Seven myths about the Community Status Resolution Service & how they help resolve immigration matters.

Female student using phone

There are some common misconceptions that prevent people who have overstayed their visa from approaching us. These include:

1. If I come forward you will detain me.

We generally do not detain people who voluntarily approach us about their immigration situation. We will generally assess you for a Bridging visa E, which is a temporary type of visa that allows you to remain in the community lawfully while you work with us to resolve your immigration matter.

2. If I come forward I will be deported and will not be able to stay in Australia.

We can discuss the range of visa options available to you when you approach us voluntarily, including whether you are eligible for a temporary or a permanent visa to remain in Australia.

3. I accidentally overstayed my visa because I didn’t understand when my visa expired, now it is too late.

If you have overstayed your visa, it is better to engage with us as soon as possible to resolve your immigration status. We can assess you for a bridging visa, which makes you lawful while you live in the Australian community and are working to resolve your immigration situation. It is never too late to engage with us voluntarily to talk about your immigration situation.

4. I have been working illegally but I’m scared to tell the Department because you will take away my money.

We encourage people without a valid visa to approach us to discuss their visa situation as soon as possible. We generally do not take away personal possessions, including any money, if you approach us voluntarily.

5. I can’t remain anonymous if I approach the Department face-to-face.

You can choose to remain anonymous if you approach us, either face-to-face, online or over the phone.

6. I don’t have any money and I need help.

When you engage with we may be able to organise support services for you and your family, based on your personal circumstances. These support services can help you to live in the Australian community while you work with us to resolve your immigration situation.

7. I want to go home but I need help.

If you approach us we can talk to you about available assistance in returning home, such as help with travel documents and passports, plane tickets, specialist counselling services, and assistance for when you arrive back in your home country.

For more information about expired or cancelled visas, visit or call anonymously on 1300 853 773.

Introducing new global processing times

Visa and Citizenship Processing Times

From 13 March 2017, you’ll be able to view current visa and citizenship application processing times. This information will be available for most visa and citizenship types, and can be found on the visa and citizenship pages of our website, as well as Visa Finder.

This means that you’ll receive up-to-date information related to your application, to give you an idea of how long it will take to process.

Estimated processing times will be updated regularly to reflect current caseloads at our visa processing locations. Two processing times will be displayed for most subclasses, indicating how long it takes to finalise 75 and 90 per cent of applications globally.

To gain an accurate estimate of how long it will take to process your application, you must lodge a complete application. It is important to note that applications are assessed on a case-by-case basis, and that actual processing times may change depending on individual circumstances including:

· whether you have lodged a complete application and included all necessary supporting documents

· how long you take to respond to requests for additional information

· how long it takes to perform required checks

· how long it takes to receive additional information from external parties, particularly in relation to health,

character, national security, and Assurance of Support requirements

· the number of places available in the migration programme

· increased number of applications and peak periods.

For further information on these changes, visit our website.

13 tips to get the most out of your interpreting session.


There are many ways you can save time and get the most out of your interpreting session. TIS National, our Translating and Interpreting Service, has put together some top tips for you.

  1. Introduce yourself and brief the interpreter on the main topics you will be discussing.
  2. Always speak in the first person and speak directly to the non-English speaker.
  3. Allow the interpreter to clarify information if necessary.
  4. Use clear language and short sentences.
  5. Avoid using jargon, slang, idioms or proverbs.
  6. Include a pause after each sentence to allow the interpreter to interpret the information to the non-English speaker.

Tips for your on-site interpreting session:

  1. Be sure to have a private area organised where the session can take place.
  2. Allow time prior to the session to brief the interpreter so they have an understanding of what the session entails.
  3. Arrange seating in a triangular form to allow for easy communication between the interpreter and the client.
  4. It is ideal to position yourself so that the non-English speaking client is directly facing you and the interpreter is sitting to the side.

Tips for your phone interpreting session:

  1. Ensure the interpreter knows what type of telephone you are using and if they are on speaker phone.
  2. If it is a long call, the interpreter may require a few minutes break on the half-hour.
  3. Clearly indicate the end of the conference call to everyone involved.

Want more tips? Watch our video Hints and tips for working with interpreters.

If you need an interpreter or know someone who does, visit TIS National at

12 tips to avoid being caught in a visa scam in Australia.

Student using a laptop

*Malay translation below

Thinking about working in Australia? You will need a valid work visa. If you have been told that you can work with an Electronic Travel Authority (ETA), you have been lied to.

