Proving your identity


Anyone who attempts to travel to Australia by boat without a visa will be turned back or transferred to a regional processing country.

The following information is not for people whose protection claims are being assessed in regional processing countries.

This information is for people who have already arrived in Australia by boat without a visa and whose protection claims will be assessed in Australia.

In Australia your identity is very important.

Your identity is who you are – including your name, date of birth, what countries you can live in and the addresses of places you have lived.

Identity is an important part of the immigration process and living in Australia.

You must give the immigration department original identity documents to prove your identity.

Identity documents can include your:

  • passport
  • national identity card
  • birth certificate
  • military service papers
  • drivers licence
  • marriage certificate
  • utility (household) bills
  • family photos
  • employment records or
  • education records.

Ask your family and friends back home to send your documents to Australia if you do not have them with you.

You must give the immigration department true and complete information about your identity.

Giving false documents or information is a crime in Australia. It could result in visa cancellation and prosecution.

In Australia, you may also be asked to sign a lot of documents.

This is when you write your name in your own handwriting – it is called your signature.

When you sign a document, it means you officially agree to what is written on it.

Ask questions if you do not understand what is written in a document before signing it.

You must use your real name every time you sign a document.

If you are living in the community, you will need identity documents to:

  • open a bank account
  • rent a home
  • apply for a job, if you are eligible to work
  • buy a mobile phone
  • apply for a driver's licence
  • buy alcohol or cigarettes. You must be at least 18 years old to buy alcohol or cigarettes.

If you are granted a bridging visa or placed in community detention, you will receive an ImmiCard.

It contains your personal information, including your photo, name and date of birth.

Use your ImmiCard to help you prove your immigration status and enrol for services you are eligible for.

You can get more information about ImmiCards on our Immicards page.

If you have any questions, speak to the immigration department or your service provider.

Information is also available online at: Illegal maritime arrivals

Copyright and usage

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Proving your identity by Australian Government Department of Immigration and Border Protection is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.​​​​​​​