or in the application being refused.
See: Current Average Processing Time – Australian High Commission
 
 
What documents are required with a visa application?
The documents required with a visa application are specific to the visa category under which you wish to apply. Please visit the “VISA TYPES” section of this website for document checklists for various visa categories.
You may also visit the website of the Department of Immigration and Border Protection for further information on document requirements.
It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that an application is complete and accompanied by relevant documents and information. An incomplete application form and/or the absence of required or relevant information and documents may result in delays in processing or in the application being refused.
Note: Additional documents, if submitted after lodgment of the visa application, will be charged a separate service charge by VFS.
See: Department of Immigration and Border Protection
 
 
Do I need to submit original documents?
The requirement for original documents arises only incase the Australia High commission has requested. Applicants are requested to visit the Australian High Commission website for category specific information in regards to the submission of original documents.
See: Visas and Migration – Australian High Commission
 
 
How do I find out about the progress of my application?
If you have lodged a visa application through VFS, you can track the location of your application online at the “TRACK YOUR APPLICATION” section of this website or you can contact the VFS Helpline. Kindly quote your passport number or VFS Reference Number for all status enquiries made on VFS Helpline. Apart from the above means, you will also receive a SMS and Email alert at various stages, on the contact number and email address provided while lodgment, with the progress of visa application.

Stage I: Application is forwarded to Australian High Commission.

Stage II: Application is received by Australian High Commission.

Stage III: Passport/Notification Letter is either emailed or couriered or is available at the counter for collection. (Counter Option: Applicable for Delhi and Nepal applicants only)

Stage IV: Passport/Notification Letter is collected from Australia Visa application centre. (Applicable for Delhi and Nepal counter cases only)

VFS is unable to provide information on the status of application assessment or the decision taken on a client’s visa application.
Please note that Australian privacy legislation generally prevents the Australian High Commission from disclosing information about visa applications to anyone other than the applicant. This means that if someone contacts the High Commission to inquire on your behalf, the High Commission will not be able to provide them with any information unless you have provided written authorization.

Note: There are circumstances wherein the Australian High Commission, New Delhi may handover or dispatch the passport or notification letter and the supporting documents to the applicants directly. In such circumstances, the status message may not be updated.
 
 
Who decides if I will get a visa?
The Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection assesses and decides all visa applications. The VFS Application Centre staff are not employees of the Australian Government and do not have the authority to assess or decide applications.
 
 
What is the role of VFS?
VFS Global Services Pvt Ltd (VFS) is the Service Delivery Partner (SDP) for the Australian Government’s Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP), in India and Nepal.
The role of VFS is to accept visa applications and to dispatch passports and documents back to clients, on behalf of the Department of Immigration and Border Protection.
VFS does not play any part in or influence the outcome of your visa application. If a VFS employee claims to be able to influence your visa application, you should inform the Australian High Commission, New Delhi immediately.
 
 
Which visa applications can I lodge with VFS?
Australian visa applications may be lodged either offshore (in a country other than Australia) or in Australia, depending on their category.
A number of visas and other applications are processed in Australia in specialized processing centres.

VFS accepts applications for visa categories that can only be lodged in India or Nepal at their Australia Visa Application Centres.
Some of the common visa categories that can be lodged in India and Nepal, through VFS include: Visitor visas, student visas, spouse migration visas, child migration visas, temporary work(short stay), business visitor and certain business long stay visas.
Categories that are not accepted by VFS in India and Nepal include Applications for Australian Citizenship, Humanitarian and Refugee visas, Skilled Migration visas, Parent Migration visas, Sponsored Visitor visas, Entertainment visas, Working Holiday Visas and Temporary Business Long Stay Visas, where the sponsoring business is in Australia.
See: Australian Processing Centres
 
 
Where can I apply for an application for Australian Citizenship in India and Nepal?
Applications for Australian Citizenship may be lodged at the Australian High Commission in New Delhi. VFS does not accept applications for Australian Citizenship.
See:
Where to lodge – Australian Citizenship – Australian High Commission
Australian Citizenship – Department of Immigration and Border Protection
 
 
Can I submit my passport to receive a visa label through VFS if my visa application was processed and approved in Australia?
With the introduction of Label free visa from 1st Oct 2012, Visa label would not be required on passport to travel to Australia.
Incase the applicant requires the visa label, passport may be submitted at Australian Visa Application Centre, processing time for visa label is 15 working days.
Before you submit a passport for stamping of a visa label, please ensure that you have a blank page in your passport and the passport itself is not damaged. Please visit the “OBTAINING VISA LABEL” section of this website for further information.
 
