Visas and Migration
The Australian Embassy in Kuwait does not have a visa or immigration section. The nearest office for visas and immigration is the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) office at the Australian Consulate-General in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
The DIBP office in Dubai manages certain visa and citizenship services for residents of the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Yemen. They also process permanent migration and citizenship by descent applications from Afghan nationals resident in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
For information on topics not featured on this site, please visit the Department’s main website: www.border.gov.au
1. Temporary Activity Visa Framework Changes
Subject to approval by the Governor-General of Australia, reforms to the temporary activity visa framework was introduced on 19 November 2016.
From 19 November 2016, the following visas are closed to new applications:
- Subclass 401 Temporary Work (Long Stay Activity) visa
- Subclass 402 Training and Research visa
- Subclass 416 Special Program visa
- Subclass 420 Temporary Work (Entertainment) visa
- Subclass 488 Superyacht Crew visa.
Note: new applications for any of the above visas lodged on or after 19 November 2016, including applications that were sent prior to 19 November but received by the DIBP office at the Australian Consulate-General Dubai on or after 19 November 2016, will be considered invalid and returned to the applicant together with payment of the visa application charge.
Please refer to the following cut-off dates for the submission of temporary activity visa applications at Australian visa application centres in the GCC region:
- Dubai: 16th November
- Abu Dhabi: 15th November
- Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, KSA: 13th November
From 19 November 2016 there are four new visa subclasses introduced:
- Subclass 400 Temporary Work (Short Stay Specialist) visa
- Subclass 403 Temporary Work (International Relations) visa
- Subclass 407 Training visa
- Subclass 408 Temporary Activity visa.
The new framework is designed to make applying for a temporary activity visa easier. For more information see: Temporary activity visa framework changes
2. Australia's simplified student visa framework
On 1 July 2016 Australia introduced a simplified student visa framework.
Under the new student visa framework:
- International students will apply for a single Student visa (subclass 500) regardless of their chosen course of study;
- Student guardians will apply for the new Student Guardian visa (subclass 590)
- All international students and student guardians will be required to apply for their visa online using ImmiAccount.
For more information see: Simplified student visa framework
Note: paper student visa applications lodged on or after 1 July 2016, including applications that were sent prior to 1 July but received by the DIBP office at the Australian Consulate-General Dubai on or after 1 July 2016, will be considered invalid and returned to the applicant together with payment of the student visa application charge.
3. Online Services
The Department of Immigration and Border Protection is committed to building more efficient and effective ways of delivering accessible services through the use of digital channels such as ImmiAccount and Visa Entitlement Verification Online (VEVO).
ImmiAccount is the 'front door' to our online services. After creating an ImmiAccount you can complete a number of services online - this includes:
- applying for a visa or citizenship
- updating passport details
- updating contact details
VEVO is a free online service that allows visa holders to check the details and entitlements of their visa. You can also use VEVO to print a copy of your visa details to take with you when you travel, or email your visa details.
Visa holders may also download our free myVEVO app, which allows you to view and email your visa details via an Android or iOS mobile device.
4. Australian Visa Application Centres in the Gulf region
The Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) has a service delivery partner - VFS Global - for the provision of visa lodgement services throughout nine Australian Visa Application Centres (AVACs) in the Gulf region.
AVACs offer visa application lodgement services such as:
- biometrics collection
- application fee payment
- application tracking
- responses to general application enquiries
Applicants in Kuwait can lodge an Australian visa application in person at the following address:
Level 30, Arraya Centre,
Sharq, Al-Shuhadaa St
Australian visa application centres have extended client service hours. You do not need to make an appointment, however during peak travel periods scheduling an appointment online is recommended.
5. Hoax Alert
The DIBP is aware of an online hoax claiming a visa-free option for nationals from Oman will be available from January 2017. This is a hoax. Australia has a universal visa programme, which means all non-citizens entering Australia must hold a valid Australian visa.
Australian Visa Options
There are a number of visa options available for people who want to visit, work, study or live in Australia. To see which Australian visa might suit you, use our Visa Finder
Watch a short online video about applying for a visa to come to Australia
Lodging Your Visa Application
► Apply online
Eligible applicants should apply online by creating an ImmiAccount
► Apply at an Australian Visa Application Centre
To see which Australian visa applications can be lodged at an Australian visa application centre, refer to Visa Types
To avoid processing delays, all documents and information to support your visa application must be submitted together at the time of application lodgement – see our information to help you prepare your application. You can expect your visa application to take longer to process if you have not provided all the required documentation when you apply.
