Australian Embassy
Thailand

Visa - Frequently Asked Questions

 

Frequently Asked Questions

This page was designed to answer your frequently asked questions about Australian visas and your visa application processed by the Bangkok Immigration office in Thailand.

  1. Complaints and Compliments
  2. Processing times / requests for urgent processing
  3. Can I have an extension to provide the documents I have been asked for?
  4. I want to check my visa conditions, entitlements, or length of stay
  5. How can I update my personal and/or passport details?
  6. What type of visa should I apply for?
  7. How can I apply for a visa?
  8. I am having technical difficulties lodging my application or adding attachments
  9. Have you received my application and/or documents?
  10. Additional requirements / requests for information
  11. Do I need to provide a police clearance?
  12. I am a sponsor for a partner visa, why do I need a police check?
  13. Am I required to undergo a health assessment?
  14. Biometrics
  15. How do I get a copy of my visa grant notification?
  16. Withdrawing support for Visitor Visas
  17. Withdrawing support for Partner Visas
  18. I want to withdraw my application
  19. Can I travel to Australia while my partner visa is being processed?
  20. Australian citizenship by descent
  21. Information for APEC business travel card holders
  22. I want to claim superannuation refund/cancel my visa

 

1. Complaints and Compliments

If your visa application has been refused, please note no further action can be taken by the Department or the Embassy.  Except in very limited legal circumstances, the Department cannot change the decision; it is not possible for you or a family member to attend the Embassy to discuss.  The reasons for refusal are outlined in the decision letter.  This letter will also contain information on whether merits review is available at the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT)

If your visa application has been refused, please note no further action can be taken by the Department or the Embassy.  Except in very limited legal circumstances, the Department cannot change the decision; it is not possible for you or a family member to attend the Embassy to discuss.  The reasons for refusal are outlined in the decision letter.  This letter will also contain information on whether merits review is available at the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) www.aat.gov.au.

It is open to an applicant to lodge a new application if they wish, however, unless there is new information or the applicant’s circumstances have changed, the decision may still be the same, so applicants should carefully consider before deciding to apply again.

The Department will not respond to complaints or requests to reassess all or part of your application.

To lodge a complaint, provide feedback or a compliment please see: https://www.homeaffairs.gov.au/help-and-support/departmental-forms/online-forms/complaints-compliments-and-suggestions

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2.  Processing times / requests for urgent processing

Information on current processing times are on our website, these are a guide only: https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/visas/getting-a-visa/visa-processing-times/global-visa-processing-times.


Please note that each application is unique and not all applications can be decided within the stated processing time.  Processing times also depend on our workload.  You can see if your application has been finalised by using the VFS online tracker or ImmiAccount if you applied online.  We cannot
provide individual updates.

Do not make travel commitments or bookings before your visa application is finalised.  We cannot be held responsible if your application is not finalised in time for your pre-booked travel.  Making and paying for a travel booking cannot be accepted as reason to request urgent processing of the grant of a visa.

If your application is urgent due to compelling or compassionate reasons (for example, a close family member has become ill suddenly in Australia), please ensure your email contains supporting documentation or other information (for example, medical certificate).  Your application may not
be able to be expedited if you do not provide relevant supporting evidence.

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3. Can I have an extension to provide the documents I have been asked for?

An extension of time will only be granted in exceptional circumstances. You will need to put your request in writing outlining the reasons for your request.

The Department does however recognise that it can take longer than the provided 28 days to obtain documentation from external agencies in relation to character requirements. You must provide evidence (such as an application receipt for a police certificate) that you are obtaining the requested documentation before an extension of time will be considered. When you have provided this evidence, you can consider an extension of the time has been approved, unless you are advised otherwise.

In only rare cases do we give extensions to allow time to obtain information under Freedom of Information, or a migration agent has been appointed.

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4.  I want to check my visa conditions, entitlements, or length of stay

You can check your visa status with Visa Entitlement Verification Online (VEVO). VEVO is a free online service that gives visa holders, employers and other registered organisations access to visa entitlements and status information 24 hours a day.

Further information on VEVO can be located at: https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/visas/already-have-a-visa/check-visa-details-and-conditions/check-conditions-online

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5. How can I update my personal and/or passport details?

To update your personal or passport details AFTER decision please refer to:

https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/change-in-situation

To update your personal or passport details BEFORE decision please send the completed form to Immigration.Bangkok@border.gov.au.

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6.  What type of visa should I apply for?

For more information refer to https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/visas/getting-a-visa/visa-finder, and use the Visa Finder.

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7.  How can I apply for a visa?

Online lodgements

Applicants are encouraged to lodge their applications online using Immiaccount at: https://online.immi.gov.au/lusc/login.

