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Changes to Australian visa processing in Vietnam

On 17 July 2015, the Department of Immigration and Border Protection will start collecting biometric data from people in Vietnam who are applying for a visa to Australia.

* Introducing the collection of biometric information

On 17 July 2015, the Department of Immigration and Border Protection will start collecting biometric data from people in Vietnam who are applying for a visa to Australia. Biometric data is collected through a quick and easy process that captures a photograph of your face and a 10-digit electronic fingerprint scan (the fingerprint scan does not use any ink).

The Biometrics in Offshore Visa Processing Programme is an Australian Government initiative that is introducing biometric collection for most applicants for an Australian visa applying outside of Australia. Starting in 2010, the Australian Government has introduced biometrics collection in 25 countries across Africa, Asia, Europe, the Middle East and South America.

Biometrics will be collected from visa applicants of any nationality who are in Vietnam at the time of making a visa application to enter Australia, unless they are excluded or exempted from the Programme*.

Visa applicants in Vietnam who lodge their applications at the VFS Global Australian Visa Application Centre (AVAC) in Ho Chi Minh City from 17 July 2015 will be asked to provide their biometrics when they lodge the application. Biometric collection will commence on 27 July 2015 for visa applicants who lodge applications at the VFS Global AVAC in Hanoi.

Visa applicants who mail their applications to the Australian Embassy in Hanoi or the Australian Consulate-General in Ho Chi Minh City or to one of the AVACs, will be sent a letter requiring them to attend one of the AVACs, in person, to provide their biometrics.

Submitting a complete visa application with all required supporting documentation at an AVAC, and providing your biometrics at the same time, is the quickest and most efficient
way to lodge a visa application in Vietnam.

Before you lodge your visa application, you will need to make an appointment by booking on the VFS Global website or by calling or emailing the nearest VFS Global AVAC in Vietnam. (See over page for details of the VFS Global AVACs in HCMC and Hanoi).

Applicants who are under 15 years of age, persons incapable of providing consent, or those physically unable to provide a fingerprint scan, will only need to provide a facial photograph. If an applicant is incapable or under 18 years of age, a parent or legal guardian will be asked to give consent and be present when biometrics is collected.

*Persons Excluded from the Biometrics Programme include: Australian citizens and Australian Permanent Residents; applicants for Australian citizenship; New Zealand citizens; APEC Business Travel Card (ABTC) holders.

*Persons Exempt from Biometrics collection include: Sovereigns, Heads of State and members of their families forming part of their household, whether travelling officially or privately; serving Government Ministers and their immediate family members when travelling officially; Diplomats and consular officers accredited to Australia and their dependants; Diplomatic Couriers; Government officials and senior officials of international inter-government organisations when travelling to Australia as a representative of their country or organisation; Special Purpose Visa (SPV) holders.

*For more information please see:

AVAC website: http://www.vfsglobal.com/australia/vietnam
Department of Immigration and Border Protection: www.border.gov.au
HCMC: www.hcmc.vietnam.embassy.gov.au/hchi/visas_and_migration.html
Hanoi: www.vietnam.embassy.gov.au/hnoi/Visas_and_Migration.html