 
Can VFS assist me in filling my Visa Application Form?
VFS employees are not permitted to assist clients in completing their visa application forms or to endorse any information contained in an application.
Please also note that VFS employees are not privy to the reasons for visa refusal and therefore are unable to discuss the reasons for visa refusal. Applicants seeking information about the reasons for visa refusal are advised the contact the Australian High Commission, New Delhi by e-mail to immigration.india@dfat.gov.au.
 
 
Where are VFS Australia Visa Application Centres located?
Clients can lodge visa applications at any of the VFS Australia Visa Application Centre in India and Nepal. For the complete address of the Application Centre, nearest to you, visit the “CONTACT US” section of this website.
Clients can also send their applications through Post/Courier to the New Delhi VFS Australia Visa Application Centre. Please note that postal or couriered applications are accepted only by the VFS Australia Visa Application Centre at New Delhi. None of the other Visa Application Centres accept postal applications. For further details visit the “POSTAL APPLICATION” section of this website.
 
 
Do I need an appointment to lodge my application with VFS?
Individual clients do not require a prior appointment to lodge their application at VFS Australia Visa Application Centres..
However, the submission timings for Travel Agents are restricted. For details on Travel agent timings, visit the “CONTACT US” section of this website.
 
 
Do I need to use a migration agent to lodge my application?
You are not required to use a migration agent.
However, if you intend to use a migration agent you are strongly advised to use a registered migration agent. You can authorise a migration agent to act on your behalf by completing and lodging Form 956 - Appointment of Migration Agent, which can be downloaded free of charge from the DIBP website.
See:
Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority
Form 956
 
 
What is required for a valid visa application?
To make a valid visa application, clients must:
Submit the correct visa application form;
Pay the correct visa application fee, as applicable (Visa Fees and VFS Service Charges)
Clients should also provide all required documents and relevant information, together with the application (refer to Question 6 for document checklists). Incomplete applications may take longer to process and may result in visa refusal.
Clients should ensure that visa application forms should be of the latest acceptable design date. Visa Application forms can be downloaded from Department of Immigration and Border Protection website or can be collected from any VFS Centre.
See: Application Forms
 
 
How do I pay?
Clients are required to pay a Visa Application Charge (Visa fee), and a VFS service charge. Please visit the “VISA TYPES” section of this website for category relevant visa fee and VFS service charge.

Clients can also get their visa fee paid on their behalf, in Australia at a DIBP Office.
See: Form 990i – How to Pay
 
 
Can I pay Visa Fees in Nepalese currency if I am lodging my application in Nepal?
No. The Visa fee is only payable in INR (Indian Rupees) by demand draft favouring the "Australian High Commission", payable at New Delhi. Clients who lodge visa applications at the VFS Australia Visa Application Centre in Katmandu must pay via this mode.
 
 
Can I pay the Visa fee in Australian Dollars (AUD) at VFS?
No. The Visa fee can only be paid in INR (Indian Rupees) at VFS Visa Application Centres, if you are paying in India or Nepal.
However, clients can also get their visa fee paid on their behalf, in Australia at a DIBP Office.
See: Form 990i – How to Pay
 
 
Am I required to undergo a medical examination or chest X-Ray?
All applicants for a visa to Australia must meet the health requirement. Whether you are required to undergo a medical examination and/or chest x-ray depends on your age, how long you intend to stay in Australia and your intended activity in Australia.
See: Information Sheet 1163i
 
 
Where can I get my medical examination or chest X-Ray done?
The medical examination must be undertaken by a Panel Doctor nominated by the Australian High Commission. Please visit the PANEL DOCTORS section of this website to find out the contact details of panel doctors in India and Nepal.
 
 
Can I undertake medical examinations before lodging the application?
No. If a medical and/or x-ray examination is required, the New Delhi visa office will notify you after your visa application is lodged. You will then need to make arrangements to attend an approved immigration panel doctor of your choice.
See: eHealth – Australian High Commission
 
 
How will my passport be returned to me?
Passports can either be couriered to clients or collected from the VFS counter. Please visit the “COLLECTION OF PASSPORT” section of this website for further information.
Note: Passports cannot be returned by speed / registered post or couriered to a Post Office box.
 
 
What is ETA?
An ETA (Electronic Travel Authority) is equivalent to a visa, but there is no stamp or label in the passport and there is no need for the client to visit an Australian diplomatic office to submit an application. Only citizens of certain countries are eligible to apply for an ETA. Indian or Nepalese citizens are not eligible for an ETA.
 
