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What Documents Do I Need To Check?

Australian Employers have a legal obligation to ensure that non-Australian Citizens have a right to work in Australia.

Australian Employers have a legal obligation to ensure that non-Australian Citizens have a right to work in Australia. Usually, when checking work rights, one of the following documents from a non-Australian Citizen employee or prospective employee would be required:

  • Photo page of current and valid passport;
  • Grant Notification Letter of a currently held and valid Australia Visa. This document will contain the conditions applicable to the visa held by the person concerned. Visa conditions which apply all have 4 digit numbers, each beginning with the number 8 (e.g 8105). These conditions will indicate if work rights exist, and what limitations may apply to these work rights.

There may be instances where a non-Australian Citizen does not hold either of the documents listed above. In such cases, employers can also seek one of the following.

  • Immi Card – This is a document issued by the Australian Department of Home Affairs to a person who entered Australia without a valid visa or passport and has subsequently been granted Refugee status (Protection Visa). The Immi Card will contain a reference number against which work rights may be checked.
  • Document For Travel to Australia (DFFTA) – This document allows the person to travel to Australia and will contain the visa type issued to the person on the left hand side of the document. Should any dependents be included in the travel document, they will be named in the body of the document and those dependents will also have the same visa type. The type of visa granted will determine if work rights exist.
  • Australian Titre De Voyage (TDV) – This is a Convention Travel Document, issued under the United Nations Convention relating to the Status of Refugees. This document is issued to people who are:
    • Not in Australia at the time of issue;
    • About to depart Australia, and are
    • Recognised by Australia as Refugees (in Australia on specific Visa subclasses)


  • Have a maximum validity period of 2 years (in some case this may be extended)
  • Have 37 Pages, which indicate the visa/s held.
  • Have an Electronic Chip
  • Have a blue cover with two black stripes across the top left hand corner of the cover.

Again, the type of visa indicated in the TDV will determine if work rights have been granted.

In some cases, none of the above-mentioned documents will be held by the person concerned. For example; a person may have entered Australia as a dependent of their migrating parents many years ago. Such people may have chosen not to have taken up Australian Citizenship or obtain a passport from their country of origin.

In such cases, the person concerned should be directed to the Department of Home Affairs; Status Resolution Service (SRS), to determine their current Australian Immigration status. People who find themselves in such situations may well be what are termed absorbed persons and as such have Australian permanent residency status, with full work rights.

To contact SRS section, affected persons may call 1300 853 773. A SRS officer may then advise the person as to what documents (e.g. birth certificate) may be required to resolve their Australian Immigration status and therefore their work rights.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is general only, and not to be taken as Migration Advice. Please be aware that visas and regulations are subject to frequent change. It is advisable to verify the latest information from the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) and or seek specific advice relating to your circumstances from a MARA Registered Migration Agent.