Inclusion of the Sponsored Family stream into the Offshore Biometrics Programme
From 6 May 2015, the Australian Government will commence collecting biometrics from visa applicants in Lebanon who are applying for a subclass 600 Visitor visa in the Sponsored Family Visitor stream.
This will align the three Visitor visa streams (Tourist, Business and Sponsored Family Visitor) so that all such visa applicants in designated countries will be required to provide their biometrics (facial photograph and fingerprints) as part of the visa application process, unless they are exempt.*
Applications for the Sponsored Family Visitor stream visa will continue to be lodged and processed in Australia. However applicants will need to attend their closest Australian Visa Application Centre (AVAC) in person to provide biometrics after the application has been lodged.
Affected applicants will receive correspondence from the Department of Immigration and Border Protection requesting them to undertake biometrics. They must ensure they take this correspondence with them to the AVAC. The correspondence will contain a unique identifying number (known as a VLN) which the AVAC requires in order to record the biometrics in the system.
The AVAC will charge a service fee for biometrics collection. For details of the fee clients should check the AVAC website: http://www.lebanon.embassy.gov.au/birt/DIBP_newcharges.html
* While unlikely to be relevant to applicants for Sponsored Family stream visas, exemption from providing biometrics generally applies to diplomats, serving Government Ministers and government officials travelling to Australia in the course of acting as a representative of their government.