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

Visas and Migration

Visas and Migration  

Welcome to the Australian Immigration Office 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. To see who is responsible for processing visa from your country of usual residence see: Country coverage - Africa 

Global Service Centre (GSC)

From 1 March 2021, the Australian High Commission is unable to provide responses on visa, citizenship or customs enquiries. Visit the Department of Home Affairs website  or call the Home Affairs Global Service Centre on +61 2 6196 0196, open Monday to Friday 0900 to 1700 (local time).

Travel Restrictions – Travel to resume for fully vaccinated travellers from 21 February 2022

On 7 February, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced that from 21 February 2022, all fully vaccinated visa holders will be able to travel to Australia without needing to apply for a travel exemption.

For information on what ‘fully vaccinated’ means for both adults and children – please see the department’s website: Vaccinated travellers | COVID-19 and the border (

If you are not fully vaccinated you will not be able to travel to Australia unless you are an Australian citizen, Australian Permanent Resident or have received a travel exemption. Further information on travel exemptions can be found on the department’s website: Travel restrictions | COVID-19 and the border (

Fully vaccinated travellers should also check the What I need to do before I travel | COVID-19 and the border ( link for details on documents they should bring with them as evidence they are fully vaccinated and details on pre departure COVID testing and travel declaration requirements.

Quarantine on arrival requirements vary from state to state and travellers will need to comply with requirements of their arrival location as well as any other state or territories that they plan to travel to. This includes quarantine and post arrival testing requirements. These requirements can change at short notice and travellers should regularly check these requirements before travel. Further information can be found using the following link: States (

Visitor applications lodged before 15 December 2021

Please note that there is a high number of visitor visa applications which were lodged during the pandemic which, due to travel restrictions, were unable to be finalised. It will take time to process these applications as well as new applications which have been received after the reopening announcement.

To assist us in working through the backlog of applications, we request that –

  • if you lodged your application more than 3 months ago, please attach updated information in your application about your current circumstances (employment information, financial information, or invitation letters) and travel plans. We also encourage you not to make any irreversible travel plans until you have received a decision on your visa application as we may not be able to finalise your application before your desired travel dates due to high volumes.
  • If you had submitted an application through an agent before this date you should contact your agent to request an application status update.  If the agent is no longer operating, you can send a completed form 929 and a copy of your passport bio data page to [email protected]. We will update your contact details and the Department will cease corresponding with your agent.  All future correspondence will be sent to you.
  • If you no longer wish to travel to Australia at this time, or if your circumstances or contact information has changed, please see the section on how to update information or withdraw your application.

Please refer to the following links for further information:

Updating your contact details and form 929 - Your personal details have changed (

Before you travel you should review Australia’s travel requirements, which are detailed above.

Important News

Australian visas do not have passport labels. Present your passport and visa grant notification letter at the airport when you check in to travel. You can check your visa details, including validity and conditions, online using VEVO. As your visa is linked to your passport, notify the department if you obtain a new passport.

Visa Application Process

Visa Lodgement Advice 

We would like to provide some useful information to applicants to ensure that our requirements are clear, and we are able to focus on finalising applications in an efficient and timely manner.  Please take note of the following points.

  • Lodge a complete application.  Processing officers are able to make a decision on an application at first sight.  If they open an incomplete application they may refuse the application.  The check lists provide details of the documentation we require.
  • Complete biometrics within the time frames.  We recognise that as the peak season builds up the biometric appointments will also fill up quickly.  If you can only make an appointment outside of the permitted time frame let us know.  We can arrange for a new letter to be sent to you. 
  • Lodge early.  The earlier you lodge the application, the more time we have to process and less stress for you.  Please check these time frames for realistic expectations on when a decision will be made.  The earlier an applicant lodges, the sooner a finalisation can be made, enabling the applicant to then purchase their flight tickets. 
  • No expedited processing.  Only a documented medical emergency will be considered for urgent processing.  All other applications will be assessed on a lodgement date basis.  Flight specials will not be considered an urgent or compassionate reason to jump the processing queue.
  • Requirements for Children.  If travelling with children unde 18 years old applicants must upload Form 1229, signed by both parents and both parents passport or identity document, which must include a signature.  Sole parents must submit a court order or death certificate.


You should lodge complete visa applications, including required documentation supporting your application and providing biometrics. We use the information you provide to make a determination on whether we believe you are a genuine visa applicant. It is in your interest to provide as much information as possible with your application, as your visa application may be REFUSED if you do not substantiate your circumstances. Document Checklists are available for each visa type when using the Australian Government’s Visa Finder tool.

You should not book flights or make travel commitments until you have a visa to travel to Australia. The department will not be liable for any financial loss incurred by clients whose visa application was finalised later than expected or where an application is unsuccessful.


For information on topics not featured on this site, please visit the Department’s main website at: