Arrival at an Australian Airport
Everyone who arrives at an Australian airport must present their travel documents and Incoming Passenger Card (IPC) to officers in immigration clearance.
See: Passenger Cards
If you are not an Australian citizen, you must hold a valid visa or authority to enter Australia. This must be arranged before travelling to Australia. Special provisions apply to most New Zealand citizens, and to people eligible to transit Australia without a visa.
Travel documents for entry to Australia
Fact sheet 17 – New Zealanders in Australia
Transit without visa arrangements
If you arrive without a valid travel document, visa or authority to enter Australia, you may be delayed until your identity and claims to enter Australia are checked. If you do not meet immigration clearance requirements, you may be refused entry to Australia. For more details see 'Immigration clearance at the airport' section below.
After you pass through immigration clearance, your baggage can be collected. It may be checked by Customs and Border Protection or Quarantine officers.
For more information about Customs and Border Protection or Quarantine requirements, go to the following websites.
Australian Customs and Border Protection Service
Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service
As part of immigration process, clearance officers inspect your travel documents when you arrive at the airport.
See: Travel documents for entry to Australia
Once your identity and authority to enter Australia are confirmed, the clearance officer formally approves your entry into Australia. Australian Customs and Border Protection Service officers handle immigration clearance processing at Australian airports on behalf of the department.
Note: The Australian Government no longer provides a Port and Date Stamp in travellers’ passports on departure from Australia without a request. If you need a stamp in your passport, you must ask the Customs officer when you depart Australia.
Stamping only on request complements our move towards electronic processing.
Australia issues electronic visas and electronically records all movements of passengers into and out of Australia. You can access your own International Movement Records over the counter at any Immigration Office or by sending the form below to your nearest Immigration Office.
See: Request for International Movement Records (107KB PDF file)
If there are any issues surrounding your identity or authority to enter Australia, the matter is referred to immigration staff at the airport. Immigration officers may check your travel history, contacts in Australia, or other travel plans.
In some cases, you may be formally interviewed to determine further information about your immigration status. The interview is conducted by immigration staff in immigration offices at the airport, and may be recorded. Non-English speaking travellers may be interviewed with the help of an interpreter.
See: Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS)
If you do not meet immigration clearance requirements, you may be refused entry to Australia and removed immediately.
The Australian Government has implemented security measures at Australian airports. You can find further information at the TravelSECURE website. Its purpose is to help you to navigate the security checks at the airport quickly and easily and to ensure you are prepared for your trip.