For ETAs see: https://www.eta.immi.gov.au/ETAS3/etas

Paper lodgements

Please contact an Australian Visa Application Centre (operated by VFS Global) in Thailand or Laos for information on how and where to lodge an application.  Please see their contact details on their website: http://www.vfsglobal.com/Australia/Thailand/ or http://www.vfsglobal.com/australia/Laos.
 

Please note: If you are not a citizen or permanent resident of Thailand or Laos your application may need to be assessed at another Australian office overseas. If you lodge your application in Thailand, it may be transferred and could take additional time.  For a list of the Department of Home Affairs offices in your country of usual residence please see: https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/help-support/contact-us/offices-and-locations/offices-outside-australia.

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8. I am having technical difficulties lodging my application or adding attachments

ImmiAccount allows for the upload of maximum 60 files to support your visa application.

Multiple file types are acceptable, but the limit is 5MB per file. If you exceed these limits you will receive an error message that the available space is full.

For strategies to reduce the size of your upload, and provide more space online, refer to: https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/help-support/applying-online-or-on-paper/online.

If you experience further technical difficulties with e-lodgement refer to: https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/help-support/applying-online-or-on-paper/online/technical-help.

 

9. Have you received my application and/or documents?

Due to the large volume of correspondence received, we are unable to acknowledge receipt of documents.

  • If you have applied or have uploaded documents through ImmiAccount you can login to ImmiAccount to see the current status of your application.
  • If your documents were sent by email to this mailbox this auto-response acts as confirmation that we have received your correspondence.

If you are using ImmiAccount do not send documentation by email or through the post, unless requested to do so, as this will cause delays in processing your online application.

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10. Additional requirements / requests for information

If you receive a request from the Department to undertake additional assessment(s) and/or obtain further information you must comply within the stated time frame. Failure to provide the required information or undertake the assessment(s) as specified will impact negatively on the processing of your visa application and in the majority of cases, will result in the Department refusing your application. Requirements, including a medical assessment, chest x-ray or police clearances, are not negotiable, and as such the Department will not respond to requests asking for an exemption.

If you are using ImmiAccount do not send documentation by email or through the post, unless requested to do so, as this will cause delays in processing your online application.

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11. Do I need to provide a police clearance?

Some applicants will be requested to obtain Police clearances.  The type of checks required, and how to action them, will be included in the request for information that will be sent to the applicant.

For more information on the requirement to provide police clearances see: https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/help-support/meeting-our-requirements/character

Important: If providing an Australian police certificate, please be aware that only a ‘Complete Disclosure’ National Police Certificate issued by the Australian Federal Police is accepted. We will not accept National Police Certificates issued by your state’s police or ‘Standard Disclosure’ certificates.

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12.  I am a sponsor for a partner visa, why do I need a police check?

There are two possible reasons:

  1. The Australian Government wants to ensure that children seeking to enter Australia as dependants on Partner visas are protected from being sponsored by people with convictions for child sex offences or other serious offences which might pose a significant risk to a child in their care.
  2. Some New Zealand citizen sponsors will be required to undertake character checks depending on information provided in their sponsorship applications.

Applications lodged on or after 18 November 2016:

We take the safety and security of visa applicants very seriously. To help keep visa applicants safe, we have introduced new requirements for Partner and Prospective Marriage visas. From 18 November 2016, sponsors of these visa applications will need to:

  • provide Australian and/or foreign police checks when requested
  • consent to us disclosing their convictions for relevant offences to the visa applicant(s).

If the sponsor does not provide this consent, the visa application will be refused. We could also refuse an application if the sponsor does not provide the police checks within a reasonable time. 

Sponsors can apply for a police check using the application form available from the Australian Federal Police.

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13. Am I required to undergo a health assessment?

There are a number of factors the Department takes into account to determine if an applicant is required to undergo a health assessment including length of stay, prior travel to high risk health countries, pre-existing health conditions, and intended activities or work whilst in Australia.

If you have received a request to undergo a health assessment please note the following.

  • You must complete the examination within the requested timeframe.
  • The cost is met by the applicant.
  • Only health assessments undertaken by an approved eMedical health provider can be used.

All necessary information to undertake the required assessment(s) is provided in our request and is also available via the Department’s website. The Department will not respond to further queries on how to action these requests.

For further information and a list of eMedical enabled clinics on and off shore refer to: https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/help-support/meeting-our-requirements/health.

BUPA Medical Visa Services conduct health assessments to Australian visa applicants. For more information refer to: http://www.bupamvs.com.au/

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14. Biometrics

Biometrics (face photograph and fingerprint scan) will be collected from visa applicants, irrespective of their nationality, who are in Thailand at the time of making a visa application to enter Australia unless they are excluded or exempted from the programme.  Visa applicants in Thailand who lodge their applications at the Australian Visa Application Centre (AVAC) will be asked to provide their biometrics at the same time.

