DIAC sheds light on visa labelling

Date: Apr 10, 2012

Visa labels are not required for those travelling to, entering or remaining in Australia, the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) has confirmed.

All international cruise ships and airlines are required to confirm with the Australian authorities that their passengers have the necessary visa before travelling to the country.

Anyone who has applied for or been granted a visa can check its details using the Visa Entitlement Verification Online (VEVO) system, which can be accessed on the internet.

VEVO is a free service that contains details of current visas and the entitlements that holders are eligible for.

Information available through the system includes the class and subclass of the visa, grant and expiry dates, grant number, the amount of entries allowed and all the conditions that apply to the visa.

Applicants can look at this information by logging on with their personal details - employers, government services and banks can also access the data, but only with your permission.

Migration lawyers will be able to offer further guidance on visa labelling, although the DIAC advises that foreign governments are aware that Australia does not provide them.

However, travellers are asked to check with the relevant government authorities in light of their requirements to show a visa label when passing through another country.

The DIAC often runs workshops on the Australian visa system to those who want to stay in the country but currently do not have the right paperwork to do so.

One such event is being held in Naracoorte on April 12 and Penola on April 13, where officers will offer guidance to those who are concerned about their immigration status.

Community Status Resolution Service (CSRS) officers will be able to discuss the options available to individuals, who can then follow up their advice with a visit to an immigration lawyer.

A departmental spokesperson said: "The department’s regional CSRS outreach program enables people in communities outside capital cities, who do not have a valid Australian visa or are currently on a bridging visa, to talk directly with an immigration officer about any specific issues they might face."

They emphasised that in many circumstances, a bridging visa can be offered until a more permanent solution is reached.

Figures from the DIAC show that in South Australia alone, 133 people were found to be working illegally in the state during the 2010-11 financial year. The majority had arrived on visitor or student visas.