readers should be aware that the Migration Regulations change rapidly. Before using the information listed here, it is a good idea to check that the law has not changed by telephoning one of the free immigration law advice bodies listed in “Contacts“.

One of the best sources of information is the website of the Australian Government Department of Home Affairs (previously called the Department of Immigration and Border Protection) at

Dealing with Home Affairs

Last updated

30 June 2018


Whenever you make contact with Home Affairs you should keep a note of the time and the name of the officer with whom you spoke. Notes of the advice received from any officer should be kept. Copies of every document that is lodged with Home Affairs should also be kept. Whatever application you make to Home Affairs, a file number will be allocated to it; whenever you contact or write to Home Affairs this file number should be quoted.

Most application forms provide a space for you to give reasons in support of your application. These spaces are often not large enough to tell the complete story. Any further material you wish to put to Home Affairs in support of your application should be attached to the application form.

Time frames

Almost all applications take a long time to be processed by Home Affairs. If you receive no response to your application for several months, this is not unusual and not a cause for worry. However, if your application is taking longer than the published global processing time for that visa (see, you should first contact Home Affairs to ask about the progress of your application (see ‘Contacts’ at the end of this chapter).

If you do not receive a satisfactory explanation for the delay, then you may wish to contact your local Commonwealth member of parliament to make enquiries, or the Commonwealth Ombudsman if you believe there has been unreasonable delay.

Where to apply

You may send your application, addressed to the Regional Director, to Home Affairs.


Fees for Home Affairs’ services depend on how many members of the family are included and whether applicants are transitioning between temporary visas. Because of this, it is not possible to provide a simple list of fees. These complex arrangements are contained in a ‘Visa Pricing Table’, which can be found online at

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