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Visas and Citizenship
New Measures to Mitigate the Risk of Polio Transmission to Australia
Threats to public health
To protect the Australian community from public health and safety risks, visa applicants must be free from any disease or condition considered a threat to public health or a danger to the Australian community.
Polio is a highly infectious virus that invades the nervous system.
On 5 May 2014, the World Health Organization declared that the transmission of wild poliovirus is a Public Health Emergency of International Concern and identified 10 countries as being of risk. These countries are Afghanistan, Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Iraq, Israel, Nigeria, Pakistan, Somalia and Syria.
Due to the very high vaccination coverage against polio in Australia, the risk of polio spreading in Australia is considered to be low. It is nevertheless considered appropriate for measures to be put in place that mitigate that risk.
Polio – New measures for visa applicants
If you have spent a period of 28 days or longer on after 5 May 2014 in Afghanistan, Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Iraq, Israel, Nigeria, Pakistan, Somalia or Syria, or any combination of these countries, you should provide your polio vaccination certificate. If you are lodging a new application, this should be provided at the time you apply.
Applicants attending a medical appointment with a panel physician should bring their vaccination certificate to the medical appointment.
If you do not provide the vaccination certificate at the time you apply, or at the time you undertake your medical appointment, the Department may request you obtain a certificate separately and this could delay your application.
Exempt Visa Subclasses
These measures do not apply to the following visa applications:
• Resident Return visas – Subclasses 155, 157 and 159
• Privileges and Immunities Stream - Temporary work – Subclass 403
• Special Purpose visa – Subclass 444
• Transit – Subclass 771
• Maritime Crew – Subclass 988
• Diplomatic – Subclass 995
• Declaratory – Subclass 998
For more information on polio, see the Australian Department of Health website.
For further immigration about the migration health requirement, including the requirement for evidence of polio vaccinations, see: http://www.immi.gov.au/allforms/health-requirements/
Information on Local Arrangements
Being a signatory to International Health Regulations (IHR), the Pakistani government has issued a directive that all international travellers are required to carry polio certification before boarding an international flight. It is mandatory for any individual spending a month or more in Pakistan.
People traveling out of Pakistan can obtain the vaccination and certificate from any major public hospital at city, district and provincial level as well as from DHO offices. In cases where there is a medical reason for not being vaccinated, the designated physician will record the reason on the vaccination certificate.
Additional information regarding the vaccination includes:
i) The polio certificate must be signed by a designated senior hospital official.
ii) The polio vaccination and certificate will be valid for one year.
iii) Any person who has planned their trip earlier can be vaccinated four weeks before the date of travelling.
iv) For further information, travellers are advised to visit their local hospital.
Fraudulent Email in Circulation – Family Resettlement Program
The Australian High Commission is aware of a fraudulent e-mail being distributed within Afghanistan and Pakistan claiming that the recipient has been selected for the Australian Government 'Family Resettlement Program’.
This e-mail is not genuine and it is recommended that people not respond to the e-mail and do not send any personal information.
The Department of Immigration and Border Protection has recently become aware of scam emails being sent from email addresses ending in '.pn' and claiming to be from the department or another Australian Government agency. We have not sent these emails and these are not genuine departmental email addresses.
An example scam email address is 'firstname.lastname@example.org'
The scam uses multiple email addresses, but the common feature is the '.pn' ending. Also be cautious of job offers that instruct you to contact the department through an email address that ends in '.pn'. Our genuine email addresses do not end in '.pn'.
The scam will direct you to pay through a Western Union money transfer. We will not ask for a payment directly to the department through Western Union. Also be aware that we do not offer a 'resettlement programme' through unsolicited emails or an 'electronic ballot'.
For more information on how to identify this scam, see migration related scams
For more information on email and internet scams, see email and internet scams
For more information on migration fraud, and how to protect yourself from it, see migration fraud
Introduction of Service Fees
From 1 July 2014, the Department of Immigration and Border Protection is moving to a full user-pays model at all biometric Australian Visa Application Centres. This means that the Service Delivery Partner will charge clients a service fee for visa application lodgement and biometric collection. This is in addition to visa application charges.
See: Service Delivery Partner Flyer for the Service Fee charges
From 1 June 2014, the contact numbers for the Australian Visa Application Centre (AVAC) have changed. The new contact details of the AVAC are:
Landline: 0900 07860
Mobile: 9999 (the mobile short code number is temporarily unavailable to Zong, Warid and Telenor users)
Operating hours: Monday – Friday 0800 to 1700
If you would like to provide any feedback on the quality of our telephone services, please submit your feedback by email to email@example.com - please list the subject line of your email as "AVAC telephone service".
Online lodgement for Visitor visas (subclass 600) from 9 May 2014
From 9 May 2014, the Australian Government is providing online access to nationals of Afghanistan to apply for a Visitor Visa (visa subclass 600).
The online visa lodgement system is available to applicants at their convenience, seven days a week, without the need to apply in person or send in application forms by mail. Applications can be made at www.immi.gov.au (See: Online Services).
To start an application, you will first need to create your own online account, known as ImmiAccount. ImmiAccount lets you create and manage all your online visa applications in one place. You can use your account to:
• lodge and pay for your visa application
• continue a saved application
• attach documents if required, and
• check the progress of your application.
Please note that you will need access to a credit card to pay for an online application. A third party may complete an online application on your behalf with your consent.
If your visa is granted, you will not require a visa label in your passport, as your visa details will be stored electronically. You can check your visa conditions before you travel to Australia using the Visa Entitlement Verification Online (VEVO) system.
For more information about online visas and which nationalities are eligible to make online applications,
Note: If you do not have access to the internet, you can still make a paper visa application. If the applicant is outside Pakistan (eg. in Afghanistan) the application should be sent by courier to the Australian High Commission, Islamabad to the address below.
Immigration and Citizenship Section
Australian High Commission
Constitution Avenue & Ispahani Road
Diplomatic Enclave No. 1
ISLAMABAD – PAKISTAN
Visa Wizard: a tool to assist in finding suitable visa options
Citizenship Wizard: a tool to assist in finding suitable citizenship options
Client Service Charter: an important document that sets out what you need to know when dealing with us
Compliments and Complaints: explains how compliments, complaints or suggestions about our services can be made
Making an Application
Refugee and Global Special Humanitarian Programs
Australian Citizenship and Citizenship by Descent