 
How can I apply for an ETA?
Eligible clients can apply for an ETA directly online. Online ETA application status can also be checked by clicking on the “Check your ETA” link.
Eligible clients can also apply through a travel agent, airline, specialist service provider or an Australian visa office outside Australia.
See: Electronic Travel Authority System
 
 
Am I eligible to apply for an ETA online?
You are only eligible to apply for an ETA while you are outside Australia. To apply through this site, you must also hold one of the following listed online ETA-eligible passports.
Eligible passports to apply for an ETA online:
Brunei
Canada
Hong Kong SAR
Japan
Malaysia
Singapore
South Korea
United States of America
Holders of UK British National (Overseas) (GBN) passports are not eligible to apply for ETAs through this site.
 
 
Am I eligible to apply for an ETA through a travel agent, airline, specialist service provider or an Australian visa office outside Australia
Below is a list of eligible citizen passports who can apply through a travel agent, airline, specialist service provider or an Australian visa office outside Australia.
Andorra Malaysia
Austria Malta
Belgium Monaco
Brunei The Netherlands
Canada Norway
Denmark Portugal
Finland Republic of San Marino
France Singapore
Germany South Korea
Greece Spain
Hong Kong (SAR)* Sweden
Iceland Switzerland
Ireland Taiwan**
Italy United Kingdom - British Citizen
Japan United Kingdom - British National (Overseas)
Liechtenstein United States of America
Luxembourg Vatican City

* A Hong Kong Document of Identity (HKDI) cannot be used to apply for an ETA. Residents of Hong Kong require a citizen passport to apply for this visa.
** Holders of Taiwan passports in Taiwan can apply through an approved ETA travel agent in Taiwan. Holders of Taiwan passports outside Taiwan can apply for an ETA at their closest Australian visa office.
 
 
What types of ETA can be applied for online?
You can apply for a Visitor/Tourist ETA (if travelling for tourism or to visit friends or relatives) and for Short Validity Business ETA (if travelling for business purposes). The ETA is valid for 12 months with stays of up to 3 months on each visit, and can be used for single or multiple entry travel.
 
 
How much does the ETA service cost?
All applications processed online through website are subject to a Service Charge of AUS$ 20.00. Payment is by credit card only and the cards accepted by this site are American Express, Diners Club, JCB, Master card and Visa.
The service charge is payable upon submission of validated application data and clicking the 'Submit' button.
Payment of the charge does not guarantee that the application will be successful. The Service Charge is applied to recover the cost of running this service. The charge is non-refundable.
See: Electronic Travel Authority System
 
 
Can I submit my Passport for ETA at VFS?
Yes, you can submit your passport for ETA at VFS Visa Application Centre. There is no Visa fee for an ETA lodged with VFS; however, there is a VFS Service Charge for the processing of an ETA Application. Please visit the “TOURIST VISA FEES” section of this website.
 
 
What is eVisitor?
An eVisitor is an electronically stored authority for visits to Australia for tourism or business purposes for up to three months. eVisitor facility is available to passport holders from the European Union and a number of other European countries, who are outside Australia.
eVisitor holders can enter Australia multiple times over a twelve month period, from the date of grant of visa, for a stay of up to three months on each occasion.
An eVisitor can only be applied for online and applicants must be located outside of Australia to be granted an eVisitor.
See: eVisitor – Online Applications
 
 
Am I eligible for eVisitor?
To be eligible to apply for an eVisitor, you must:
be outside Australia
hold an eVisitor eligible passport
Clients with passports of the following countries are eligible to apply for an eVisitor.

Andorra Lithuania
Austria Luxembourg
Belgium Malta
Bulgaria Monaco
Cyprus The Netherlands
Czech Republic Norway
Denmark Poland
Estonia Portugal
Finland Romania
France Republic of San Marino
Germany Slovak Republic
Greece Slovenia
Hungary Spain
Iceland Sweden
Ireland Switzerland
Italy United Kingdom - British Citizen
Latvia Vatican City
Liechtenstein  

Notes:
Holders of British National Overseas (BNO), British Dependent Territories Citizen, British Overseas Citizen, British Protected Person and British Subject passports are not eligible to apply for an eVisitor.
Australian citizens who hold dual or multiple nationalities are not eligible to apply for an eVisitor and should use an Australian passport to enter or leave Australia, even if they use a foreign passport overseas.
 
 
How much does the eVisitor cost?
An eVisitor application is free of charge. There is no fee required to lodge an eVisitor application or after an eVisitor application is finalized.