Service standards

​Our service standards describe the level of service excellence we aim to deliver.

When we serve you, we will:

  • identify ourselves
  • treat you with courtesy and respect
  • be fair, open and reasonable
  • give you clear, accurate and timely information or help you to find it
  • collect, store, use and disclose your personal information in accordance with relevant Australian law.

These will be measured through regular client surveys and by monitoring the feedback you provide. We will regularly publish the results on our website and in our annual report.

At many of our office locations overseas, we manage lodgement and enquiry services in partnership with organisations that specialise in delivering such services. If you are overseas and need to access our services through a Service Delivery Partner, the service standards outlined in this charter will also apply.

Processin​​g applications

The following table provides service standards for processing applications for various types of visas and Australian citizenship.

Application TypeOur Service Standard
Visas (all types)
Citizenship (all types)

Telephone se​​​rvice centres

We will answer an average of 85 per cent of calls to our national contact numbers (131 881, 131 880 and 133 177) within ten minutes.

Conta​​ct in person

We will see you within:

  • 10 minutes of your arrival if you have an appointment
  • 20 minutes of your arrival if you do not have an appointment

You will be attended to within 30 minutes of joining the passport-processing queue at an Australian airport.

Written com​​munication

We will acknowledge emails and provide a likely timeframe for our response within one working day of receipt of your email.

Within seven working days of receiving your application, we will:

  • acknowledge receipt of the application
  • advise you with reasons if your application is invalid (for example, incorrect application form or fee).

Within seven working days of receiving advice from a Court or Tribunal, we will acknowledge receipt of the decision or information and advise you if there are any further requirements.

Translating ​​and Interpreting Service (TIS) National

We will answer 90 per cent of telephone calls to a TIS operator within 30 seconds.

A telephone interpreter in a major community language will be provided within three minutes. 

We will respond to 85 per cent of requests for an appointment within three working days. 

We will process 90 per cent of fee-free translations within 20 working days of request.

Freedom ​of information

We will acknowledge freedom of information requests within 14 calendar days from date of receipt and provide a decision within 30 calendar days from date of receipt.

Help ​​us help you

To help us help you, we ask that you:

  • treat our staff with courtesy and respect
  • ensure your application is accompanied by all information and documents required at the time of lodgement
  • provide us with all information we request within the specified timeframe
  • provide the reference number of your application if you are contacting us regarding an application you have already lodged
  • give us details of changes in your circumstances as soon as the changes occur
  • tell us if you have special requirements, such as needing interpreter assistance
  • not offer us gifts, money or other favours.