Refugee Council of Australia
Woman holding identity card with child in background

Identity documents for refugees

Proving their identity in Australia


The main identity document in Australia for people seeking asylum is an ImmiCard. These are issued as evidence of their immigration status. Resettled refugees get this card as a travel document before they come to Australia.

However, not all people seeking asylum can get one. For example, people seeking asylum who arrive by plane and hold a Bridging Visa A cannot get one). As well, people in community detention need to apply for an Immicard. 


Difficulties with ImmiCards

ImmiCards are often confusing for many people working with refugees or people seeking asylum. They include an expiry date, but are not automatically renewed.

For example, many people may be on bridging visas that are then renewed. Their ImmiCard will have the date of expiry of the first visa, but will not show any extension.

Instead, the government expects service providers to access the electronic VEVO system to verify that the person still has a valid visa.

Organisations must register to use VEVO. This is an unfamiliar process for many mainstream providers.

Check visas using VEVO.

People can also apply for a replacement card once the card has expired, or it if is lost or stolen.

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Refugee Week 2022

Refugee Week from 19-25 June 2022 is Australia’s peak annual activity to inform the public about refugees and celebrate positive contributions made by refugees to Australian society.


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