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Travel Documents for Entry to Australia

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Everyone travelling to Australia must present a valid and approved travel document as evidence of their identity and nationality. The most common and preferred travel document is a passport, but other types of travel documents may also be accepted.

Travel documents required for Australian citizens

Australian citizens have an automatic right of entry to Australia, and do not require a visa. Australian citizens need only to present the following documents to officers in immigration clearance:

  • a valid Australian passport or other acceptable travel document
  • a completed and signed Incoming Passenger Card.
    See: Passenger cards

Australians who hold dual or multiple nationalities should hold an Australian passport and use it to enter or leave Australia, even when using a foreign passport overseas. The only exception is where they have been issued with an Australian Declaratory Visa.
See: Australian Declaratory Visa (ADV)

Travel documents required for New Zealand citizens

Most New Zealand citizens are granted an electronic Special Category Visa (SCV) on arrival in Australia, subject to meeting health and character requirements.

To be eligible for the Special Category Visa, New Zealand citizens need to present the following documents to officers in immigration clearance:

  • a valid New Zealand passport
  • a completed and signed Incoming Passenger Card, including health and character declaration.

New Zealand citizens who hold a travel document other than a New Zealand passport are not eligible to be granted a Special Category Visa on arrival, and therefore should apply for a visa prior to travelling to Australia.

New Zealand citizens with tuberculosis or criminal convictions may not be eligible for a Special Category Visa. These New Zealand citizens should approach the nearest Australian immigration office to discuss their situation before travelling to Australia so as to avoid possible delay or being refused entry at the border.

New Zealand citizens may also be eligible to apply for a range of other visas appropriate to their circumstances, or for Australian citizenship.
See:
New Zealand Citizens Entering Australia
Passenger cards
Fact Sheet 17 New Zealanders in Australia
Visas and Immigration
Australian Citizenship

Travel documents required for all other travellers

All travellers other than Australian and New Zealand citizens need to present the following documents to officers in immigration clearance:

  • a valid passport or other acceptable travel document
  • a valid visa or authority to enter Australia (including electronic visas)
  • a completed and signed Incoming Passenger Card, including health and character declaration.
    See: Passenger cards

Anyone who arrives without a valid travel document, visa or authority to enter Australia, may be refused entry to Australia or delayed until their identity and claims to enter Australia have been confirmed.

Documents for foreign military personnel travelling by air

There are different requirements for the following travellers:

  • members of Armed Forces
  • civilian employees of specific Armed Forces
  • partners or dependant relatives of members or civilian employees of specific Armed Forces

1. Members of Armed Forces
The details below apply only to military personnel from the following countries: Antigua, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Brunei, Canada, Fiji, Grenada, Jamaica, Malaysia, Mauritius, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Singapore, Solomon Islands, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Thailand, Tonga, Tuvalu, United Kingdom and the USA.

Members of the Armed Forces of a country listed above who are travelling on duty do not need to obtain a visa prior to travelling to Australia if the following documents are provided to officers in immigration clearance:

  • Military Identity Document (a valid passport may also be accepted in lieu)
  • Movement Orders
  • A completed and signed Incoming Passenger Card (if arriving at a proclaimed port, such as an international airport).

Military personnel from other countries not mentioned above must obtain a visa prior to travelling to Australia and will need to present standard, non-military travel documents to officers in immigration clearance.

More information is available in the sections above.
See: Travel documents required for all other travellers

2. Civilian employees of specific Armed Forces
Civilian employees of Armed Forces from Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, Singapore and the USA and who are travelling for military purposes do not require a visa if the following documents are provided to officers at immigration clearance:

  • a valid passport
  • a Status Certificate (presented in either their passport or on an official letterhead)
  • a completed and signed Incoming Passenger Card (if arriving at a proclaimed port, such as an international airport).