Note: If you lodge your application directly with the DIBP Dubai office you will still need to go to an Australian visa application centre to provide your personal identifiers (biometrics).
After lodging your application
From 13 March 2017, the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) will begin publishing current global visa and citizenship processing times on its website www.border.gov.au. The processing times will be updated monthly, providing clients with an up-to-date, indicative timeframe of the time taken to process 75 per cent of a particular product, at a point in time. The publication of processing times will replace the currently published service standards.
For more information on processing times for visa and citizenship applications, please click here.
► Temporary entry visas
We process the Visitor visa (subclass 600), which is divided into two streams. If applying for this visa you must select one of the following streams:
- Tourist stream: for people travelling to Australia as a tourist or to visit family
- Business stream: for business people travelling to Australia for a short business trip.
If you hold a passport from the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar or Oman you are eligible to apply online for a Visitor visa (e600). See the full list of eligible passport holders (for applicants outside Australia) who can apply online for a Visitor visa (e600).
See the following links for information about other temporary entry visas:
- Student visas
- Temporary Work – Short Stay Activity visa (subclass 400)
- Temporary Work – Long Stay Activity visa (subclass 401)
- Training and Research visa (subclass 402)
- Temporary Work (International Relations) visa (subclass 403)
- New Zealand Citizen Family Relationship visa (subclass 461)
Eligible applicants should apply online using ImmiAccount
If you are not eligible to apply online, you can submit a paper application at any Australian visa application centre in Gulf region.
► Permanent entry visas
We process permanent entry visa applications in the Family Migration stream from applicants residing in the United Arab Emirates, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman, Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Eligible applicants should apply online for a Partner visa using ImmiAccount. Partner visa applications not lodged online may experience delays in processing. For comprehensive information about the Partner visa, see Booklet 1, Partner Migration
Applications for Child, Parent and Other Family categories should be lodged at one of the nine Australian visa application centres in the Gulf region, or couriered directly to the Australian Consulate-General, Dubai. For comprehensive information about Child migration, see Booklet 2, Child Migration
Applications must be lodged complete with all required documents to avoid processing delays. Sufficient evidence of identity is critical for ensuring your application is complete. Note: identity for Afghan applicants is assessed on the basis of a machine readable passport and the original copy of an English translated tazkira attested by the Afghan Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
For further information, see our Family Migration Questions and Answers
► Refugee and humanitarian visas
For comprehensive information about the Refugee and humanitarian (Class XB) visa and the relevant application forms, see Refugee and humanitarian visas
Applicants who are living outside their home country may approach the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) for refugee determination. If the UNHCR finds them to be refugees, they may be referred to a country such as Australia for resettlement.
Prospective applicants residing United Arab Emirates, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman, Pakistan or Afghanistan should complete an Application for an Offshore Humanitarian visa (Form 842) and lodge their application by post or courier directly to the Australian Consulate-General, Dubai.
Applicants from the following table of countries whose application is accompanied by a Refugee and special humanitarian proposal (Form 681) must lodge their application at the Victorian Offshore Humanitarian Processing Centre – this applies to people who are lodging a visa for consideration under the Global Special Humanitarian Program (SHP) or as an immediate family member:
United Arab Emirates
After lodging your visa application, if you need to contact us then use the Australian Immigration Enquiry Form – United Arab Emirates
Department of Immigration and Border Protection
Level 25 Burjuman Business Tower
Sheikh Khalifa Bin zayed Road
Mankhool, Bur Dubai
PO Box 124400 Dubai
Tel: +971 4 5087200
For transactions related to visas, immigration and citizenship, the Dubai client counter hours are 9am to 11am every Thursday. No appointment is required during this period.
Note: applicants are advised not to send visa and citizenship applications by registered post to the DIBP office at the Australian Consulate-General in Dubai. Applications sent by registered post are stored for collection at the local post office and will not be delivered to the Consulate unless an additional fee is paid to the local post office. As DIBP cannot accept liability for this postal collection fee, any applicants wishing to use registered post will need to make their own arrangements directly with the post office for payment of this fee.
Instead, applicants may courier applications - at their own expense - directly to the DIBP at the Australian Consulate-General Dubai, at the above address.
We value your feedback