Australian High Commission
Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka
Also accredited to the Republic of Maldives

Visas and migration


Welcome to the website of the Department of Home Affairs in Colombo. For information on topics not featured on this site, please visit the main Department of Home Affairs website.

For information about Coronavirus and the Australian Border go to:

The Department's office in Colombo manages a range of visa and citizenship services for clients in Sri Lanka and the Maldives.


The visa office of the Australian High Commission in Colombo is currently operating at very limited capacity.          

Please note that there may be a delay in the finalisation of applications received due to this change.

Progress of online applications can be tracked using ImmiAccount: 

It is unlikely that we will be able to process your application if it is lodged by paper. Travellers wishing to travel imminently are advised to lodge online. 

If you have compelling or compassionate grounds for urgent travel to Australia, please contact us on , providing documentary evidence in support of the grounds for urgent travel and your acknowledgement of the need to self-isolate for 14 days on arrival in Australia.

Information for Visa Applicants

Lodging online is the fastest and cheapest way to get your visa

We strongly encourage Visitor visa (subclass 600) applicants to lodge online.   Most online applications will be processed within 14 days of your biometrics being provided, and the completion of medical examination (if required), whilst paper applications may take between 30 to 50 days to process. We will not expedite a visa application to accommodate impending travel dates. An online application is your best chance of receiving a decision on your visa quickly.

IMPORTANT: You should apply for your visa well in advance of your intended travel date. We recommend that you do not finalise your travel arrangements until you have a valid visa to travel to Australia.

We will not respond to application status enquiries within the global visa processing times.

Important News

Peak season visa processing

Please be aware that the Australian High Commission is currently experiencing high volumes of visa applications. We are recommending that all visitor visa applications are lodged at least four weeks in advance of the applicants intended travel date. 

Caution: Do not make travel commitments

Please lodge your visa application well before your intended date of travel. 

You should not book flights or make travel commitments until you have a visa to travel to Australia. The Department of Home Affairs will not be liable for any financial losses incurred by any client whose visa application was finalised later than expected or where an application is unsuccessful.

Online lodgement for Transit visas

In line with the Department of Home Affairs commitment to improve services and expand online service delivery, we are planning to implement online lodgement for the Transit (subclass 771) Visa by the end of the financial year. The change means:

  • From 1 July 2018 online lodgement will be the only option available for Transit (subclass771) visa applications.
  • From the date of introduction of the online form, clients will no longer have access to, or be able to lodge, paper applications for this visa.
  • A transit visa online application form will be available through ImmiAccount.
  • The new form for a Transit visa will include additional questions.

Global visa and citizenship processing times

The Department of Home Affairs (the Department) is continually looking to improve client information and processing arrangements. Current processing times for the visa or citizenship type you are applying for is available on the our website

Please do not contact us to request status updates on the processing of your application as this only serves to slow processing times down. We will not respond to these enquiries where the application is within the global processing timeframes.

Please note that applications are assessed on a case-by-case basis, and that actual processing times may vary due to individual circumstances including:

  • whether the applicant has lodged a complete application including all necessary supporting documents
  • how promptly the applicant responds to any requests for additional information
  • how long it takes to perform required checks
  • how long it takes to receive additional information from external parties, particularly in relation to health, character, national security, and Assurance of Support requirements
  • the number of places available in the migration programme (for permanent migration visas)
  • surges in demand and peak periods

To ensure your application falls within the published processing times, we strongly encourage you to submit complete applications. The checklists provided on ImmiAccount will assist in making sure you have included all required documents during the application process.

Employment scam

The Australian High Commission in Colombo is aware of a scam on the internet seeking workers for various jobs in Australia. People who respond to the advertisement receive emails from a fake employer in Australia with employment application forms. After applying they are sent an employment offer letter and start receiving email correspondence which alleges to be from the Department of Immigration and Border Protection in relation to a visa application. The person is then asked to pay money into a private bank account to finalise the visa. These documents are fake and no visa application is lodged with us. If you are planning to apply for a work visa please refer to information on Remember that any visa application you make should be lodged directly with the Department online or through our service delivery partner, which in Sri Lanka is VFS Global. The Department does not recommend the use of unregistered third parties for lodging applications. For more information about scams and to report instances of alleged fraud see Migration fraud and scams.

Report something unlawful or suspicious

Reporting suspicious, unlawful or criminal behaviour actively helps us to protect Australia's border and manage the movement of people and goods across it. We take all reports of suspicious activity seriously and you can choose to make a report anonymously.

The immigration and citizenship fraud reporting service receives reports relating to individuals who do not hold a valid visa to remain in Australia, are working illegally in breach of their visa conditions, or have lied or provided false documents in their visa application.

To make a report of this type, visit the report immigration or citizenship fraud page where you can complete an online form and provide details of suspected offences.