You could be caught in a scam if:

  1. the advertisement lists only a first name and number
  2. the employer or agent demands that you pay them upfront for an Australian visa
  3. you are told to get an ETA for work
  4. you are asked to set up a company in order to come and work in Australia
  5. you feel like you are being harassed with promises that you will be safe and looked after once you pay
  6. you are promised permanent residence in Australia
  7. the employer or agent uses the Australian coat of arms on their website
  8. you are told you will be paid in cash only
  9. you are told you won’t be required to get an Australian government tax file number
  10. the employer or agent in Australia does not have an Australian Business Number (ABN)
  11. you won’t be paid minimum Australian wage (see
  12. you are asked to give your travel documents, including your passport, to an individual or agent for longer than is reasonably necessary.

For more information about the ETA please visit

12 tips mengelakkan diri dari terperangkap dalam penipuan visa di Australia

Jika anda ingin bekerja di Australia, anda mesti mempunyai visa kerja yang sah. Jangan jadi mangsa penipuan visa jika ada individu memberitahu bahawa anda boleh bekerja menggunakan ETA.

Anda mungkin terperangkap dalam penipuan visa jika:

1. Iklan tersebut tidak mempunyai nama penuh dan hanya nombor telefon

2. Individu atau ejen tersebut meminta wang pendahuluan bagi pemprosesan visa Australia

3. Anda diminta memohon ETA untuk bekerja

4. Anda diminta membuka sebuah syarikat sebagai syarat bekerja di Australia

5. Anda merasa diugut dengan janji bahawa hidup anda akan selamat dan terjamin selepas anda membuat bayaran

6. Anda di janjikan status Penduduk Tetap di Australia

7. Individu atau ejen tersebut menggunakan Jata Negara Australia di laman web mereka

8. Anda diberitahu bahawa anda akan di bayar gaji secara tunai tanpa slip gaji

9. Anda diberitahu bahawa anda tidak memerlukan nombor fail cukai kerajaan Australia

10. Individu atau ejen di Australia tidak mempunyai Nombor Pendaftaran Syarikat (ABN)

11. Anda tidak akan di bayar gaji minimum nasional (

12. Anda di minta untuk menyerahkan dokumen perjalanan, termasuk passport anda kepada individu atau ejen tersebut dalam jangka masa yang lama

Untuk maklumat lanjut mengenai ETA, sila layari

Refugee week 2017: Celebrating Australia’s Humanitarian Programme and the contributions of humanitarian entrants.

Refugee week 2017

Today’s guest blogger, David Wilden, is the First Assistant Secretary Immigration and Citizenship Policy at the Department of Immigration and Border Protection. In this role he is responsible for policy development and advice for temporary and permanent visas in the skilled, family and humanitarian programmes. David joined the Department in 2005. Over the course of his public service career, David has worked in a range of departments and agencies including Centrelink and the Public Service Commission.

Australia has a long and proud tradition of resettling refugees and people in humanitarian need. Since the end of World War II, we have provided permanent resettlement to over 865,000 people from around the world.

Today, Australia continues to be one of the top three countries for resettlement of refugees and I’m pleased that we are among a small number of countries that have a permanent annual resettlement programme. Our Government is committed to assisting those in difficult and desperate situations overseas. In the past 10 years, Australia has resettled humanitarian entrants from 100 different countries.

This week, we celebrate Refugee Week (June 18 – 24). Australia recognises the plight of refugees worldwide, the magnitude and complexity of issues that give rise to refugee situations, and the resilience of refugees living in such situations.

We also celebrate the positive contribution that refugees have made to Australia, and acknowledge the efforts of a range of government and non-government organisations in helping refugees settle into and succeed in Australian society.

This year’s theme for Refugee Week is ‘success stories of first generation Humanitarian Programme entrants’. Refugees overcome many barriers in their efforts to engage fully in Australian life. They contribute to Australia’s diversity—a diversity of cultures, skills and talents—and demonstrate personal drive and commitment by seeking out education and training, employment and entrepreneurial opportunities. Many have gone on to build successful careers or academic success in business, education, sport and in the community sector.

I’m honoured that ten humanitarian entrants have shared their stories and contributions to our society. The featured entrants have come from Syria, Iraq, South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo and include a Sydney Swans footballer, a doctor, psychologist, welfare worker, business owner and an architect. Their stories are inspiring and deeply moving.

