This app judges if a person can legally work in Australia — by scanning their passport

Barnaby Joyce and Fiona Nash. (Photo by Stefan Postles/Getty Images)

A Melbourne startup has claimed to have built an app that can instantly determine the visa eligibility of a person wanting to work Australia, just by scanning their passport identification page.

CheckWorkRights, which recently launched in the Apple App Store, can return a job candidate’s visa status in “just seconds”, including information on visa type, expiry date and any conditions attached to the permission to work.

“We have seen a number of instances recently where CheckWorkRights and a simple scan of a worker’s passport could have saved a business from serious fines due to non-compliance,” said CheckWorkRoghts co-founder Will Aldous.

“Many businesses who we work with are surprised to learn they are non-compliant and at risk of serious penalties and reputational damage, and were previously unaware of their obligations to do regular checks on the expiry dates and conditions of their employees’ visas.”

CheckWorkRights app. (Source: CheckWorkRights)

The software startup was established in 2015 by Aldous and Aaron Smith and self-funded the whole way.

“Accuracy rate is 100% as it is based on information from the Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection and our platform is linked directly with [the department’s] systems,” Aldous told Business Insider.

“The information is held securely in the cloud, utilising secure encryption processes and controls.”

Business Insider confirmed with Department of Immigration and Border Protection that CheckWorkRights is accessing the data flow.

“Visa Entitlement Verification Online (VEVO) is a service provided by the Department of Immigration and Border protection that enables individual visa holders and registered organisations to check information regarding visa details and conditions,” said a department spokesperson.

“CheckWorkRights [is] registered with the Department to access VEVO.”

Aldous said that the Christmas period for certain industries, like retail and hospitality, see a significant temporary surge in staffing requirements and that his app could “cut the red tape”.

“With CheckWorkRights, you can boost your casual workforce with young visitors here on student or holiday working visas, virtually risk-free.”

Business customers that have already taken up the app include catering and hospitality giant Delaware North, which serves venues like Melbourne Airport and the Sydney Cricket Ground.

“[The app] is the best thing I have seen in a long while that will genuinely reduce the time and interaction spent on a mundane task… It will be very useful to 90% of our HR Advisors,” said Delaware North HR business partner Daniel Evans.

The CheckWorkRights app is not yet available on the Google Play Store for Android users, but is “in development”, according to a company spokesperson.