Certificate of Evidence of Resident Status

The Certificate of Evidence of Resident Status (CERS) is no longer issued.

There are alternative options for obtaining information on your permanent residence status and work entitlements by using your foreign passport to access your visa details through the Visa Entitlement Verification Online (VEVO) system, or the myVEVO app.

VEVO also enables you to send your visa details, directly from VEVO, to any third party email address, including diplomatic missions overseas or consulates and embassies in Australia.  The email will be sent from an official departmental email address so that recipients can be assured of the integrity and reliability of the visa information.

The ImmiCard can provide an alternative option for visa holders who previously accessed the CERS to prove permanent residency.

Eligibility for ImmiCard

Visa holders previously issued a Document for Travel to Australia or PL056

If you hold a Refugee or Special Humanitarian Programme visa and you were previously issued a PLO56 (visa evidence card) or Document for Travel to Australia (DFTTA) and you require valid credential to access government services, you are  eligible to apply for an ImmiCard.

To be considered for an ImmiCard you must be the holder of a:

  • XA-866 Permanent Protection Visa or a
  • XB-200-204 Refugee and Special Humanitarian visas and;
  • have previously been issued with a PLO56 or DFTTA (possibly as a member of a family unit) and;
  • must satisfy the identity requirements.

Visa holders who were previously issued a DFTTA because they did not have, or could not obtain a passport recognised by the Australian Government, are also eligible to apply for an ImmiCard to replace their paper-based immigration document.

Arrivals prior to the mid 1980s

If you are a permanent resident who arrived in Australia prior to the mid 1980s and have not travelled from Australia since your first arrival, you are unlikely to have an electronic record and a valid passport to be able to access VEVO. If you fall into this category, other federal agencies may advise you to obtain evidence of your Commencement of Identity from us before you can access government services, for example, Centrelink.

If you are a permanent visa holder and apply through the 164 Form, you may be considered eligible for an ImmiCard to assist with creating your electronic record and accessing VEVO. The ImmiCard will allow Government agencies to verify your Commencement of Identity in Australia so you can access government services that you may be entitled to.

If you are planning to travel overseas, you should apply for a new foreign passport from your respective diplomatic mission instead of an ImmiCard.

Application for evidence of Commencement of Identity in Australia

If you fall within the two eligibility categories, and apply through Form 164 you may be considered eligible for an ImmiCard.

Read the privacy statement below before you apply

We have authority under the Migration Act 1958 and the Australian Citizenship Act 2007, and other legislation, to collect your personal information. Please see Form 1442i - Privacy notice for more information. You may also call our privacy officer on 131 881 or email privacy@border.gov.au.

An application for an ImmiCard may require you to provide personal identifiers if the department does not hold a current facial image in our systems.  For more information on the use and disclosure of your information, see forms Privacy Notice (Form 1442i) and Your personal identifying information (Form 1243i).  These forms outline why personal identifiers can be collected, how they may be collected, how they may be used, how they are protected and how they may be disclosed.  You should read this information before you attend your appointment.

More information about the notice and personal identification forms is available.

By completing the online order form, you consent to your personal information being used for the purpose of an ImmiCard. We can also provide your personal information to other government agencies and financial institutions to confirm your identity and/or verify documents that we have issued.

If you are using a public computer, please ensure that you do not leave any personal information on the computer when you have finished.

More information to help you prepare your application is available.

How much will it cost?

The charge for the ImmiCard is AUD100. The preferred method of payment is by credit card.

More information about fees and charges is available.

Where to send the form

Applications should be lodged by registered post. Send your application with all the required documentation to:

Sydney Client Services
GPO Box 9984
Sydney NSW 2001

Proof of Identity – evidence required

All applications must include:

  • a current passport photo (face and shoulders) attached to the application form.
  • documentation that demonstrates the time you have spent in Australia, such as:
    • employment records
    • school records
    • financial, mortgage, lease or bill records
    • taxation records
  • certified copies of Medicare card, Centrelink card, school card, bankcards, credit cards.

Long-term residents must also provide:

  • a certified copy of photo ID such as a driver’s licence, proof of age card
  • the ship or aircraft arrival manifest available from the National Archives of Australia. More information about helping you access records of interest is available at National Archives of Australia website.
  • if available, a certified copy of the passport or travel document used when you first travelled to Australia, including the pages with your personal details and stamps or labels affixed.

Visa holders previously issued a DFTTA or PLO56

  • a certified copy of previously issued immigration documents, such as a PLO56 (visa evidence card), Document for travel to Australia (DFTTA) or a previously held passport you were issued when you were granted your permanent visa.

If you have changed your name, you must provide:

  • evidence of name change documents including birth certificate, marriage certificate or official change of name certificate.


You may be required to provide your biometrics, and if so you will be invited to attend an appointment at one of our offices to obtain personal identifiers. An Immicard cannot be issued without a valid personal identifier.

Processing times

If an application is approved, the ImmiCard will arrive by registered post within 14 days from the date the application (and payment where required) is received. If we require more information because your details are not readily available through current departmental systems, the processing time may take longer.

Do not resubmit an application or contact us during this time. If the application is refused an email will be sent stating the reason why. ImmiCards that are unable to be delivered can be collected from the Australia Post office named on the delivery slip left in the post box.