Biometrics collection

The term biometrics refers to a measurable characteristic that is unique to an individual such as fingerprints, facial structure, the iris or a person's voice.

Biometric data is an increasingly important tool in identity management globally, helping countries reduce fraud and integrity risks. Many countries have already introduced biometrics to improve visa and border checking processes.

Types of visas that require biometrics

If you are lodging a visa application in a selected location, regardless of nationality, you will need to provide your biometrics. A detailed list of the selected locations and visa subclasses​ included in the programme is available.

Biometrics collection centres

Biometrics are collected at Australian Visa Application Centres (AVACs), Australian Biometrics Collection Centres (ABCCs) or at Australian Missions using a quick, discreet and non-intrusive process that captures a facial image with a digital camera and a 10-digit fingerprint scan with a digital finger scanner.

Watch the video Biometrics collection at Australian Visa Application Centres to see how biometrics are collected.

To lodge your application, you will need to attend an AVAC or an Australian Mission in person to provide your biometrics and lodge your visa application or attend an ABCC to provide your biometrics only.
See: Contact an Australian Visa Application Centre

Biometrics cost

AVACs and ABCCs charge a service fee covering a range of services including biometric collection. For more details regarding these fees, check the website of the AVAC or ABCC provider in your country.
See: Contact an Australian Visa Application Centre

Safekeeping and use of biometric data

Facial images and fingerprint scans are kept on secure departmental databases. Only authorised officers under the Migration Act 1958 (the Act) as regulated by the Privacy Act 1988, can access the biometrics of applicants.

Under the Act, the Department is allowed to provide the fingerprints and photographs of applicants to certain Australian Government Departments and agencies in addition to international organisations and countries for a permitted purpose. This includes, for the purpose of verifying identity, checking whether a client has effective protection in another country, combating identity fraud or determining if the client has a criminal history. In all cases where biometric data is provided to other agencies or countries, the Department will take steps to protect the applicant’s privacy.

Minors and incapable people

If you are:

  • under 15 years of age, incapable/incapacitated or are physically unable to provide a fingerprint scan, you will only need to provide a facial photograph
  • 15 years of age or over, you will need to provide both fingerprint scans and a facial photograph
  • under 16 years of age or incapacitated, a parent or legal guardian must be present when biometrics are collected.

Read detailed information about the Biometrics programme. ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​