It is important to keep records and notes. Dealings with the department generally take months. A new and complex fee regime imposes very high fees for visas.
Whenever you make contact with Home Affairs you should keep a note of the time and the name of the officer with whom you spoke. Notes of the advice received from any officer should be kept. Copies of every document that is lodged with Home Affairs should also be kept.
Whatever application you make to Home Affairs, a file number will be allocated to it; whenever you contact or write to Home Affairs this file number should be quoted.
Most application forms provide a space for you to give reasons in support of your application. These spaces are often not large enough to tell the complete story. Any further material you wish to put to Home Affairs in support of your application should be attached to the application form.
Almost all applications take a long time to be processed by Home Affairs. If you receive no response to your application for several months, this is not unusual and not a cause for worry. However, if your application is taking longer than the published global processing time for that visa (see www.homeaffairs.gov.au), you should first contact Home Affairs to ask about the progress of your application (see “Contacts”).
If you do not receive a satisfactory explanation for the delay, then you may wish to contact your local Commonwealth member of parliament to make enquiries, or the Commonwealth Ombudsman if you believe there has been unreasonable delay.
You may send your application, addressed to the Regional Director, to Home Affairs.
Fees for Home Affairs’ services underwent very complex changes on 1 July 2013 and have been greatly increased in most visa categories. Because different fees are now charged – depending upon how many members of the family are included and whether applicants are transitioning between temporary visas – it is not possible to provide a simple list. These complex arrangements are contained in a “Visa Pricing Table”, which can be found online at www.homeaffairs.gov.au.