Lodging certain humanitarian applications in Australia

Email lodgement of Special Humanitarian Program applications

Special Humanitarian Program (SHP) visa applications can now be lodged by email. Email lodgement offers a number of advantages for applicants and their proposers. Application processing times have been reduced, applicants’ information does not need to be sent via inaccessible, unreliable or insecure postal networks overseas, and applicants who would otherwise have paid for a courier have lower expenses and the certainty and peace of mind that their application has been delivered safely.

To lodge an application by email:

Step 1

Complete and save the required approved fillable forms and save on your computer or device.

Step 2Scan all accompanying documentation requested on the approved forms including a passport style photograph of each applicant. Ensure that the photo is saved as the name of the person depicted in the photo and all other files are clearly named in English.
​Step 3

Lodge completed forms and associated documentation by emailing them to the Department. The 'Apply' button will take you to a webpage that creates this email for you.


After your application has been sent, the Department will send an acknowledgement to the authorised recipient nominated on the form. This acknowledgement will also confirm whether your application is valid.

To lodge a paper application:

If you are unable to lodge your application by email, completed applications can be sent to:

Special Humanitarian Processing Centre
Department of Home Affairs
GPO Box 9984


(courier deliveries only, no hand deliveries)
Special Humanitarian Processing Centre
Department of Home Affairs
Level 3, 26 Lee Street

Note: all SHP applications are now processed at the Special Humanitarian Processing Centre in Sydney.

What will happen to applications lodged incorrectly?

If the application is lodged incorrectly it might be invalid. We cannot process invalid applications.

What happens after applications have been lodged?

After receiving applications, the SHPC will:

  • advise your authorised contact person that the application has been received and that the application is valid or invalid (this might take up to 10 working days)
  • assess applications against the legislative criteria for these visas, including all relevant subclasses
  • refuse applications that do not meet the criteria
  • refer applications meeting the legislative criteria to one of the department’s offices overseas for further processing.

How can I track the progress of the application?

 The authorised contact person will be contacted at each stage of processing. It is therefore important that you advise us if any contact details change.