VEVO help and support

Why am I getting an error message?

There are a number of reasons why VEVO might return an error message. Some of the most common reasons for getting an error message are:

  • The wrong details are being entered.

Ensure you have filled all required fields and that you have correctly entered the right passport number and country, and the date of birth.

Careful attention should be paid not to confuse letters and numbers with similar appearances, such as the letter I and the number 1, the letter O and the number 0.

  • You are using the wrong passport or the details of a previous visa.

If a new passport has been issued since the visa was granted, then we will need to be advised so we can update our records. Sometimes, our records might not fully update properly, if this happens then the visa holder should contact us to have their details corrected.

  • There is an issue with the electronic visa record.

Occasionally, some details in your the departmental electronic visa record might need to be updated to fix duplicated or conflicting information.

At other times, there could be more than one person with the same passport number or reference details.

In these instances, the visa holder should contact us to have their details updated.

  • VEVO is experiencing a system problem or is down for maintenance.

Sometimes VEVO can be unavailable unexpectedly or has been taken down for system maintenance. Information about known technical issues or scheduled outages is available on the System maintenance and technical issues page.

  • The visa might have expired.

Visa holders should be aware of when their visa ends, however, some may forget or may have mistakenly thought that their visa would have been automatically renewed. Where VEVO has failed to find a visa for a person, the visa holder should contact us as soon as possible to have their status resolved.

  • Long term resident of Australia who does not have an electronic record with us.

If the person arrived in Australia before the early 1990s and has not travelled out of Australia since, they might not have an electronic record with us that VEVO can search.

Other ways that someone can prove their right to live and work in Australia can be found at our Employing legal workers page.

If more is needed, then they may need to obtain a Certificate of Evidence of Resident Status (CERS) for formal recognition of their status in Australia. VEVO cannot use the CERS reference number to return visa information. Instead, VEVO Organisation users are recommended to enter the number that appears on the CERS followed by the letters 'CERS'in the Passport / ImmiCard number field and the visa holder’s nationality in the Country of Passport / ImmiCard field. You should enter the person’s name and date of birth as usual.
Example: For Canadian citizen John Smith, who was born 25/12/1953 and has been issued CERS number 123456, should be entered as '123456CERS' like this:

Title: Example screen for entering Certificate of Evidence of Resident Status details  - Description: This screens shows how to enter the correct format for a Certificate of Evidence of Resident Status (CERS) holder. 

  • VEVO advises of a bridging visa, what does it mean?

A bridging visa is a temporary visa. Some bridging visas allow people to stay in Australia while their application for a substantive visa is processed after their previous visa had expired. Other bridging visas are granted to allow the person time to make arrangements to leave Australia.

More information about Bridging visas is available.

VEVO only returns information on the visa holder’s current visa; it will show the bridging visa details, which is the current ‘in effect’ visa at the time of the VEVO query, with any relevant conditions that are attached to that visa. VEVO will not show the visa holder’s previous visa or what type of application the person may have made.

  • Why does VEVO advise organisations to check again in three months?

Some bridging visas are issued without a specific end date as they are valid until another event occurs.  This event might be us deciding an application, a tribunal or court has reviewed a refusal or the visa holder travels outside of Australia.

As these events can occur at any time – from the next day to months into the future – we recommend you do your search again in three months in case the visa holder’s circumstances have changed.
Note: You should only do your search where you have a continuing need to do so and have the permission of the visa holder.

More information about Bridging visas is available.

More information about how often a foreign national's visa status should be checked is available at How often employers should check visa details in the Employing legal workers guide.

New Zealand citizens

New Zealander citizens are often granted a Special Category (subclass 444) visa when they arrive in Australia, the subclass 444 automatically ends when the New Zealand citizen departs Australia.

VEVO will only provide subclass 444 visa details and conditions when the New Zealand citizen is in Australia.

For further information refer to Fact sheet - New Zealanders in Australia

PLO56 holders

VEVO for Individuals

Visa holders will need to enter their departmental reference number as the Visa Evidence Number, found on the visa label attached to the PLO56 evidence card, their date of birth and PLO56 as the passport number / ImmiCard field and then their nationality.

VEVO for Organisations

VEVO cannot automatically return visa information when a VEVO organisation search on a PLO56 holder is conducted. Instead, registered organisation account holders are recommended to enter the letter 'X' followed by 'PLO56' in the Passport / ImmiCard number field and the visa holder’s nationality in the Country of Passport / ImmiCard field as well as the person’s name and date of birth as usual.
Example: For Canadian citizen John Smith, who was born 25/12/1953 and has been issued with a PLO56, should be entered as 'xPLO56'
Title: Check visa entitlements screen - Description: example of the correct format for entering document details for a PLO56 holder.

User guides and videos

If you have issues using VEVO, and have read our information above, we encourage you to:

Read our user guides:

Watch our video:

Search our frequently asked questions below

If you are unable to resolve your issue or question after following steps 1 -3 above, only then should you contact us on our general enquiries line (visa Holders) or the Employers’ Immigration Hotline (Organisations) on 1800 040 070 or complete the VEVO enquiry form.