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Work Rights Check

Why do we need to check your work rights? In short, it’s the law…

Employing a person without ‘permission to work’

It is a criminal offence under the Migration Act for a person to ‘knowingly’ or ‘recklessly’ allow someone to work, or to refer someone for work with another business, if they do not have a legal right to work in Australia.

Definition of a legal worker

Australian citizens, New Zealand citizens and Australian permanent residents are legal workers and have unlimited permission to work in Australia.

Some Australian visas have work limitations that could include not being able to work at all or only being able to work with a certain employer or a specific number of hours.

An Australian visa holder who is not in breach of their visa conditions is also a legal worker.

Proof of citizenship or permanent resident status

A single check confirming citizenship or permanent resident status during the recruitment process or prior to employment is all that is required.

To confirm Australian or New Zealand citizenship an employer can sight:

  • Australian or New Zealand passport
  • Australian birth certificate and a form of photo identification
  • evidence of Australian citizenship and form of photo identification
  • certificate of Status for New Zealand citizens in Australia and a form of photo identification.

To confirm permanent resident status, an employer can sight:

  • certificate of permanent resident status and a form of photo identification
  • a passport issued by the government of another country along with a check using Visa Entitlement Verification Online (VEVO).

In the absence of a form of government-issued photo identification, an employer might choose to sight as many of the following supporting documents considered necessary to confirm identity:

  • confirmation of enrolment to vote in Australian state or federal elections, Medicare card, driver’s licence / taxi license, tax file number, references from previous employers, tenancy agreements or home ownership details, tertiary qualifications certificate, trade certificate, change of name certificates (if applicable).

Note: The above documents do not provide evidence of permission to work.

We keep copies of any sighted documents in our record as proof of work rights verification.

For more information please visit the Department of Home Affairs website.

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