Last updated: 19 Sep 2021

Australia

About

With plenty of sunshine, Australia is an enticing land of vast beaches, pulsating cities and huge expanses of bush land. It has an alluring sense of space and plenty of diversity from region to region.

From sun & beaches to tropical rainforests, from the Outback to the Great Barrier Reef, Australia offers it all and has a diversity of people. Don’t forget a visit to the Sydney Opera House. Brisbane is Australia's third-largest city, and zipping between its sights via its main arterial waterway is a sublime pleasure in itself.

Adventure sports abound in Queensland, where you can sail, white-water raft, paraglide, and delve into the natural underwater wonder that is the Great Barrier Reef, awash with turquoise tints and sealife.

Sydney has a host of quality beaches on its doorstep, including the world-famous Bondi Beach and Manly. Sydney itself is the dynamic hub of the southern hemisphere, and one of the most stunning cities in the world, surrounded by World Heritage areas.

Tasmania’s harbours distinct wildlife, and many of the species are endangered or extinct elsewhere; the infamous Tasmanian devil, the spotted-tail and the eastern quoll are the three biggest carnivorous marsupials in the world.
Capital:  Canberra (CBN)
Currency:  Australian Dollar (AUD)
Language:  English (other languages are spoken by minorities, including several Aboriginal languages)
Dialling code from SA:  + 261
Time Zones: UTC / GMT +8 – UTC / GMT + 10 (6 – 8 hours ahead of South Africa)
Public Holidays 2021: 

Jan 1, 15; Apr 2, 5, 25; Dec 25, 26 (Each state / territory may have additional holidays)

Daylight Savings Time: First Sunday October – Last Sunday April (region dependent)
For more information on Time Zones and Daylight Savings Time visit www.australia.com
Side of the Road: Left
Best Time to go: Year – Round. Hot and sunny climate, with certain regions experiencing tropical weather. 
Best For: Cultural exploration, Beach activities, Diving, National Parks.
Plugs: 220/240 volts AC, 50Hz. Three-pin plugs are in use, although these differ from UK three-pin plugs. Outlets for 110 volts for small appliances are found in most hotels.
Drinking Water: Mains water in hotels and towns is safe to drink. 
Health: There are adequate and well-equipped medical facilities, however visitors are required to pay for these services. Comprehensive health insurance is recommended. Should you be visiting a remote area, emergency medical services may take a long time to reach you, therefore basic first aid / medical supplies should be carried
Customs: Normal social courtesies
Local Offences / Laws: Smoking is forbidden in many public spaces
Travel Warnings / Tips: Bush fires are frequent in the summer. During summer the ocean waters become infested with box jellyfish – visitors should pay attention to signs on beach and the instructions of life guards. There may be limited use of credit cards and ATM’s in small towns. Visitors should pay attention to signs warning of crocodile attacks. 
Duty Free: The following items may be imported into Australia by travellers over 18 years of age without incurring customs duty:
• 50 cigarettes or 50g of tobacco or cigars.
• 2.25L of alcoholic drinks.
• Articles for personal hygiene and clothing, not including perfume or fur apparel.
• Other goods to a value of A$900 (A$450 if under 18).
Prohibited Imports: There are very strict regulations against the import of non-prescribed drugs, weapons, firearms, wildlife, domestic animals and foodstuffs (including meat, poultry and dairy; plants or parts of plants [including fruit, nuts and seeds]; animal products [including wool, skins and eggs] and any equipment used with domestic animals) and other potential sources of disease and pestilence (such as vaccines or viruses). There are severe penalties for drug trafficking. For further details on customs regulations, contact the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service (www.customs.gov.au). You can obtain customs information booklets from the Australian High Commission or Embassy.
Prohibited Exports: The export of protected wildlife and associated products is strictly controlled, including the export of coral, turtle shell, snake or reptile skin, orchids, caviar, ivory products, hunting trophies and traditional medicinal products. If you plan to export any heritage-listed goods, including works of art, stamps, coins, archaeological objects, minerals and specimens, you need to apply for a special permit. The export of Australian native animals and plants is either prohibited or restricted. Also prohibited are firearms, pornography and narcotics.

