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Refugee week 2017: Celebrating Australia’s Humanitarian Programme and the contributions of humanitarian entrants.

Refugee week 2017

Today’s guest blogger, David Wilden, is the First Assistant Secretary Immigration and Citizenship Policy at the Department of Immigration and Border Protection. In this role he is responsible for policy development and advice for temporary and permanent visas in the skilled, family and humanitarian programmes. David joined the Department in 2005.  Over the course of his public service career, David has worked in a range of departments and agencies including Centrelink and the Public Service Commission. 


Australia has a long and proud tradition of resettling refugees and people in humanitarian need. Since the end of World War II, we have provided permanent resettlement to over 865,000 people from around the world.

Seven myths about the Community Status Resolution Service & how they help resolve immigration matters.

Female student using phone


There are some common misconceptions that prevent people who have overstayed their visa from approaching us. These include:

1. If I come forward you will detain me.

We generally do not detain people who voluntarily approach us about their immigration situation. We will generally assess you for a Bridging visa E, which is a temporary type of visa that allows you to remain in the community lawfully while you work with us to resolve your immigration matter.


2. If I come forward I will be deported and will not be able to stay in Australia.

We can discuss the range of visa options available to you when you approach us voluntarily, including whether you are eligible for a temporary or a permanent visa to remain in Australia.


3. I accidentally overstayed my visa because I didn’t understand when my visa expired, now it is too late.

Introducing new global processing times

Visa and Citizenship Processing Times


From 13 March 2017, you'll be able to view current visa and citizenship application processing times. This information will be available for most visa and citizenship types, and can be found on the visa and citizenship pages of our website, as well as Visa Finder.

This means that you'll receive up-to-date information related to your application, to give you an idea of how long it will take to process.

Estimated processing times will be updated regularly to reflect current caseloads at our visa processing locations. Two processing times will be displayed for most subclasses, indicating how long it takes to finalise 75 and 90 per cent of applications globally.


Second Work and Holiday visa for backpackers in northern Australia

Northern AustraliaWe made changes to Work and Holiday visas on 19 November 2016 as part of the Government’s commitment in the 2015 White Paper on Developing Northern Australia. If you’re a Work and Holiday (Subclass 462) visa holder, you now have the opportunity to get a second 12-month visa. This applies if you work for three months in the tourism and hospitality or agriculture, forestry, and fishing industries in northern Australia while on your first visa. This new opportunity encourages Work and Holiday visa holders to spend time living and working in Australia’s north.

Sponsors of Partner and Prospective Marriage visas lodged on or after 18 November 2016 to provide police checks

The Australian government is committed to reducing violence in the Australian community, including family and sexual violence. As part of this commitment, we will ask sponsors of Partner/Prospective Marriage visa applications lodged on or after 18 November 2016 to provide Australian and/or foreign police checks and to give us permission to disclose convictions for certain offences to the visa applicant(s). See our website for information about the changes, including offences we can disclose.

The changes only apply to cases where the visa application is made on or after 18 November 2016. If your partner lodged his/her application before 18 November 2016, the new requirements will not apply to you, even if you submit your sponsorship form after 18 November 2016.

How to apply for an Entrepreneur visa

This blog post is part of a series of three on our role in supporting the Australian Government’s National Innovation and Science Agenda.

Australia’s new Entrepreneur visa was launched on 10 September 2016 as a new stream of the Business Innovation and Investment visa.

Portrait of smiling young Vietnamese software engineer

Here’s how to apply:

Submitting an EOI

The first step towards applying for an Entrepreneur visa is lodging an Expression of Interest (EOI) in SkillSelect.