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Home > Immigration Services > Immigration Update – Australian Visa Applications made in South Africa

Immigration Update – Australian Visa Applications made in South Africa

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9 June, 2016

 Update on Biometric Data Collection for all Australian Visa applications  lodged in South Africa

The Australian High Commission in Pretoria, South Africa, have advised that effective 8 June 2016, all applicants for an Australian visa who are in South Africa at the time of lodgement, regardless of their nationality, must at the time of making a visa application provide their biometrics along with their application, unless otherwise excluded or exempted from doing so under Australian Government policy. Those applicants exempted are detailed further below.

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 four (4) Australian Visa Application Centres (AVACs) to provide their biometrics. These AVACs managed by the Australian Government’s Service Deliver Partner TLS contact, are located in Cape Town, Durban, Johannesburg and Pretoria.

Applicants will still be able to lodge their visa application through any one of the AVACs located across South Africa, where they will also be able to provide biometrics at the same time. Alternatively, visa applicants who send their application by mail or lodge online, including visas lodged online under the General Skilled Migration, Temporary Work (Skilled), Employer Nomination and Business Skills and Parent Categories, will be sent a letter requiring them to attend an AVAC to provide their biometrics. Applicants will need to take this letter with them to an AVAC when providing biometrics so the AVAC is able to match their application with the biometrics collected.

Some applicants may be fully or partially exempt from providing biometrics under Australian Government policy. Applicants fully exempt from providing biometrics include diplomatic representatives and their dependants, and government officials acting as a representative of a foreign government. Applicants who may be partially exempt from biometric collection 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 33 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.

The fees for acceptance of visa applications, or to only have the biometrics taken, are as follows and are over and above the visa application charges:

Service Fees

Service Fees are payable in addition to the Visa Application Charges at time of application submission.

Please note that only cash payment in ZAR will be accepted in the Visa Application Centre.


Application lodgement – Primary Applicant

Resident Return visa applications

1017 ZAR

Application lodgement – Additional applicant on the same form as the Primary applicant

Citizenship by Descent and Australian Declaratory Visa applications

Additional Document Drop*

814 ZAR
For applicants who are required by DIBP to enroll biometrics following application through the e-lodgement application route.
811 ZAR


This will cause some delays in the processing of applications if clients cannot provide their biometrics as soon as possible after the visa applications are lodged.  It also has a financial impact in that it will now cost more regardless of whether the application is lodged online or sent to the Australian High Commission via courier.  It may also create a problem for applicants who do not live close to the major cities where biometric data can be taken.

For further information and assistance please contact:

Charmaine de Lange
Outbound Migration Manager – South Africa

Santa Fe Immigration Services

Ground Floor, 457 Rodericks Avenue, Lynnwood, 0081, Pretoria

(PO Box 72325, Lynnwood Ridge, 0040)

T: +27 12 348 2910/1587

M: +27 82 6080 324

F: +27 12 365 2109


Sue Kukadia
Group Director

Santa Fe Immigration Services

Tel:     +44 (0)20 8961 4141

Mob: +44 (0)7469 853208