Condition 8304:

  • The holder must use the same name to identify himself or herself in all official Australian identity documents.
  • If the holder’s name changes, the holder must, as soon as practicable:
    • notify the change to the issuer of any official Australian identity document held by the holder; and
    • take all reasonable steps to ensure the change is given effect in relation to all official Australian identity documents held by the holder.
  • For the purposes of this clause, an official Australian identity document includes any document of identity issued by any of the following:
    • the Commonwealth or a State or Territory;
    • an authority of the Commonwealth or of a State or Territory;
    • an employee or official of the Commonwealth or a State or Territory, or an authority of the Commonwealth or a State or Territory, who is acting in the course of his or her duties or functions as such an employee or official.

This condition will be placed on a majority of temporary visas. There is no set time period within which you will need to notify Commonwealth, State or Territory government agencies of a name change. “As soon as practical” may be circumstantial. Of course, unless with good reason, measures to inform the relevant authorities should be undertaken as soon as possible.

If however, compelling and compassionate circumstances exist, such as the visa holder seeking protection from domestic violence, or other circumstances where there is a threat of harm to the visa holder or their children, it may be necessary for them to change their name with certain government agencies, but not in other contexts.  In such circumstances, the ‘practicable’ period would be when that individual is capable of establishing their safety. The premise for the introduction of this visa condition is to  mitigate identity fraud, such as the use of aliases to escape government detection concerning law enforcement, tax, and social security.

Where the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) has uncovered evidence of the intentional use of more than one identity concurrently in order to gain an advantage or to deceive, the visa may face cancellation. The visa holder will first be notified and will be given an opportunity to respond. Reasons may include  the impact of separation from family members and the best interests of children under the age of 18 years. This of course is measured against the severity of the ‘offence’.

This new condition affects visa applications made after 18 November 2017

Find: Migration Legislation Amendment (2017 Measures No. 4) Regulations 2017