Australian High Commission
United Kingdom
High Commission address: Australia House, Strand, London WC2B 4LA

Travelling to, entering and departing Australia

The following information answers frequently asked questions about travelling to Australia, the process of entering Australia and departing Australia.

Travelling to Australia

Do I need a visa to travel to Australia?

All travellers who are not Australian citizens need to obtain a valid visa or authority to enter Australia. This must be obtained before travelling to Australia. Special provisions apply to most New Zealand citizens, and to people eligible to transit Australia without a visa.

Do I need a visa label in my passport?

Australia’s modern electronic visa system does not require you to have a visa label placed in your passport to confirm your immigration status and entitlements in Australia.

When you check-in to fly to Australia, airline staff will use your passport to electronically confirm that you have authority to travel to Australia prior to boarding the aircraft.

Can I travel to Australia on a one way ticket?

There is no requirement to have a return ticket when you arrive in Australia. However officers at the border need to be satisfied that visitors, working holiday maker and temporary residents are intending to and have the means to depart Australia before their visa expires. While not a mandatory requirement, you may wish to carry a copy of your bank statement to demonstrate you have sufficient funds to purchase an airline ticket to depart Australia.

Do I need 6 months left on my passport?

There is no minimum passport validity required to enter Australia. Clients must have a valid passport and valid visa when they board their flight and when they enter Australia.

However as a general rule the travel industry recommend that your passport is valid for at least 6 months as some airlines and some countries have a 6 month rule. You should check with your airline and any country you may be transiting on the way to Australia.

For shorter visits it is recommended that your passport be valid for the duration of your stay to avoid the inconvenience of having to renew a foreign passport whilst in Australia.

Can I renew my passport in Australia?

Australia citizens may renew their Australian passport whilst in Australia. For further information contact the Australian Passport office.

Non Australian citizens should seek advice from their passport issuing authority in their home country before they travel to Australia. Not all countries have representation in Australia, not all countries process passports abroad and the location of your country’s passport issuing office in Australia may not be convenient for you to travel to.

For shorter visits it is recommended your passport be valid for the duration of your stay to avoid the inconvenience of having to renew a foreign passport whilst in Australia.

My visa will expire when I am in Australia, can I still travel to Australia on it?

The ‘Entry Expiry Date’ of your visa may expire while you are in Australia. The entry expiry date advises the last date you may enter Australia on that visa. Once in Australia you are bound by the ‘Stay For/Until Date’ of your visa. You must depart Australia before the Stay For/Until Date expires. If you fail to depart before this date you will become unlawful in Australia and this may affect future visa applications.

It is not possible to extend a visa whilst in Australia. However some clients may be eligible to apply for a new visa. If you plan do this you must contact your local immigration office in Australia to see if you are eligible to lodge a new application before the Stay For/Until Date expires. You must ensure you give yourself enough time to depart if you are not able to make an application for a new visa.

Can my children travel on my passport?

Most countries now issue individual passports for children. However if your children are listed on your passport they can travel to Australia on your passport. All persons listed on the passport must have a visa in their own right, this means you will need a visa for yourself and one for any child listed on your passport.

When should I book my flight?

You should not book flights or make travel commitments until you have a visa to travel to Australia. The department will not be liable for any financial loss incurred by clients whose visa application was finalised later than expected or unsuccessful. 

Entering Australia

I am a dual citizen what passport should I enter on?

If you are an Australian citizen you should enter on your Australian passport. If you are not an Australian citizen you should enter on your passport that is linked to your Australia visa.

What can and can’t be taken into Australia?

If you have a query in relation to what you can take in and out of Australia, you will need to contact either the Australian Customs and Border protection Service or the Australian Quarantine and Inspection service.

Australian Customs and Border Protection Service can provide you information about brining non-organic (live) products into Australia such as prescription medicines, automobiles or goods.

Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service can provide you information about bringing live animals or animal products, such as your pets or live plants.

What happens at the border, what do I need to enter Australia?

Everyone who arrives at an Australian airport must present their passport (or travel document) and Incoming Passenger Card to officers in immigration clearance.

Anyone who arrives without a valid travel document, visa or authority to enter Australia, may be delayed until their identity and claims to enter Australia are checked. If a person does not meet immigration clearance requirements they may be refused entry to Australia.

If there are any issues surrounding your identity, your intentions in Australia, the appropriateness of the visa you have travelled on or your ability to meet the conditions of your visa, the matter is referred to an immigration officer at the airport to resolve. Immigration officers may speak briefly with you to make enquiries about your travel plans, travel history, contacts in Australia, or other related details. Some clients may wish to travel with documents that show their intentions in Australia and demonstrate their ability to satisfy any financial requirements of their visa.

Once your identity and authority to enter Australia are confirmed and any other information required is provided, the officer formally clears you for entry to Australia.

Departing Australia

Can I depart Australia and travel to New Zealand on my Australian visa?

If you hold a current Australian permanent residence visa or a current Australian Resident Return visa you do not need a visa to visit New Zealand. If you hold a valid permanent resident visa for Australia you can travel to New Zealand for up to 6 months as a visitor. You must ensure your permanent residence visa is still valid when you return to Australia.

All other Australian visa holders require a visa to visit New Zealand. If you plan to return to Australia you must ensure your Australian visa is still valid or that you can apply for a new one in New Zealand.

What happens if I depart Australia after my visa has expired?

If you have overstayed your visa it will be recorded on your immigration record and may be taken into consideration in any future visa applications. If you overstay by more than 28 days you are likely to be interviewed on your departure and you will be automatically subject to a three year exclusion period from Australia. There are provisions to waive exclusion periods in compelling and compassionate circumstances. You may request a waiver should you make a future visa application.

I am an Australian permanent resident, when I left I was told my visa was expired what should I do to return back to Australia?

You need to apply for a Resident Return visa from your closest Australian Immigration Office. You should make contact with the immigration office as soon as possible so there is enough time to process your application before your return flight to Australia.

Can I claim back my superannuation now I have departed Australia?

If you have worked in Australia as a temporary resident you may be eligible to claim money you paid into a superannuation fund. You can do this if:

This payment is called the Departing Australia Superannuation Payment (DASP). This payment is not available for Australian permanent residents and citizens or New Zealand citizens, unless you previously visited Australia on an eligible temporary visa – in which case, some of your superannuation may still be payable as a DASP. A list of eligible temporary resident visas is available from the Australian Taxation Office.

Eligibility and procedures for lodging a claim for superannuation benefits are available from the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) website.

You are able to apply to return to Australia on another visa even if you claim and receive your superannuation money.

If your superannuation fund is less than $5000 you can request a letter from the London Immigration Office to provide to your fund company.

If the amount you have in any single superannuation fund is less than $5000 you should apply directly to your superannuation fund. If your Australian visa has ceased and you need to provide evidence in order to claim back your superannuation, you can request a standard superannuation letter by emailing us.

You should email the London Immigration to request a letter, please provide the following information:

The letter we provide will state that you were granted a visa on a certain date and that this visa has now ceased.

If your super-fund holds more than $5000 you should apply for a ‘Certificate of Immigration Status’.

Certification of Immigration Status applications are processed by our office in Hobart. Further information can be found at the link below.

If you need your temporary visa cancelled to claim back your superannuation you must request this from our office in Hobart.