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Australia does not require a person holding a valid Australian visa to have a label in their passport to travel to, enter or remain in Australia. Australia’s electronic visa system enables visa status to be confirmed electronically.
As part of the Australian Government’s global program of label free travel to Australia, the Australian High Commission, New Delhi will implement visa label-free travel arrangements across India, Bhutan and Nepal from 1 October 2012.
From this date, anyone applying for any Australian visa through one of the VFS Global Australian Visa Application Centres across India or Nepal or lodging directly with the Australian High Commission in New Delhi, will no longer be required to submit their passport with their visa application.
All visa applicants are requested to provide a notarised copy of their passport at the time of application. This includes:
• all the pages of your current passport, including any blank pages; and
• the biodata page of the current passport, and
• any endorsement page or change of name page in the current passport, and
• the back page with information of parents' names and previous passports.
Alternatively, if you lodge your application through VFS Global, the counter officer can certify a copy of your passport for you.
This request applies to all visa categories. Clients should have their passport with them at the time they lodge their application. Clients who lodge by mail must have every page of their passport copied and notarised by a Notary Public. Clients who do not lodge the above documents will experience delays in the processing of their visa application.
If a visa is then granted, the visa holder will be issued with a visa grant letter that will explain the conditions of the visa including period of validity and entry requirements.
The visa grant letter is not necessary to facilitate travel but we would advise all our clients to carry their visa grant letter with them when travelling as it will provide them with easy to understand information about the conditions of the visa, information which was not always easy to find on Australian visa labels.
We expect that this new process will not only provide our clients with better information about their visas but also reduce visa processing times and costs as clients will no longer have to wait for their passport to be returned to them via a courier or be required to travel to one of our Visa Application Centres to collect their passport.
Further information on these new arrangements can be obtained in our Label-free Fact Sheet or Frequently Asked Questions documents (links below):