You can read their stories and watch their videos at

Five ways to spot foreign worker exploitation

Identifying foreign worker exploitation

The exploitation of foreign workers can have a lasting negative impact on Australian communities and individuals, including:

Five signs to look out for that might indicate a company is participating in the exploitation of foreign workers include:

  1. the company is able to seriously undercut competitors
  2. workers are underpaid or paid irregularly
  3. workers seem to be living in substandard conditions
  4. workers seem afraid or anxious
  5. company owners or directors enjoy an extravagant lifestyle that doesn’t appear to match their income.

Anyone who is aware of an individual, business or employer who might be facilitating visa fraud or illegal work is urged to contact Border Watch Allegations and Referrals on 1800 009 623 or report them immediately to us using our Immigration and Citizenship Online Report

For more information about the ETA please visit our website

Second Work and Holiday visa for backpackers in northern Australia

Northern AustraliaWe made changes to Work and Holiday visas on 19 November 2016 as part of the Government’s commitment in the 2015 White Paper on Developing Northern Australia.

If you’re a Work and Holiday (Subclass 462) visa holder, you now have the opportunity to get a second 12-month visa. This applies if you work for three months in the tourism and hospitality or agriculture, forestry, and fishing industries in northern Australia while on your first visa. This new opportunity encourages Work and Holiday visa holders to spend time living and working in Australia’s north.

The change will only apply to specified work undertaken from 19 November 2016 in northern Australia, which broadly includes all of the Northern Territory and those parts of Western Australia and Queensland above the Tropic of Capricorn. All specified work has to be paid work in accordance with Australia’s workplace laws. If you’re considering applying, you’ll need to provide evidence of this payment.

There are 16 countries that have active Work and Holiday visa arrangements with Australia, including the United States, Chile, Indonesia and China. The Work and Holiday visa programme continues to grow, and the Government continues to negotiate additional Work and Holiday visa arrangements with new partner countries.

Visit our website to learn more.

Sponsors of Partner and Prospective Marriage visas lodged on or after 18 November 2016 to provide police checks

The Australian government is committed to reducing violence in the Australian community, including family and sexual violence. As part of this commitment, we will ask sponsors of Partner/Prospective Marriage visa applications lodged after 18 November 2016 to provide Australian and/or foreign police checks and to give us permission to disclose convictions for certain offences to the visa applicant(s). See our website for information about the changes, including offences we can disclose.

The changes only apply to cases where the visa application is made on or after 18 November 2016. If your partner lodged his/her application before 18 November 2016, the new requirements will not apply to you, even if you submit your sponsorship form after 18 November 2016.

Applicants who already hold a subclass 309 or 820 visa and are waiting for a decision on the subclass 100 or 801 visa are not affected. This is because they lodged the visa application before 18 November 2016.

Tips to prepare your student visa application


From 1 July 2016, all student visa applications must be made online. Here’s some information to assist with preparing your application.

Tips to avoid common mistakes in the application form

Remember to lodge your application as soon as you can. Complete applications are more likely to be processed quicker. While we aim to process most applications within one month, some applications will take longer. If you have to contact the Department about your application please use our student visa enquiry form.

How to apply for an Entrepreneur visa

This blog post is part of a series of three on our role in supporting the Australian Government’s National Innovation and Science Agenda.

Australia’s new Entrepreneur visa was launched on 10 September 2016 as a new stream of the Business Innovation and Investment visa.

Portrait of smiling young Vietnamese software engineer

Here’s how to apply:

Submitting an EOI

The first step towards applying for an Entrepreneur visa is lodging an Expression of Interest (EOI) in SkillSelect.

To lodge an EOI, you will need to have a funding agreement in place or in negotiation with an approved funding body to develop an innovative venture in Australia. The agreement must be for a minimum of $200,000. You will also need to have a business plan that explains how you will develop your innovative venture in Australia.

If you demonstrate a record of successful entrepreneurial activities while holding a provisional Entrepreneur visa, after four years you may be eligible for a Subclass 888 Business Innovation and Investment (Permanent) visa in the Entrepreneur stream. It’s a good idea to familiarise yourself with the criteria for success for the permanent Entrepreneur visa.

Nomination from a state or territory government

Once you submit an EOI, you can be nominated by a state or territory government to be invited to apply for an Entrepreneur visa. Each state and territory has different nomination criteria.

Lodging an application

If you are nominated by a state or territory government, you will receive an invitation from us to apply for a Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) visa (Subclass 188).

You will need to provide documents about your identity, relationships, children, health, character and English language ability as part of your application. You will also need to provide evidence of your funding agreement and the business plan for your entrepreneurial venture in Australia.

You only have 60 days to lodge your application after receiving an invitation to apply, so it’s a good idea to get your documents ready in advance.

See our Document Checklist for more details.