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Passenger Cards

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Travellers arriving in and departing from Australia are required under Australian law to identify themself and provide certain information through the completion of a passenger card.

Australian law concerning the completion of passenger cards is set out in the Migration Act 1958 (the Migration Act) and the Migration Regulations 1994 (the Migration Regulations).

What is a passenger card?

A passenger card is a document providing passenger identification and an effective record of a person’s entry to and departure from Australia.

Passenger cards to be completed are:

  • an Incoming Passenger Card (IPC) for travellers entering Australia
  • an Outgoing Passenger Card (OPC) for travellers departing Australia.

Passenger cards also serve as:

  • a declaration in relation to health and character requirements for non-Australian citizens
  • an application form for Special Category Visa applicants and Norfolk Island Permanent Residents.

Who needs to complete a passenger card?

Most travellers are required to complete and present a passenger card when entering or departing Australia. However, particular people are exempt from completing a passenger card (as prescribed in regulation 3.06 and schedule 9 of the Migration Regulations).

Australian citizens who refuse to complete an IPC may be penalised. Non-Australian citizens may be penalised and refused immigration clearance.

Completing a passenger card in English

Passenger cards must be completed in English. Travellers requiring assistance to complete passenger cards can download printable sample versions of both the IPC, including translations, and the OPC.
See: Passenger Cards Samples

Completing an incoming passenger card

Travellers entering Australia are required to accurately provide the following information on both sides of the IPC:

Incoming Passenger Card Front
  • family/surname, given names and passport number
  • flight number or name of ship
  • intended address in Australia
  • if they intend to live in Australia for the next 12 months
  • declarations relating to customs and quarantine.

Side 2 Incoming Passenger Card Back
  • the country in which they boarded the flight/vessel
  • their date of birth and usual occupation
  • nationality as shown on their passport
  • contact details in Australia and emergency contact details.

Travellers are required to sign and date the IPC, and are also required to correctly answer additional questions concerning their migration status, health status and any prior criminal convictions. For non-Australian citizens, providing false information can affect their visa status.

Completing an outgoing passenger card

Travellers departing Australia are required to accurately provide the following information on both sides of the OPC:

Outgoing Passenger Card Front
  • family/surname, given names and passport number
  • flight number or name of ship
  • the country where they will get off the flight/vessel
  • their date of birth and usual occupation
  • nationality as shown on their passport.

Side 2 Outgoing Passenger Card Back
  • declaration relating to customs.

Travellers are required to sign and date the OPC, and are also required to correctly answer additional questions concerning their departure status. For non-Australian citizens, providing false information can affect their visa status.

Completing a passenger card on behalf of another traveller

Passenger cards can be completed on behalf of another traveller where a person is in charge of that traveller. This includes parents/guardians of minors and carers of travellers with special needs.

A non-Australian citizen is considered to have completed a passenger card where the card is completed on their behalf.

Further information

Information about arrival and departure records in the Movements Reconstruction database and how to request access to the information.
See: Movement Records