Australian High Commission
Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, eSwatini

Visas and Migration

Visas and Migration  

Welcome to the Department of Home Affairs section at the  Australian High Commission, Pretoria. We are an overseas office of the Australian Department of Home Affairs. Our office  provides visa services to residents of South Africa and other countries in Southern and Western Africa,  see: Country coverage - Africa 

How to Contact Us.

  • For information regarding visa requirements please visit the Department of Home Affairs website.
  • For application specific information please call the Home Affairs Global Service Centre on +61 2 6196 0196, open Monday to Friday 0900 to 1700 (local time).
  • To update information on your visa application please upload documentation via your ImmiAccount.  
  • Emails sent via incorrect email accounts will not be responded to.  The Consular mailbox will not be able to provide you with a response regarding visa enquiries. 
  • To make an appointment to provide your biometrics please contact our Service Delivery Partner, VFS Global.  More information can be found using the following link - VFS Global




Where possible, we will prioritise your visa application if you have a compassionate and compelling reason to urgently travel, such as severe illness or a death in the family.  So that we can identify if your application requires priority processing, you should follow these steps:

  • Complete your visa application using in your ImmiAccount .
  • Submit biometrics (if required).
  • Review your declaration in relation to your intention to visit a medical facility (if applicable).
  • Complete health checks (if required).
  • Submit an enquiry by completing the Australian Immigration  Enquiry Form .
    • You will need to select the Overseas Post as 'Pretoria' and
    • under type of enquiry please select 'Documented compassionate request for travel (hospitalised family in Australia) or Government Officials'.
    • Provide your application reference number, full name, date of birth and passport.
    • Detail the nature of the compassionate reason to travel.
    • Upload documentary evidence of the compassionate reasons, such as a medical report, into your ImmiAccount , and attach these documents to the Australian Immigration  Enquiry Form .

If your reason does not meet compelling or compassionate grounds, your application will be processed within Global visa processing times, see: global visa and citizenship processing times .

PLEASE NOTE: Flight bookings and confirmed travel purchases, attending a wedding as a guest, or birthday celebrations, are generally not considered compassionate and compelling grounds for priority processing.

We do not recommend that you book flights or make travel commitments until you have been advised that you hold a valid visa to travel to Australia.



Foreign government employees travelling to Australia on a Diplomatic or Official/Service passport for official business purposes to represent their Federal/National/Central government (not State, Provisional or Local government) may be eligible for visa application fee waiver and biometrics waiver.

All subclass 600 Business Visitor visa applications must be submitted online and documents uploaded as detailed under ‘Gather your documents’ see: Visitor visa (subclass 600) Business Visitor stream (

To be considered for a visa application fee waiver and biometrics waiver, applicants should upload the following documents into their ImmiAccount:

  • Diplomatic or Official/Service passport
  • Official Note Verbale/ Third Party Note issued by the applicant’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The Note Verbale must include all travelling members, passport numbers and reason for travel.

If you cannot provide both of the above you may not be eligible for a visa application fee waiver and biometrics waiver: you should pay the relevant visa application charge and submit biometrics if you have received a biometrics submission request letter.





The information below is designed to enable fast and effective processing of your application.  Applications are processed according to date of lodgement only.  We will not prioritise an application based on travel dates for a purchased ticket.

Lodge early.   The earlier an applicant lodges, the sooner a finalisation can be made, enabling applicants to then purchase flight tickets.  Processing will not be expedited to meet flight deadlines.  A ticket is not listed as a requirement under Step 2 in the step by step guide on the immigration website.

Lodge a complete application - Check Twice, Submit Once.  Applicants should use the information on the immigration website before and during the application process.  Use the page “Explore visa options” to locate the most appropriate visa subclass for your intended travel.  Read the information provided in the various tabs and follow the “step by step” guide.  This tab provides details on each step of the process as well as providing a list of required documents.  Please use this guide to ensure you upload as much information as possible to enable a quick assessment.  We may finalise your application without requesting further information from you. 

