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High risk or low risk country? Which are you?

When migrating to Australia your country of Origin can have a significant impact on the speed in which your Visa application is processed. The Australian Department of immigration classify certain countries as either  a  low risk  or high risk country.

If your country is a high risk country then it’s nothing to be offended about. The factors which make your country of origin a low or high risk country are not really understood either.

As the Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) Visa list is utilised It’s been suggested that high risk countries are those whose citizens have an historic high rate of visa over staying in Australia, whilst low risk countries are those countries whose citizens are good boys and girls and normally leave before their visas have expired.

If your country falls into the high risk category then additional checks will be undertaken prior to your visa being approved and different service levels are applied by the department for the time to process your application.

Trawling through our forums I see that folks often struggle to ascertain whether or not their country of origin is classed as a high or low risk country. Finding the answer to this question is a little easier then you might have thought.

In the eyes of the Australian Immigration department Low risk countries are ETA eligible. High risk countries are those not on the ETA list.

At time of typing the current low risk countries  are:

Andorra
Austria
Belgium
Brunei
Canada
Denmark
Finland
France
Germany
Greece
Hong Kong SAR
Iceland
Ireland
Italy
Japan
Liechtenstein
Luxembourg
Malaysia
Malta
Monaco
Netherlands
Norway
Portugal
San Marino
Singapore
South Korea
Spain
Sweden
Switzerland
United Kingdom
United States Of America
Vatican City

If your country isn’t listed here then it means your living in a high risk country i’m afraid. To be absolutely sure though  I’d suggest that you check the ETA site for the most current list.

You see. not that hard is it :)



Written by Mark

As the founder of Getting Down Under, Mark is passionate about demystifying the process associated with a move to Australia.
Having launched Getting Down Under in early January 2006 and made the move to Australia from the UK in the same year, Mark continues to share resources and support for those looking for assitance, Getting Down Under.

If you have a question for Mark, please post in our Forums

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    • Current list as of March 2017 of countries considered low risk are:

      Andorra
      Austria
      Belgium
      Brunei
      Canada
      Denmark
      Finland
      France
      Germany
      Greece
      Hong Kong (SAR of China)
      Iceland
      Ireland
      Italy
      Japan
      Liechtenstein
      Luxembourg
      Malaysia
      Malta
      Monaco
      Norway
      Portugal
      Republic of San Marino
      Singapore
      South Korea
      Spain
      Sweden
      Switzerland
      Taiwan
      The Netherlands
      United Kingdom—British Citizen
      United Kingdom—British National (Overseas)
      United States
      Vatican City.

  1. What’s the real measurement of Low and High risk calculation? I saw something strange. Afghanisthan, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Iraq, Iran etc. are low risk country, where India is high risk country.

  2. I Just got a nast taste of this classification.
    I am from a high risk country with permanent residency in a low risk country. So apparently visa processing is a MONTH!
    Never hear of such ridiculous. Just points to individuals who unable to make decisions based on documentation., In case you have not heard, a high risk individual is one who is like to bomb up your country. And why on earth would I leave my job and school to go all to way to a place on other side of the world and start over when I have so much more.

    Too bad conferences are hosted in that country because its insulting enough to classify people based on national, origin. Try case by case and get a bunch of educated staff who can actually make decisions based on documentation

  3. Creo que Marcos tiene razón, trabajadores de paises nuevos dentro de la Union europea como rumania o Polonia, tienen trabas para trabajar dentro de la Union; por esa regla de tres no me extrañaría que también estuvieran en la categoría de alto riesgo. Ya que hasta dentro de la Union europea se los considera asi.

  4. WLL COUNTRIES FORM EUROPEAN UNION ARE DETERMINED AS”LOW RISK”.YOU DO NOT HAVE CURRENT INFORMATIONS.POLAND,LATVIA,ESTONIA AND OTHERS ARE “LOW RISK”.Zibi.

    • Zibi, these countries aren’t necessarily going to be classed as low risk just because they are part of the European Union.

      I think some of the countries you have mentioned are deemed high risk. Best bet would be to check the website link in the post above.

      Cheers

      Mark

      • Just to update you. From 27 October 2008 all EU countries (including Latvia, Poland etc;) plus other European ETA countries were placed on the E-visitor programme in place of the ETA scheme (which by the way means you’ll no longer find the UK or any other European country on the ETA list).

        The E-visitor list plus the ETA list are the low risk countries. I don’t think there is any real difference between the ETA and the E-visitor except that the latter is free of charge (part of a reciprocal agreement between the EU and Australia) so none of the countries listed by zibi2907 are considered high risk any more and that is just because they are members of the EU!

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