Some applicants lodging their visas online will be sent an email informing them that they need to attend an AVAC in person to provide their biometrics. They should make an appointment and take a copy of that email and their passport to an AVAC.

The AVAC will charge a service fee for the lodgement of applications and collection of biometrics.  Biometrics are required for each visa application.  More information: https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/help-support/meeting-our-requirements/biometrics  

Biometrics Refusals

Applicants are provided 14 days after online lodgement to provide their biometrics or notify the relevant processing office if unable to do so. In the event that an applicant does not provide their biometrics within this timeframe, their application will be refused. 

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15. How do I get a copy of my visa grant notification?

If you lodged your visa application online the notification was sent to your authorised email address. If you did not provide this in your application the notification was sent to your authorised postal address.

If you lodged a paper application via VFS Global please direct your enquiry to them at: http://www.vfsglobal.com/australia/thailand/after_submission.html

The Department will not provide another copy, but the information is available via a free online VEVO check. For a fast and convenient way to view and email your visa details and conditions, download myVEVO for free from your app store.

Note that you do not require a copy of your grant notification to enter or exit Australia. The required visa information is linked automatically to the passport declared in your application.

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16. Withdrawing support for Visitor Visas

If you are writing to advise you no longer wish to provide support for a visitor visa application your email will be forwarded to the appropriate area for consideration. We cannot discuss the progress or outcome of the application and will not respond to your email.

You may wish to refer your enquiry to: https://www.homeaffairs.gov.au/help-and-support/departmental-forms/online-forms/border-watch.  

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17. Withdrawing support for Partner Visas

If you have emailed your sponsorship withdrawal advice to us, it has been recorded in our systems. Importantly, please note the following:

1. Australian privacy laws prevent us from providing you with further information in relation to your former partner’s visa application.

2. Withdrawal of support for the partner visa applicant does not lead to the automatic refusal of that person’s visa application or their automatic removal from Australia. Under migration legislation the applicant may have other grounds for remaining in Australia. Following withdrawal of sponsorship, the applicant is notified of the withdrawal and invited to provide us with information supporting any claim to remain in Australia notwithstanding that withdrawal. As a former sponsor you will not be advised of the outcome of the partner visa application.

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18. I want to withdraw my application

If you send your withdrawal advice to us it will be passed to a delegate and your application will be finalised as a ‘withdrawal’ on our system. You will receive notification of this action.

If you have not specified that all dependent applicants have also withdrawn their applications, then the applications will continue to be processed (and will be refused). If you intended to withdraw not only your own but also your dependents’ applications, please confirm this in writing, specifying the names and birth dates of all applicants, by email to this mailbox. Any dependents who are over 18 years must notify us themselves.              

Important: Applicants who withdraw -

  • are not eligible for a refund of the visa application charge simply because the application has been withdrawn
  • cannot ask for this to be reversed
  • have no access to have this reviewed by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal

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19. Can I travel to Australia while my partner visa is being processed?

If you wish to visit Australia while your partner visa is being processed, you can apply for a Visitor visa.  You will need to meet all the criteria, including demonstrating you have incentive(s) to leave Australia at the end of your intended stay.  The Visitor visa is designed only to allow temporary travel to Australia for tourism purposes or to visit family and friends. It cannot be used for long-term stays or residence. To be eligible for a further Visitor visa in the future, you must maintain extended
periods of time outside of Australia.  Please also see our web page for more information on other visa options:  https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/visas/getting-a-visa/visa-finder and use the Visa Finder.

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20. Australian citizenship by descent

You may be eligible to apply to become an Australian citizen by descent if:

  • You were born outside Australia, and
  • One of your parents was an Australian citizen at the time of your birth.

For more information please visit: https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/citizenship/become-a-citizen/by-descent

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21. Information for APEC business travel card holders

If you hold an APEC card valid for travel to Australia you are able to enter and leave Australia without applying for a visa. All enquiries related to APEC Business Travel Card and associated travel conditions should be directed to the Australian APEC processing centre at abtc@border.gov.au. For further information please also refer to: https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/entering-and-leaving-australia/business-travel-card/foreign-applicants or http://travel.apec.org.

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22. I want to claim a superannuation refund/cancel my visa

If you want to cancel your Work and Holiday visa to claim superannuation, refer to: https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/entering-and-leaving-australia/leaving-australia.

The Departing Australia Superannuation Payment (DASP) is coordinated by the Australian Taxation Office. For further information refer to: https://www.ato.gov.au/tax-professionals/services-and-support/working-online/departing-australia-superannuation-payments-(dasp)-online-system/

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