Frequently Asked Questions

Can the SDP assist with online lodgement?

SDPs can provide assistance to applicants to lodge applications for visas available online through ImmiAccount. A service fee will be payable for this service.

I have lodged my application online – what is my application status?

If you have lodged your application online, including Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) applications, you can track the status of your application on the Department of Home Affairs website.

CSRA is unable to assist with applications lodged through the Department of Home Affairs systems. For more information on online applications including tracking the status of your online application, please click here:

For technical issues relating to ImmiAccount or online visa applications being lodged via ImmiAccount the online technical support form can be used to request assistance.

NOTE: If the client has enquired about an application that is being processed in Australia, the client should be advised to contact the onshore visa processing centre in Australia that is responsible for processing the application. This information is generally indicated on an acknowledgement letter sent to the client upon receipt of an application.

What is biometrics?

Biometrics are ways of identifying you using your unique physical characteristics, such as your:

  • fingerprints
  • facial structure
  • eye
  • voice

Biometric data is an increasingly important tool in identity management globally, helping countries reduce fraud and integrity risks. Many countries have already introduced biometrics to improve visa and border checking processes.

The Australian Government collects biometrics as part of its overseas visa application process.Biometric data is collected using a quick, discreet and non-intrusive process that captures a facial image with a digital camera and a 10-digit fingerprint scan with a digital fingerscanner.

For more information on biometric collection, please refer to:

Who will collect my biometrics?

A contractual agreement was entered into with CSRA to provide biometric collection services in Colombia for the Australian Government.

Why do you need to take my photograph and fingerprints?

To check your identity and help identify you in the future.

​Other reasons we collect this information are to:

  • protect you from identity fraud
  • make travel to Australia safer
  • strengthen Australia's border security; and
  • improve national security

We have the authority to collect your information under the Migration Act 1958 and the Migration Regulations 1994.

What will you do with the information you collect?

Facial images and fingerprint scans will be kept on secure departmental databases. Only authorised officers under the Migration Act 1958, as regulated by the Privacy Act 1988, may access their biometric records.

Form 1243i (Your personal identifying information) has more information about your personal information and privacy. ​

Under the Migration Act, the department is allowed to provide biometrics for permitted purposes to certain Australian Government departments, agencies and countries.

The purposes may include verifying identity, combating identity fraud or determining if an applicant has a criminal history.

Who must have their Biometrics collected?

If you are lodging a visa application in a selected location, regardless of nationality, you might need to provide your biometrics in relation to each visa application you lodge, unless exempt. A detailed list of the selected locations and visa subclasses included in the programme is available at:

Who is excluded from providing Biometrics?

  • The applicant is an Australian permanent resident or New Zealand Citizen travelling on a New Zealand passport
  • The applicant is not in a participating country
  • Some applicants who apply for visas electronically
  • The visa application must be made in Australia to be a valid application
  • APEC Business Travel Card holders

Who is exempt from providing Biometrics?

  • Sovereigns, Heads of State and their family
  • Heads of Government and their immediate family
  • Government Ministers and their immediate family members when travelling officially
  • Government Officials travelling on government business
  • Officials of international inter-governmental organisations travelling on official business
  • Accredited diplomats and consular officers and Diplomatic couriers
  • Special Purpose Visa Holders

Do minors have Biometrics collected?

  • Photograph for all applicants regardless of age
  • Fingerprints collected from applicants aged 5 or over at the time of enrollment
  • A parent or guardian must be present during the biometric collection process for applicants less than 16 years of age

Do I need to have my photograph and fingerprints taken each time I apply for a visa?

Each time you apply for an Australian visa you will need to provide your photograph and fingerprints. If you visit Australia regularly, you could apply for a multiple entry visa.

Please ensure you bring your passport with you when you attend the Australian Biometrics Collection Centre.

Do I need to make an appointment to get my photograph and fingerprints taken?

To avoid long waiting times, you should make an appointment.

To make an appointment, go to

Does my family have to provide their photograph and fingerprints?

Everyone included in your visa application that is travelling will have to have their biometrics taken.

Children younger than 16 years of age will need a parent, guardian or other independent person to give their permission for us to take their photograph and/or fingerprints.

Fingerprints will not be taken for:

  • children younger than 5 years of age
  • an incapable person
  • physically incapacitated persons

An incapable person is someone who is not able to understand why they need to provide their photograph or fingerprints. This includes people who have an intellectual disability.

Does an adult need to come to my appointment if I am younger than 16 years of age?

If you are younger than 16 years of age, you will need a parent, guardian or independent person to be with you, and to give their permission for us to take your photograph or fingerprints.

I have an injury to my face. Can I still have my photograph taken?

If your injury is not permanent; you should wait until the injury has healed before you have your photograph taken.

Will my fingerprints be taken if any of my fingers are missing, decorated or injured?

If you have fingers missing, you will still need to have scans taken of your remaining fingers.

If you have cut or damaged your fingertips, you should wait until the injury has healed.

If you have a temporary decoration, such as mehndi, you should check with the Australian Biometric Collection Centre to find out whether your fingerprints can be taken.

Can an interpreter help me when I have my photograph and fingerprints taken?

You would not usually need an interpreter because the staff member taking your biometrics will speak the local language.

Where can I find further information on the Biometrics Programme?

More information about the Australian biometric programme can be found at: