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Entitlement to work.

Entitlement to work.

No employer wants to see their employees removed from work without notice because they are working illegally. If you know someone is working illegally in Australia, you can be hit with heavy fines.

You are liable if you knowingly employ an illegal worker, knowing they are not an Australian citizen and are working without a visa or in breach of their visa conditions. To avoid this risk, always check the work entitlements of your employees.

We recommend you check if someone has a valid visa and is entitled to work before you employ them. Some types of documentation are acceptable proof of entitlement to work and some are not.

Acceptable documentation.

Each of the following documents allows a person to work in Australia:

  • Australian birth certificate
  • Australian citizenship certificate
  • Australian passport
  • evidence of citizenship certificate
  • valid visa with permission to work (not all visas allow people to work)

Obtain certified copies of any original, acceptable documents or have the original documents certified by someone authorised, like a JP. Keep these on record in the employee’s file. 

Unacceptable documentation.

None of the following documents allows a person to work in Australia:

  • tax file number
  • driver’s licence
  • Medicare card
  • bank account
  • referrals from employment agencies
  • references from previous employers

Visa Entitlement Verification Online.

Verify a new employee’s work status using the Department of Immigration and Citizenship website. Visa Entitlement Verification Online (VEVO) is free and the easiest way to check work entitlements at

You may later have to prove you have taken reasonable steps to check VEO yourself or that you have received a VEVO email directly from VEVO. It is not enough to see a copy of a VEVO result from someone else.

Employsure can help you with VEVO and an entitlement to work checklist to protect yourself when taking on new employees. For peace of mind, please call our 24 hour Advice Line now on 1300 651 415.

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