Travel to Australia

Changes for travel to Australia

Australia’s Department of Home Affairs has advised of the following changes for travel to Australia.

Phone Line Closure

The Immigration Office at the Australian High Commission in Pretoria no longer takes telephone enquiries.

Agents and clients who need to get in touch with the Department are directed to do so via the Web Enquiry Form which can be found here

The answer to most queries can be found on the website, and agents and travellers are encouraged to first visit website:  For any pre-lodgement enquiries, contact TLScontact on +27 (0)21 472 3800.

Delay in Processing of eVisitor (subclass 651)

It has come to the attention of the department that some applicants are experiencing delays in the processing of eVisitor (subclass 651) visa applications.

Current average processing times are within two business days, however, please note that this is indicative average processing time and not a service standard. Applicants are requested to wait until a decision has been made on their application, or they have been requested to provide additional information. It is important not to finalise any travel arrangements/flights until a decision has been received on their application.

Please note the eVisitor and ETA visas are not processed by the office and thus, will be unable to assist with processing or technical queries regarding these visas. However, travellers are able to use the Immigration Enquiry Form to contact the relevant area regarding the status of their application.

Student Visa Programme

The Department is currently focusing on managing the peak STUDENT lodgement period.  The department is experiencing a significant increase in student visa applications being lodged and it is important to continue to submit complete applications at least six weeks prior to course commencement to help minimise delays in processing student visas.

Where family members intend to join students in Australia within 12 months of the student’s arrival, strong consideration should be given to including family members as ‘accompanying’ dependents in the initial primary student visa application. Lodging a student visa application listing family member as ‘un-accompanying’ dependents and then lodging a subsequent entrant dependent visa application soon after can lead to processing delays because applications by primary student visa applicants take priority. We request agents inform clients there may be lengthy delays between lodgement and finalisation for subsequent entrant dependent student visa applications and there is no facility to expedite visa processing time for applicants. If this is likely to be of concern, clients are encouraged to lodge a single student visa application including family members as accompanying dependents.

The Department can make a decision on a student visa application with the information provided, there is no requirement to request more information. Student visa applicants subject to regular evidence requirements must attach evidence of financial capacity, including evidence of genuine access to those funds. Evidence of English proficiency or being exempt must also be included with the application. Failure to provide these documents may lead to visa refusal.

Agents should ensure genuine temporary entrant (GTE) statements provide sufficient information and supporting documents. The applicant should explain any gaps in study or employment and, where relevant, address the reasons for study in an unrelated field to previous study or employment. The applicant must explain how completing the study will help them fulfil their future plans. The GTE statement must reflect the student’s circumstances. Generic statements will not be weighed heavily in the GTE assessment.


When receiving a ‘Request for Information’ from the Department, documents must be uploaded to the application in ImmiAccount.

Do not email the documents or contact the Department to advise they have been uploaded. Emailing the Department in these circumstances is unnecessary and can delay visa processing.

Ensure all Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) reference numbers are listed in the application form and a copy of the CoE/s are uploaded into ImmiAccount. Failure to do so could result in the visa being granted for the period associated with the one CoE provided.