The Australian High Commission has advised that it has recently received an unusually high volume of applications.
At present, the commission is doing its best to assess them, however, in order to assist the commission in finalising applications as quickly as possible, agents should take note of the following:
What can agents do when lodging applications?
- When lodging applications for families or groups travelling together, ensure that you link the applicants of the group. This will assist us in processing them together.
- Please ensure we do not have to request anything further from you – please supply documentation that covers incentive to return, ability to cover all your costs, provide employment confirmations, insurances etc.
- Please ensure that all applications for children under the age of 18 have a form 1229 completed and uploaded with any relevant supporting documents – eg identification documents for both parents/guardians, full birth certificate of child etc.
- Please make use of the My Health Declaration to speed up any medical requirement.
- Advise all over 75s that they are required to provide evidence of travel insurance that covers their entire stay in Australia.
- Please note that the processing staff are within their rights to refuse an application on first sight if documentation is missing or biometrics have not been done within the required time frame.
- Please manage client expectations in relation to how long it is currently taking to obtain a visa. Holding an airline ticket holds no influence over our prioritisation of a case.
What can agents do after lodgement?
- Ensure that biometrics are done as soon as possible, and ask us for biometrics request letters if not received within a day of lodgement.
- When we have requested additional information please make sure you upload everything to ImmiAccount. Please do not email the requested information to us. If you can see it on ImmiAccount so can we.
Why are applications taking so long to assess?
- Average global visa processing times are global historical averages and reflect only the average time taken by all visa processing offices to finalise applications.
- Pretoria is currently in the region of 45 days processing time – please reiterate the need to apply in plenty of time and not according to the global average.
- We cannot make any guarantees regarding processing times – every application is different and requires slightly different processing.
Communicating with us
- Please make use of our embassy website – we update this website with urgent messages and new information that is helpful to our clients – https://southafrica.embassy.gov.au/pret/Visas_and_Migration.html
- Repeat emails will only slow down processing. Please let your clients know that repeat follow ups will take time away from processing applications.
- If you have applied on line and your passport details have changed you are able to update these yourself through your ImmiAccount. If you are not able to use this options you need to complete form 929 and email it to email@example.com
- Please advise that our auto response is considered a response to an enquiry. This response has information and links that will answer the applicants questions.
- We have several email addresses in Pretoria to ensure that enquiries are direct to the correct area quickly. Please address your enquiries to the following mail boxes:
Tourist and Business visas – firstname.lastname@example.org
Student visas – email@example.com
Family migration – firstname.lastname@example.org
It would be very helpful to our processing officers if you could use the following subject wording when sending us an email – “S/C 600 Business – TRN or BCC or passport number – Client’s Name”. This will help us to quickly identify the application and take action.
Thank you for your patience and cooperation.