A summary of 1 July 2017 changes by the Department.
Visa and migration changes
New Zealand pathway
An additional pathway to permanent residence for New Zealand Special Category visa holders has been introduced and is available to certain New Zealand citizens. This pathway is included in the Skilled Independent (subclass 189) visa as a new stream. For more information, visit
An additional pathway to permanent residence for New Zealand citizens page.
Changes to the Eligible New Zealand Citizen definition
The definition of Eligible New Zealand Citizen has been amended to align with Australian social security law. Consequential changes have also been made to the New Zealand Family Relationship (Subclass 461) visa. For more information, see the changes to the Eligible New Zealand Citizen definition on the
Online Visitor visa lodgement for Indian nationals
Indian passport holders can now lodge Visitor (subclass 600) visa applications online. For more information, visit the
Visitor visa (subclass 600) page.
Online lodgement of Visitor visa Priority consideration service requests
Eligible countries (China, India, and United Arab Emirates) will be able to apply online for the Priority consideration service for Visitor visa applications. For more information, visit the
Priority consideration (fast-track) service
Skilled visas (including 457 visas)
A number of changes are being made to the temporary and permanent skilled visa programmes. For more information, visit the
1 July 2017 changes to skilled visa programmes page, including the relevant webpages of each individual programme for the latest policy updates.
Medical Treatment visa
Amendments have been made to the Medical Treatment (subclass 602) visa. Applicants who are in Australia and do not hold a substantive visa need to provide additional documentation from 1 July regarding their proposed medical treatment in order to lodge a valid application. For more information, visit the
Medical Treatment visa (subclass 602) page.
Visa office closures
Visa offices at the Australian missions in Apia, Athens, Nuku’alofa and Vientiane closed on 30 June 2017. From 1 July, visa applications from residents of:
- Laos will be processed at the Australian Embassy in Bangkok, Thailand
- Samoa and Tonga will be processed at the Australian High Commission in Suva, Fiji
- Greece will continue to be processed at the Australian Embassy in Berlin, Germany.
Visa application charges
As part of the 2017–18 Budget, the Australian Government announced a number of changes to existing visa application charges, including the introduction of a number of new products. For more information, visit the
Fees and charges for visas page.
Refugee and humanitarian changes
Lodgement of Protection visa available online
If you are seeking a protection visa in Australia, you can now apply online for a Temporary Protection visa , Safe Haven Enterprise visa or Permanent Protection visa. If you are lodging a paper application, you can now only apply by post. For more information, visit the Introduction of online lodgement for protection visas and changes to paper application forms page.
Community Support Programme
The Department is providing more information for prospective approved proposing organisations on the Community Support Programme (CSP) from 1 July. The CSP enables communities and businesses—as well as families and individuals—to propose humanitarian visa applicants and support new humanitarian arrivals in their settlement journey to Australia. For more information, visit
The Community Support Programme page.
Outgoing passenger card retired
Passengers departing from Australia no longer need to complete the outgoing passenger card from 1 July. This will help departing passengers clear the border more efficiently. Arriving passengers will still need to complete the orange incoming passenger card. For more information, visit the
Passenger card page.
Reduction in the duty free tobacco allowance
Travellers 18 years and over can only bring 25 grams of duty free tobacco into Australia from 1 July. The 25 grams can be in any form (cigarette, loose leaf and so on) and is equivalent to approximately 25 cigarettes. Ensure that you are familiar with what you can bring into Australia. For more information, visit the
Can I bring it back page.
APEC Business Travel Card for Australian citizens
Business people who are Australian citizens can apply online for the APEC Business Travel Card from 1 July. For more information, visit the
Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Business Travel Card (ABTC) for Australian citizens page.