Labels for Australian visas will cease to be issued from the beginning of next month in a move designed to streamline visa processing and encourage digital service use.

According to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP), the practice of obtaining visa labels often resulted in unnecessary expenses, delays and inconvenience for clients and stakeholders.

myVEVO-iphone-app'Offering these services digitally is an efficient, economical and sustainable solution. The step is part of a department wide strategy to provide accessible and efficient digital services to clients in line with the Australian government's digital agenda,' said a DIBP spokesman.

'The department has always been keen to embrace new technologies and already issues and records all visas electronically,' the spokesman added.

The technology now being used provides real time visa information to registered organisations and other appropriate stakeholders as well as visa holders themselves through the free Visa Entitlement Verification Online service or the myVEVO mobile app.

Visa holders can also provide evidence that they have the authority to enter and remain in Australia by simply showing their passport or ImmiCard linked to their electronic visa record through an unique identification number.

So from 1 September, visa holders will no longer be able to request and pay for a visa label and will need to access their visa record through the VEVO system.

The department explained that when an applicant receives their Australian visa they are issued with a visa grant notification letter that explains the conditions of their visa, including period of validity and entry requirements.

'You should retain this for your own reference and you may wish to carry it with you when you travel as it contains important information about your visa. The information contained within the visa grant notification letter will help you to check your visa status online using VEVO,' he added.

Visa holders are also being reminded that any changes can be done via VEVO and a failure to update passport details, for example, could result in delays when travelling to Australia as details can then not be checked online.

'If you have been issued with a new passport since your Australian visa was granted, you must notify us of your new passport details to ensure your record is up to date,' said the spokesman.

Airlines that fly to Australia must provide details of all passengers to Australian Immigration and Border Protection Portfolio staff ahead of the flight arrival in Australia. People who are not flying directly to Australia can request that the first airline contacts the connecting airline for the flight to Australia to request an APP or a TIETAC check to confirm there is a valid Australian visa. This will avoid unnecessary delays at the airport.

Online visa access is also needed for other requirements such as enrolling for government services such as for Medicare, or for evidence of identity checking purposes, for example, when applying for a driver licence. An employer will also need to check if a visa allows the holder to work in Australia.

'VEVO is the primary online visa checking tool for most Australian third parties. With your permission, registered VEVO organisations, including employers, labour hire companies, roads and traffic authorities, education institutions, banks and other organisations can check your details online through VEVO,' the spokesman said.

'You need to be granted and hold an Australian visa to enter or stay in Australia, unless you are an Australian citizen. Australian visa holders can travel to, enter or stay in Australia using their electronic visas. While travelling using an electronic visa is widely accepted, however, we recommend you confirm other countries' entry, exit and visa requirements with relevant foreign government authorities before you travel,' the spokesman added.