No more visa labels for Australian visa holders

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No more visa labels for Australian visa holders

Here’s another reason to ensure your smartphone is properly charged-up before travelling to Australia. Labels for Australian visas won’t be issued from September 1. It’s a move designed to streamline visa processing and encourage digital service use, says the department of immigration.

Your passport or ImmiCard number will be the basis of identification and to determine if you hold a valid visa to enter or remain in Australia. DIBP announced that from 1 September 2015 visa holders will no longer be able to request and pay for a visa label. Visa holders can access their visa record through the free Visa Entitlement Verification Online (VEVO) service or the myVEVO mobile.

The DIBP advised that the visa grant letter should be retained and carried by visa holders as the information contained within the letter ‘will help check your visa status online’. Clearly the online status information will prevail. Last year, Vietnamese student Minh Duong was refused entry into Australia despite claiming to have a valid grant letter. DIBPs systems indicated that his visa had expired. Minh Doung was refused entry and had to return to Vietnam to make another visa application to continue his studies in Australia.

The DIBP insists that, “The practice of obtaining visa labels often resulted in unnecessary expenses, delays and inconvenience for clients and stakeholders. Offering these services digitally is an efficient, economical and sustainable solution.”

The department’s statement said that electronic management of visa records is expected to provide real-time visa information to registered organisations and other appropriate stakeholders as well as visa holders themselves through the free Visa Entitlement Verification Online service or the myVEVO mobile app.  Airline staff use the Advance Passenger Processing system to confirm that a passenger has a valid Australian visa.

Visa holders can also provide evidence that they have the authority to enter and remain in Australia by simply showing their passport or ImmiCard linked to their electronic visa record.

Source: Migration Alliance

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