From Wednesday 8 June 2016, the visa application lodgement process for applicants in South Africa applying for visas to Australia has changed. All applicants, regardless of nationality, who are in South Africa at the time of making a visa application to enter Australia are required to provide their biometrics along with their application, unless otherwise excluded or exempted from doing so under Australian Government policy.
Biometric data is collected through a quick, discreet and a non-intrusive process that captures a facial image using a digital camera and a 10-digit fingerprint scan on a dry scanner machine. This process will be familiar to applicants who have travelled to other countries requiring biometric data collection. Australian visa applicants will need to attend in person any one of the five (5) Australian Visa Application Centres (AVACs) or Australian Biometric Collection Cetres (ABCCs) to provide their biometrics. These AVACs managed by the Australian Government’s Service Deliver Partner TLScontact, are located in Cape Town, Durban, Johannesburg, Port Elizabeth and Pretoria. Please note, while you may be able to lodge some type of visa applications in Cape Town, Durban, Johannesburg and Pretoria, the perferred method for all applicants is online lodgement via ImmiAccount.
Applicants required to provide their biometrics will need to take their Request to Provide Personal Identifiers letter, along with their passport, to TLScontact after making a booking on their website. It is required you take both the request letter and your passport to match your biometric collection with your visa application.
Some applicants may be partially exempt from biometric collection, but will still need to attend a Visa Application or Biometric Collection Centre to provide basic personal identifiers. These applicants include minors less than 5 years old (photo only required) and mentally or physically incapable persons (photo only required).
Currently, Australia is collecting biometric data from visa applicants in a number of countries across Africa, Asia, Europe, the Pacific, the Middle East and the Americas and will continue to expand globally in the future. The collecting of biometrics from visa applicants will improve visa integrity, reduce identity fraud and improve security and safety for travellers and the Australian community.
For detailed information on travel to Australia, please refer to South Africa - Visa information and lodgement. Information on applying at any of the Australian Visa Application or Biometric Collection Centres in South Africa can be found at TLScontact.
For more information about Australia's biometric programme, please refer to: Biometrics Programme