3. Partners or dependant relatives of members or civilian employees of specific Armed Forces
The details below apply only to members or civilian employees of the Armed Forces from the following countries: Antigua, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Brunei, Canada, Fiji, Grenada, Jamaica, Malaysia, Mauritius, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Singapore, Solomon Islands, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Thailand, Tonga, Tuvalu, United Kingdom and the USA.

Partners or dependant relatives of members or civilian employees of the Armed Forces of countries listed above who are accompanying or joining these Armed Forces members, do not require a visa if the following documents are provided to officers in immigration clearance:

  • a valid passport
  • Movement Orders OR Status Certificate (presented in either their passport or on official letterhead)
  • a signed and completed Incoming Passenger Card (when arriving at a proclaimed port, such as an international airport).

Other acceptable travel documents

A small number of travellers may have other types of travel documents which are also acceptable for travel to Australia. Holders of these documents will in most cases also require a visa.

The travel documents must be issued by a recognised authority and be acceptable for travel to Australia. The document must have a photograph of the bearer and provide the holder with a re-entry authority to the country of issue, or an entry authority to another country.

Other acceptable travel documents include:

  • Document of Identity (if holder is not an Australian citizen then a visa is required)
  • Certificate of Identity (a visa is required) - see below
  • Document for Travel To Australia – DFTTA (a visa is required. DFTTAs are normally issued to offshore refugee and humanitarian entrants for their initial entry to Australia.)
  • Laissez Passer (a visa is required)
  • Convention Travel Document (such as Titre de Voyage – a visa is required) - see below
  • Documents issued to refugees (a visa is required)
  • ‘Kinderausweis’ issued to German minors - photo of bearer not required (a visa is required).
  • Military documents for military personnel travelling by air (see ‘Documents for foreign military personnel travelling by air’ section above).

Visa is permission to travel to and enter Australia and/or remain in Australia. 'Visa' should not be confused with ‘visa label’ which is a form of evidence of the existence of and conditions applied to a visa.

Convention Travel Documents or Certificate of Identity documents issued through the Australian Passport Office

  • A Convention Travel Document (CTD) may be issued to someone who is recognised by Australia as a refugee under the Convention relating to the Status of Refugees dated 28 July 1951.
  • A Certificate of Identity (COI) may be issued to someone who is about to leave Australia and is either stateless or unable to obtain a travel document from the country of which they claim to be a national.

When you apply for a CTD or COI the Australian Passport Office (APO) must be satisfied of your identity and your Australian visa status. You must provide proof of your immigration status.

Australian Declaratory Visa (ADV)

The Australian Declaratory Visa (ADV) is an administrative document that resembles a visa. It is issued in limited circumstances to Australian citizens who hold dual nationality only if the applicant:

  • is a dual national under the age of 18
    or
  • has an emergency or other situation preventing travel on an Australian passport.

The Australian Declaratory Visa is valid for five years from the date of issue, unless the holder ceases to be an Australian citizen, in which case the holder will need a normal visa to travel to Australia.

Charges apply for this service.

Permanent residents with RRV, ATR or RE documents

Information is available in a fact sheet for permanent residents of Australia holding a document such as:

  • a Return Resident Visa (RRV)
  • an Authority to Return (ATR)
  • a Return Endorsement (RE).

Applications for a Resident Return Visa can be made online.
See:
Returning Residents

Permanent residents of Norfolk Island

Permanent residents of Norfolk Island do not need to apply for a visa before travelling to Australia.

Instead they may apply for a Permanent Resident Norfolk Island Visa (PRNIV) on arrival in Australia by presenting the following documents to officers in immigration clearance:

  • a valid passport endorsed with their Norfolk Island permanent residence status
  • a completed and signed Incoming Passenger Card.

The visa is valid for the duration of the stay in Australia. An application for a new PRNIV is required each time a permanent resident of Norfolk Island arrives in Australia.

Further information

The following links provide further information.
See:
Travelling to Australia
Visas and Immigration
Australian Citizenship

Last reviewed Tuesday 02 September 2014