There are fears Australia's visa platforms could soon be clogged with travel ads and used as a money-spinner by the federal government.
The Home Affairs Department is in the process of redesigning the country's visa processing systems.
The department will continue to make decisions on visas but is investigating whether the digital platforms it uses can be privately funded, built and maintained.
As part of the process, officials have told industry stakeholders they are keen to explore whether "commercial value-added services" can be integrated into the system to attract people to Australia.
"Simple examples of that would be things like travel bookings for tourists," Home Affairs officer Andrew Kefford told a Senate estimates hearing in Canberra on Tuesday.
"More complicated ones that we're starting to explore are things like connections to government licensing for people who are coming on a work visa, for example, or perhaps connections to over service providers."
Mr Kefford said the system could also be used to help people find accommodation.
"So separate to but associated with the applicant's purpose of coming to Australia," he said.
Crossbench senator Stirling Griff is uneasy about the prospect, questioning whether it would lead to implied endorsement of certain providers over others.
Senator Griff is also concerned it could give Home Affairs substantial market power.
"Will this mean we have a situation where visa holders may feel obliged to use these providers?" he said in a statement afterwards.
"And who will determine which links to provide and to which service providers?"
Senator Griff said government sites were not immune from scams and potential misuse.
Greens senator Nick McKim also raised questions about the potential plan.
"For example, maybe a travel agent could advertise, right? Because that's an associated service," he said.
Home Affairs deputy secretary Malisa Golightly said the value-added services might not be advertising.
"It might actually just be other links, for example, that could be provided with useful information," Ms Golightly said.
"It might be links to other government services or to a private company."