Afghanistan update

The Department has ceased its evacuation operations at Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul. Australians who remain in Afghanistan should be aware of the potential for violence and security threats with large crowds, including an ongoing and very high threat of terrorist attack.

The Government is working to ensure that visa options continue to be available to Afghan nationals, both within Afghanistan and those displaced from their home country, through Australia’s long-standing Humanitarian and Migration Programs. If you are in Afghanistan, or you are an Afghan national, and need to enquire about a visa or citizenship application contact +61 2 6196 0196.

Afghan nationals outside Australia

We are receiving a large volume of enquiries from visa applicants, sponsors and members of the public seeking to assist Afghan nationals who wish to be granted a visa or leave Afghanistan.

The Department is working to triage, manage and respond to as many enquiries as possible.

Foreign nationals, including from Afghanistan, need a valid visa to enter Australia. People will not be able to settle in Australia if they arrive illegally.

Locally Engaged Employees

Locally Engaged Employees (LEEs) who have been certified by their employer as being at risk of harm as a result of their employment in support of Australia’s mission in Afghanistan, are a high priority. Those who have not met the threshold for Afghan LEE certification but who have a connection with Australia will also be prioritised under the Humanitarian Program. This includes extended family members of Afghan LEEs already settled in Australia.

Afghan LEEs and their immediate family members with valid Australian visas are also automatically exempt from Australia’s travel restrictions.

The Humanitarian Program

The Australian Government announced on 18 August 2021 that an initial 3,000 humanitarian places will be allocated to Afghan nationals within Australia’s annual program, which currently provides 13,750 places annually. The Government anticipates this initial allocation will increase further over the course of 2021-22.

Afghan citizens will be prioritised for processing within Australia’s offshore Humanitarian program. Applications are assessed on an individual basis with applicants required to demonstrate their humanitarian need. Processing t​​imes can vary based on the applicant’s circumstances. This includes their location and their ability to travel, provide documents or access Australian government officials.

Visa grants are subject to rigorous assessment, including health, character and security checks, which are normally conducted before people are granted a visa.

Humanitarian visa information is available at Refugee and humanitarian visa options.

Afghan citizens outside Australia (including those in Afghanistan) can apply for Australia’s Humanitarian Program.

Afghan citizens can access Form 842 Application for an Offshore Humanitarian visa

Applications will be processed in accordance with Government announcements and within program priorities.

If you are having difficulty accessing communications  to apply, another person can apply on your behalf:

  • their proposer
  • a close family member
  • a parliamentarian
  • a member of a diplomatic mission
  • a member of a consular post
  • a member of an international organisations
  • a registered migration agent
  • or a legal practitioner.

If you would like to appoint someone to apply on your behalf, you will need to complete Form 956 Appointment of a registered migration agent, legal practitioner or exempt person.

The Migration Program

Australia’s Migration Program is also available for people who wish to migrate on the basis of their skills or relationships with family in Australia.

All visa applicants, including Partner  and other Family stream visa applicants, must meet the requirements in the migration legislation, such as family relationship, health, character and identity, before a visa can be granted. Some Family visa categories are subject to capping and queuing arrangements.

All visa applications must meet the requirements in the migration legislation before a visa is granted, including health, character and identity. Some visa categories are subject to capping and queuing arrangements.

Assessments of a permanent visa often cannot be completed quickly, because of the need to consider the visa application against a range of criteria in migration legislation.

All existing citizenship by descent applications for Afghan nationals in Afghanistan are being treated as a high priority.

Information on the types of visas that applicants might wish to consider is available at Explore visa options.

Australian citizens in Afghanistan

Australians in need of consular assistance should contact the 24 hour Consular Emergency Centre on +61 2 6261 3305 (outside Australia) or 1300 555 135 (in Australia). Our ability to provide consular assistance in Afghanistan is limited.

Australian citizens, permanent residents and their immediate families should register with DFAT.

Refer to Smartraveller for updates, stay contactable and keep your travel documents with you.

Afghan nationals in Australia

Afghan visa holders currently in Australia will not be asked to return to Afghanistan while their security is at risk. Afghan citizens currently in Australia on temporary visas will be supported by the Australian Government.

Afghan citizens who meet the requirements for a humanitarian visa and wish to seek Australia’s assistance are strongly encouraged to make an application. Information on the process and visa program is available at Refugee and humanitarian visa options.

Family reunion

Humanitarian Program

Australia’s Special Humanitarian Program reunites refugees and their family in Australia. Immediate family of people who have been resettled under the Humanitarian Program are given highest priority. All applications must meet eligibility criteria.

Temporary Protection Visa (TPV) /Safe Haven Enterprise Visa (SHEV) visa holders

TPV and SHEV holders are not eligible to propose relatives through the Humanitarian Program. This is in line with the Government’s Operation Sovereign Borders policy, that no one who comes to Australia illegally by boat will settle here – established to safeguard vulnerable people from exploitation by people smugglers, prevent the loss of life at sea, and ensure the integrity of Australia’s borders.

Visa scams

Don’t be scammed, the Department of Home Affairs does not charge a fee to fast-track a humanitarian visa.

There are registered migration agents and legal practitioners who work for non-commercial organisations in Australia that do not charge a fee for their services.

Click on the ‘Non-commercial organisation’ box if you require a service that does not charge a fee: Search for registered migration agents