Australia simplifies Humanitarian Program visa procedures

Australia simplifies Special Humanitarian Program visa procedures

Those who would like to have relatives from Africa and the Middle East come to Australia under Australia's Special Humanitarian Program should find it easier to apply for a visa.

People proposing to support relatives or friends who are subject to substantial discrimination in their home country can now lodge their applications with a Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs (DIMIA) office in Australia.

The Australian government says the change will lead to faster processing times. Since 1 April 2005 all Special Humanitarian Program visa applications from any country in Africa must be lodged in Sydney, while Special Humanitarian Program applications from the Middle East must be lodged in Melbourne.

The applications will be processed where they are lodged.