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Notarising and attesting an Australian visa

Certifying a copy of an Australian visa

How do you prove that you’re an Australian resident or that you have an Australian visa? An Australian visa entitles you to enter Australia if you’re not an Australian citizen. Some visas entitle you to remain in Australia for a specific period of time, subject to various conditions, or permanently.

In the past, evidence of your Australian visa appeared as a visa label. This was a physical sticker attached to your passport. These days, Australian visas are issued and recorded electronically.

Attesting, certifying and notarising a copy of your Australian visa for use in another country is one of our core notary public services

If you received your Australian visa after 1 September 2015, you would have been notified by email. That email should have had an attached PDF document. This was your Visa Grant Notice.

The Visa Grant Notice is evidence that you were granted an Australian visa. However, the Visa Grant Notice isn’t proof that your visa is current or still valid.

For evidence that your visa is current or still valid, you must access ​Visa Entitlement Verification Online (VEVO). VEVO allows you (the visa holder), employers, education providers and other organisations to check your visa details and conditions. The information available through VEVO includes:

  • which visa (ie, the kind of visa/visa class)
  • the expiry date (ie, when your visa ends)
  • the ‘must not arrive after’ date (ie, when you must enter the country)
  • the period of stay (ie, how long you can stay); and
  • conditions (ie, what you can and can’t do).

VEVO is unable to provide any details relating to visas that are not ‘in-effect’. For example, if you hold a bridging visa but your substantive visa has not yet expired, information about your bridging visa won’t be available.

Long term residents

You might not have a VEVO record if you migrated to Australia before 1990 and you haven’t left. You can apply to have a record created and then use VEVO to prove that you have a permanent visa.

Sending proof of your Australian visa to another country

Generally, you must notarise a copy of your Australian visa before you can send it to another country.

You might need to show your visa to another country to prove that:

  • you’re an Australian resident
  • you’re currently living in Australia and not the other country
  • you’re travelling to or visiting Australia and no other country
  • you’re entitled to travel or stay in Australia

If you’re submitting documents to your foreign representative office (ie, consulate or embassy), you might need to prove that you’re in Australia legally.

We usually recommend using VEVO rather than your Visa Grant Notice. This is because VEVO is current while the Visa Grant Notice is historical. In other words, VEVO is the most appropriate evidence to prove that your Australian visa is current and valid. The Visa Grant Notice only shows your visa at the time it was granted.

Apostille and Authentication for Australian visas

Aside from notarisation, if the intended destination country is a member of the Apostille Convention, you may also require an apostille from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT). The apostille ensures that your notarised Australian visa will be accepted (as evidence of your visa to Australia) in the intended destination country.

If the intended destination country isn’t a member of the Apostille Convention, DFAT can authenticate your notarised Australian visa but it must be legalised by the foreign representative office (ie, consulate or embassy). Authentication and legalisation will be required if you want to prove that your visa is valid in Australia.

Applying for an Australian visa

We don’t provide migration services for Australian visas. We offer specific services in Australia:

  • legal assistance if you need a lawyer, and
  • notary public services for sending your documents (such as your Australian visa) to another country.

In Australia, visas are granted by the Department of Home Affairs, Immigration and Citizenship and you should visit their website for more information.

You can also consult with a migration agent if your application is likely to be more complicated or if you just want help with the process.

What documents do we attest and notarise?

Some of the documents that we regularly attest and notarise for clients include:

  • Power of attorney or Letter of Authority signed in Australia appointing someone to handle your property, business or personal financial matters on your behalf – as well as the Revocation of Power of Attorney. The power of attorney is probably the most frequently requested document to be signed, attested and notarised by our office.
  • Property transfers and dealing documents signed in Australia for transacting property in other countries.
  • Legal and court forms and documents signed in Australia for legal matters and court proceedings in other countries.
  • Personal and commercial agreements or contracts signed in Australia for use in other countries. If you’re signing on behalf of a company, you may also need ‘company documents’ such as a certificate of good standing.
  • Photo and personal identification documents such as passports, Australian driver licences, Medicare card, council and water rates, or utility bills. Other forms of identification can also be attested and notarised, but generally, other countries require photo identification in the absence of a national identity card system in Australia.
  • Personal certificates from Australia such as birth certificates, marriage certificatesdeath certificates, change of name certificates, and Australian citizenship certificates. These certificates are generally issued by the relevant registry in each Australian state or by the Australian Government.
  • Visa and Immigration documents from the Department of Home Affairs, such as the Visa Entitlement Verification Online (VEVO), visa grant notices, and international movement records from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT).
  • Financial documents like bank statements issued by Australian banks, financial statements or tax-related documents from the Australian Tax Office (ATO). We can also attest and notarise the Bankruptcy Register Search from the Australian Financial Security Authority (AFSA).
  • Court documents issued by Australian courts, such as divorce orders, the Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration.
  • Education documents from Australian institutions, such as school reports, college degrees, university testamurs and transcripts. These documents must be verified with the issuing institution before they can be attested and notarised. We cannot attest or notarise education documents issued from countries other than Australia.
  • Medical documents from Australian doctors, medical centre or hospitals. Documents such as doctor’s letters, medical reports, pathology results and prescriptions for medicines must be verified with the issuing doctor, medical centre or hospital before they can be attested and notarised.
  • Professional qualification documents from Australian accredited bodies, such as the Law Society, CPA Australia, and the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA).
  • Employment documents from Australian employers, like referral letters, references and recommendations, and payslips. These documents must be verified with the issuing employer before they can be attested and notarised.
  • Company documents relating to Australian companies, like a certificate of good standing, attested copies of certificates of incorporation, resolution and minutes, constitutions and memorandum of association etc. These documents must be obtained directly from ASIC for public information or produced by a director of the company if they relate to documents from their corporate register.
  • Criminal history documents issued by Australian police agencies like the Australian Federal Police (AFP) or state police, or by private organisations accredited by the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC). The National Police Check certificate is available as a physical hard copy document or as a digital certificate in some cases.

Usually, if documents must be certified, you must be able to provide the original hard copy document to us. Some documents, especially if those documents are only available as electronic documents, can be emailed to us directly by whoever issued the documents. Whenever possible, we will also verify documents with whoever issued the documents to complete the notarisation.

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Do you have any questions?

Sending documents from Australia to other countries can be complicated. We make it simple.

If your documents must be stamped with an apostille or authenticated and then legalised, we can help with that too. We’ve also created a flowchart to explain the process.

Not sure what you need? Contact us or visit our Frequently Asked Questions for more information.

So, what’s next?

Visit our Notary Fees page for a free quote for our notary public services. Otherwise, call us on +61 2 9687 8885 to speak with our friendly team about your requirements.

Why choose Phang Legal for your notary public services?

We’re a leading provider of notary public services in Sydney. We’re known for:

  • Our experience and expertise in notarising documents for other countries;
  • Our low-cost fixed fees and service offerings; and
  • Our availability to help on short notice.

Our office is conveniently located in Parramatta, the geographic centre of the Sydney metropolitan area. We help clients from across Sydney and beyond with personal, professional and timely notary public services.

Ern Phang
Ern Phang
Notary Public

This website is maintained by Phang Legal, a boutique law firm in Parramatta and a leading provider of quality notary public services to satisfied clients across Sydney and beyond.

Ern Phang is a director of Phang Legal and a notary public (since 2005). Ern regularly writes about his experiences as a notary public and the issues faced by his clients in sending documents to countries all over the world.

All information on this website is for general purposes only and correct at the time of publication. Only rely on information and advice that is specific to your situation and current at the time you wish to rely on it.
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