Sometimes visa applicants don’t have valid passports when they enter Australia. This could be due to a number of reasons, it all depends on the personal circumstances of the individual. Nevertheless, foreigners have to be equipped with valid travel documents and as a solution, Australia issues Immicards to help visa applicants benefit from other services in Australia.

What Is an Australia Immicard?

An Immicard is an official travel document that is issued to some visa holders in Australia who have passports that are not accepted by the Australian government or can’t get acceptable passports. The Immicard allows holders to travel back and forth from Australia, apply for certain visas, and check their visa status in VEVO.

Moreover, if you have an Australian visa, you can use your Immicard to have easier access to your Commencement of Identity (COI) in Australia. This is essential to access services such as Medicare and Centrelink.

An Immicard makes VEVO access easier for some permanent residents who moved to Australia before 1990 and have not traveled away from Australia since.

Do I Need an Immicard?

You are eligible for an Immicard if:

Requirements for Australia Immmicard

When you apply for an Immicard you will need to submit these documents:

  • Identity photograph. This could be any of the following:
    • Expired passport.
    • National ID card.
    • Australian driver’s license.
    • Proof of age card.
    • A recent passport photo (if none of the above are applicable).
  • Document for Travel to Australia (DFTTA) or Visa Evidence Cards (PL056).
  • Other forms of identification:
    • Medicare card.
    • Credit card.
    • Centrelink concession card.
  • Three documents proving that you’ve lived in Australia without interruption since you arrived. These could be:
    • Financial records.
    • School and work records.
    • Tax records.
    • Mortgage record.
    • Bills
    • Rental agreements.
    • Marriage certificate.
    • Your children’s birth certificate.
  • Certificate proving your name change (if applicable).

If you are a Protection or Safe Haven Enterprise visa holder (subclass, 785, 790, and 866), submit these documents:

  • Visa grant letter.
  • Recent identity photograph:
    • Expired passport.
    • National ID card.
    • Australian driver’s license.
    • Proof of age card.
    • A recent passport photo (if none of the above are applicable).
  • Any other document proving your identity:
    • Medicare card
    • credit card
    • Centrelink concession card

Documents Specifications

Make sure you scan your documents correctly:

  • Scan the original versions in colour at a high resolution (600dpi).
  • Black and white copies will not be accepted or photographs of copies.
  • Don’t send selfies as pictures of identification.
  • Documents that aren’t in English have to be translated by a certified translator from the National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters (submit both versions).
  • The maximum size of the attached documents is 10MB.

You have to scan your documents so you can attach them to the online application form.

How Do I Get an Australia Immicard?

This is is how to apply for an Immicard:

  1. Gather the documents.
  2. Complete the application form.
  3. Apply for the Immicard.

Gather the Documents

Before you apply for your Immicard make sure you have all the required documents. Your documents need to be scanned and ready for online submission.

Complete the Application Form

You have to apply online for your Immicard and complete the online form. Keep in mind the following when you fill in the form:

  • The visa grant number is 13 numbers written in your visa grant letter.
  • Your ID is 11 numbers within your visa grant letter.
  • A boat ID issued to illegal maritime arrivals is comprised of three letters and three numbers.

You’re also required to put down an address. For an Australian address, you write your unit or home number first, then the street name and the suburb.

Apply for the Immicard

As soon as you finish the online form and attach your documents, go ahead and apply for your Immicard. If you are granted an Immicard, you will be sent the card by post. In case you are not home, you will receive a collection slip which you can use to collect your Immicard at the post office. Make sure you bring identification with you (visa grant letter, Medicare card, Australian driver’s license, etc.)

How Long Does it Take to Get an Immicard?

It takes two weeks to process your Immicard application. After your application is reviewed you will receive your immicard.

Types of Immicards

There are two types of Australian Immicards:

  1. The Evidence of Immigration Status (EIS). Visa holders who are already in Australia should apply for this card.
  2. The Australian Migration Status Immicard (AMS). You should apply for this card if you are outside of Australia, and you are a Refugee and Special Humanitarian Programme visa holder.

Before July of 2017, there were four types of Immicard, since then the cards are limited to two for simplification. Those Immicards that were issued before this change are still valid.

What are the Fees for an Australia Immicard?

Here are the Immicard fees:

First Immicard issued to an eligible visa holder in Australia 100
Replacement of Immicard (damage, loss, change of name, etc.) 30
First Immicard issued to visa holders 785, 786, 790, or 866 within three months of the visa granting Free of charge
Immicard for unaccompanied minors or vulnerable non-citizens Free of charge

How Do I Pay for an Australia Immicard?

You have to pay for your Immicard through an ImmiAccount. If you don’t have an ImmiAccount, you can open a new one to submit the Immicard payment. You must pay the fee first before you apply since the receipt number is required in the application form.

When Does My Immicard Expire?

Your Immicard will expire after five years from the date it was issued. The Immicard won’t be automatically renewed when it expires. Your visa expiration date is not connected to your Immicard, and you can still use an expired Immicard to check your visa details in VEVO.

Can I Apply for Another Immicard?

Yes, you can apply for another card. If your card is lost, damaged, or expired you can apply for a replacement Immicard. For your replacement card, you have to pay the fee first. You apply online similarly as you would for a first Immicard but, in this case, you also have to submit your current Immicard as a required document.

Do I Need a New Immicard if I Change My Name?

In case you change your name due to marriage or for any other reason, you have to fill in a request for amendment. You have to complete the amendment application form so that your details can be updated in your Immicard.

If your request is accepted, you have to submit your old Immicard to get it canceled. You will receive a new card with your old details printed on the back of the new card- this makes it easier for other administrations to identify your Immicard.

On this occasion, you have to pay the same amount as you would pay for a replacement card.

Australia Immicard for Minors

Children who are over 16 can apply for their own Immicard. However, for children under 16, their parents/legal guardians have to apply on their behalf. Parents have to submit documents proving their relationship to the child; Medicare card scan, or adoption papers.

Biometrics for an Australia Immicard

Sometimes you may be asked to submit your biometric data when you apply for an Immicard. This means that alongside your identity photo you have to submit your fingerprints as well. The Immigration Office will let you know if they need your bio-data, in this case, you have to make an appointment at one of their offices.

What Does DFTTA Mean?

DFTTA stands for Documents for Travel to Australia. It’s a type of travel document issued to offshore refugees and humanitarian visa holders when they enter Australia initially. A DFTTA is valid for one trip to Australia and is not a long-term solution.

If you hold a DFTTA and you need to update your details, the Immigration Office will issue you an Immicard since Australia isn’t issuing DFTTA’s anymore.