Travel Alerts

COVID-19 Travel Advisory:

  • Borders remain closed, except for limited circumstances
  • Travellers who have a compassionate or compelling reason to travel to Australia will need to have an exemption from the Australian Border Force Commissioner.
  • All travellers arriving in Australia must have a negative PCR Test and undertake a mandatory 14-day quarantine at designated facilities (for example, a hotel), in their port of arrival.​
  • TRANSIT: To transit Australia you must hold a valid visa or be from an eligible country to Transit Without a Visa (TWOV). If you don’t hold a valid visa or are not eligible to TWOV you must apply for a visa to enter Australia. A negative PCR Test will be required.  Refer: covid19.homeaffairs.gov.au/transiting-australia

Further updates available here: https://covid19.homeaffairs.gov.au/coming-australia 

This Information is intended as a Guideline.

Issuing Authorities

The Australian High Commission
292 Orient Street, (Cnr. Schoeman Street), Arcadia, Pretoria 0083
Private Bag X150, Pretoria 0001
Tel: 012 423 6000 (no telephone enquiries accepted)
Fax: 012 342 4222
E-mail: consular.pretoria@dfat.gov.au
Website: southafrica.embassy.gov.au

The Australian High Commission does not deal with visa, citizenship or customs enquiries.

Visa applications to Australia are managed by VFS.
VFS GLOBAL CONTACT DETAILS:
Tel: (012) 425 3022
E-mail: info.aussouthafrica@vfshelpline.com
Web: www.vfsglobal.com/Australia/southafrica
Hours: 08:00-12:30 & 13:30-16:00 Monday - Friday

PRETORIA: 337 Veal Street, Lobby 2, Ground Floor, Brooklyn Pretoria
JOHANNESBURG: 1st Floor, Rivonia Village, Cnr Rivonia Boulevard & Mutual Road, Rivonia
CAPE TOWN: 7th Floor, 2 Long Street Cape Town
DURBAN: Unit 101A, First floor, 91-123 Cowey Road (Problem Mkhize), Essenwood
PORT ELIZABETH: 1st Floor, Moffett on Main, Lifestyle Centre, c/o 17th Ave & Main Road, Walmer (Biometrics only)

Visa Requirements

Visas are required by SA passport holders.

  • A transit visa is required if staying longer than 8 hours.
  • All persons, other than Australian citizens require a visa or authority to enter Australia.
  • You will need a visa if you enter Australia during a cruise.

HOW TO APPLY

Visas can be applied for online via ImmiAccount (immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/visas/getting-a-visa/visa-finder) or through VFS Global
Biometrics must be submitted via VFS Global (for each application, regardless of whether you have submitted biometrics before). This is applicable whether applying online or in person. 

ONLINE APPLICATION

You will need to make an account on ImmiAccount. During your application, you will be required to upload supporting documents and a photograph, as indicated. Identity documents can be up to 500KB each. Other documents can be up to 5MB each. Encrypted PDF documents are not accepted. Photos of documents are accepted the photos are clear. Make sure the photo shows all the document information.

After your application, you can use your ImmiAccount to check if additional information or actions are required, as well as check your application status. 

REQUIREMENTS

  • A certified copy of the identity page (showing photo and personal details) of a valid passport and other pages which provide evidence of travel to any other countries - Note: your passport must have at least six months left before the expiry date.
  • A recent passport photograph (not more than 6 months old) of yourself
  • Evidence of payment of the Visa Application Charge
  • Evidence that you have sufficient funds for your intended stay (recent personal bank statements, pay slips, audited accounts, taxation records or credit card limit).
  • If you are visiting relatives or friends, a letter of invitation from your relative or friend in Australia. If your relative or friend is paying for your visit, evidence that they have the necessary funds
  • If you are not staying at a friend/relative’s house, a hotel reservation is required.
  • Your itinerary for your stay in Australia
  • Evidence of your medical/travel insurance (if requested)
  • Medical examination or tests (if requested)
  • A letter from your employer confirming your leave or evidence of enrolment at school, college or university
  • Other information to show that you have an incentive and authority to return to your country of residence, such as property or other significant assets in your home country

BIOMETRICS

Please note that ALL applicants, regardless of nationality, who are in South Africa at the time of making a visa application to enter Australia will be required to provide their biometrics along with their application, unless otherwise excluded or exempted from doing so under Australian Government policy. This is applicable whether applying online or in person. 

Appointments for Biometric Collection to be made via VFS Global website. 

