Image source: DHA Facebook page

Visa applications at the Department of Home Affairs returning to pre-pandemic processes

The following information has been provided by the Department of Home Affairs. This announcement is particularly relevant to students who are seeking a visa to study.

To improve visa application processing times, the Department of Home Affairs (the Department) will be moving back to pre-pandemic decision-making processes, including finalising applications where applicants lodge incomplete applications. This means that visa applications may be finalised without asking for further information through a Request for Information (RFI).

Applicants should ensure that they include all the relevant documents when lodging their visa application. The application form in ImmiAccount tells applicants what documents they need to attach.

The Department has returned to standard timeframes for RFIs. Where an RFI has been made for the applicant to supply additional information to support their visa application, but the visa applicant does not provide this information within the specified timeframe, the Department will decide on the visa application on the basis of the information already provided. The decision will be made unless the applicants have requested an extension of time.

If a visa applicant is experiencing delays in obtaining the required information, they should request an extension of time through ImmiAccount and provide evidence of what steps have been taken to obtain the required information, such as a payment receipt or booking confirmation.

The Department has increased communications with international students via social media (Australian Department of Home Affairs Facebook page).  Key messages include:

  • Students should ensure they submit a complete and decision-ready application.
  • Students should lodge their student visa application at least 6-8 weeks before their course commencement.
  • Applicants should respond to any requests for information promptly. Applicants do not need to wait until the deadline to respond to a departmental request.  If documentation is provided when requested, the Department can progress the application.

Students are encouraged to regularly log into their ImmiAccounts to check for messages from the Department and respond promptly.

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