Please Note: a valid application requires a complete residential address or a description leading to the residential address.  We understand that some applicants reside in areas where there is no official complete address.  In the absence of an official complete address the Department will accept other information which details the location of their residential address. The following are some examples of acceptable residential address information:

A P.O. Box address is not acceptable.  Your application may be deemed invalid if you do not provide a complete residential address.

You are encouraged to Check Twice, Submit Once.

Processing Times . The global processing times are based on global averages and should not be used to plan when you lodge your application.  Applicants should submit a fully documented online application as soon as they make plans to travel to Australia.   Processing times are impacted each month because of application volumes, ie Christmas or Easter peak periods

Group Applications.  We assess applications on a case-by-case basis. You can help improve processing times by lodging a complete fully documented application. The checklists provided on ImmiAccount will help you make sure you attach all required documentation for your application. We will finalise some applications quickly while some may take longer.  Some applications may require external checks such as health, character or national security checks which will take longer to finalise.  Please do not contact us to enquire about one member of the group.  They may require further processing or information
Make sure you note the specific information required for applicants under 18 yrs.

ImmiAccount is your online gateway to the Department and provides many online service options including: lodging online applications; making payments; updating your details or circumstances; uploading documents and tracking the progress of your application.  Requests loaded via your ImmiAccount will be actioned quickly.  Required documentation should be uploaded into your immiAccount, resulting in fewer delays while the case officer locates your information.   It is in your best interests to ensure that a contracted agent has uploaded full and complete documentation as listed on the Home Affairs website. 

Meet your deadlines, eg. biometrics, health or a request for additional information.   You may be required to undergo a medical exam, provide a response or provide biometrics.  If so you will receive an official request via email.  Please read this letter carefully and take note of any deadlines. If you are required to provide biometrics you must do so within 14 calendar days.  If you cannot secure an appointment within that timeframe you should inform the department via your ImmiAccount.  Failure to provide biometrics or provide evidence of an appointment may result in your application being refused.

Visa Validity Periods.  When applying for a visa you may be able to specify a desired visa validity period.  Whilst every effort is made to provide visa holders with their desired visa validity, this cannot always be accommodated. 

If you are granted a visa, it may not be for the length of stay you have requested or may not match the length of stay on an Australian visa you have previously held.  For example, you may have previously held a Tourist visa with a three-year entry validity, but your most recent visa was granted for a one-year entry validity.  Once a visa application has been decided it cannot be revisited and grant periods cannot be changed.

If you are granted a visa, you should check the visa validity on the visa grant notification letter.  You can also check your visa validity via the Visa Entitlement Verification Online (VEVO) system, see:

Check visa conditions online (VEVO) (



Below are a number of links to frequently asked questions.  The Home Affairs website should be your first option when planning any travel to Australia. 

See: Visit Australia if you would like to visit Australia for tourism or for business meetings 
See: Work in Australia if you would like to work in Australia
See: Skill Select  if you would like to migrate as a skilled migrant
See: Study in Australia if you would like to study in Australia
See: Family Migration if you would like to bring your family or partner to Australia
See: There are a number of pathways to become an Australian citizen
See: Immigration Section Newsletters - Your Lodgement Buddy for previous information from the Australia High Commission, Pretoria
See: Student Visa holders who change courses for more information on student visas
See: Medical Requirements for more information on medical requirements and how to arrange your medical
See: Important Information for answers to frequently asked questions
See: General information and enquiry forms for general information about all visa matters
See: What is an ImmiAccount and how does it work for information on how to create an ImmiAccount as well as what you can do through your ImmiAccount
See: My visa is about to expire – what do I do?
See: Information on Biometrics for information about the biometric program 
See: Where do I book an appointment for my biometrics? Use this link to find your local biometric collection centre and make a booking
See: General Refund Provisions
See: How do I update my passport or other details on my application? Use this link to update or correct errors on your biodata information via your ImmiAccount
See: Where can I go to complete my medicals?
See: Reporting visa scams for more information on current scams and how to report suspected scams

Technical Problems with ImmiAccount

If you experience any technical difficulties with your ImmiAccount please refer to the advice on the common issues and error messages page on the Home Affairs website.

If you are still unable to resolve your issue submit your enquiry via the ImmiAccount Technical Support Form