CHILD VISA: www.vfsglobal.com/Australia/southafrica/family-child.html

Effective 1 April 2020, all new applications for these following visa subclasses: 

  • Child (Subclass 101)
  • Adoption (Subclass 102)
  • Orphan Relative (Subclass 117)

will need to be posted to:
Department of Home Affairs Child and Other Family Processing Centre
Locked Bag 7, NORTHBRIDGE WA 6865, AUSTRALIA

or, the application should be delivered by courier service to:
Department of Home Affairs Child and Other Family Processing Centre
Wellington Central, 836 Wellington Street WEST PERTH WA 6005, AUSTRALIA.

Applicants will still be required to provide their biometrics upon receipt of a requirement letter from the Department.

HEALTH REQUIREMENTS

Applicants are able to start their medical examinations before or at the time of lodgement instead of waiting for a medical request letter.  Information on medical requirements can be found on the immigration website.  In general the following applicants will need to provide some form of medical examination –

  • Students
  • Applicants over 75 years of age
  • Applicants who will enter a medical facility
  • Applicants wishing to remain for more than 6 months.

You must be examined by one of the Department’s approved panel physicians or clinics. A panel physician is a doctor or radiologist appointed by the department to do health examinations outside Australia at an approved clinic. Important: Please take your valid passport with you to your medical examination. This is the only formal proof of identity accepted.

PANEL PHYSICIANS: 

BLOEMFONTEIN

  • Dr JL Fouche (Medical Examinations)
    11 Ella Street, Willows, Bloemfontein 9320​
    Tel: +27 (0)51 444 1240 / +27 (0)51 444 1565

CAPE TOWN

  • Dr Rosendorff and Partners (Medical Examinations)
    Netcare Christiaan Barnard Memorial Hospital, Suite 1201 12th Floor, Corner of DF Malan Street and Rua Bartholemeu Dias Plain, Foreshore, Cape Town 8001 ​
    Telephone: +27 21 424 2003

  • Intercare Tyger Valley Medical and Dental Centre
    Level 3, 43 Old Oak Road, Tyger Valley, Cape Town 7536
    Telephone: +27 21 943 3500​

DURBAN

  • ShipMed Medical Services (Pty) Ltd (Medical and Radiology examinations​​​​)
    The Ear Nose and Throat Centre, Entabeni Hospital
    Telephone: +27 31 261 8291 (For appointments contact Marie Fynn​)

JOHANNESBURG

  • Rosebank Medical & Dental Centre (Medical examinations​​)
    8 Sturdee Avenue, Rosebank (opposite Rosebank Clinic)
    Telephone: +27 11 788 1344 / +27 11 788 5104
    Email: DrCobb@global.co.za

PORT ELIZABETH

  • Intercare Summerstrand (Medical examinations​​)
    1 Eighth Avenue, Summerstand, Port Elizabeth
    Telephone: +27 41 583 2121

PRETORIA

  • Hatmed (​Medical and Radiology examinations​)
    Hatfield Gables North, 454 Hilda Street, Hatfield, Pretoria 0028
    Telephone: +27 12 362 7180

Visa Processing Time

The current processing times for visitor visas usually 30 days (Please refer to immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/visas/getting-a-visa/visa-processing-times for current processing times). The Australian High Commission recommends clients lodge their visa application well ahead of their proposed travel dates and only finalise any travel arrangements after the visa process has been completed.

Delays may be experienced due to the high volumnes of applications. The High Commission advises applicants to lodge their visa applications as early as possible. They will not be liable for any financial loss incurred by clients whose visa application was finalised later than expected or where an application is unsuccessful.

Visa Validity

Generally 3 months.

Visa Cost

  • Tourist Visa - AUD145 (check the rate of exchange on the day)
  • Temporary Business Visa, short stay - AUD145 (check the rate of exchange on the day)

If applying through VFS, additional service charge will apply. Visit www.vfsglobal.com/Australia/southafrica/visitor-visa.html

It is advisable that you do not make final travel arrangements until your visa has been granted

SA Representative

South African High Commission
Also accredited to Nauru, Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands.
Rhodes Place, State Circle, Yarralumla, Canberra, ACT 2600, AUSTRALIA
Tel: (0061-2) 6272 7300
E-mail: info.canberra@dirco.gov.za
Web: www.sahc.org.au

Honorary Consuls are situated in Melbourne, Perth and Adelaide

Travel Health

Compulsory:  Yellow Fever (Dependant on Country of Origin/Stopover)
Recommended Travel Vaccines:  Hepatitus B, Tetanus, Polio