If you have ever travelled to Australia, then you probably know about the incoming passenger card. When you arrived, you were likely asked to supply this form, which was brought into law in the Migration Act of 1958 and Migration Regulations 1994.
Understanding the Passenger Card
The incoming passenger card was used to create a record of individuals entering Australia. It served as a visa application form for those applying for Special Category Visas and permanent residents of Norfolk Island. It was also a declaration of health and character requirements for non-Australians.
Who is Required to Complete a Passenger Card?
Most people are required to provide an incoming passenger card upon arrival in Australia. There are some exceptions, including those who are exempt through regulation 3.06 and Migration Regulations schedule 9. Australian citizens can be penalised for refusing to complete a passenger card while non-Australians can also be penalised and may be refused clearance to enter the country.
What Information is Required on the Passenger Card?
The incoming passenger card asks for a number of basic details that help identify the individual coming to Australia. The form requires:
- A flight number or ship name
- Family or surname and given names
- Passport number
- Customs and quarantine declaration
- Whether the passenger intends to live in Australia over the following 12 months
- Country in which the passenger boarded the vessel or flight
- Passenger’s nationality as it appears on their passport
- Date of birth and occupation
- Contact details including emergency contact
The incoming passenger card must be signed and dated by the visitor. They are also required to accurately answer all questions related to criminal convictions, health status, and migration status. False information can affect visa status for non-Australians.
Goodbye Outgoing Passenger Cards
Until recently, all travellers departing Australia were required to complete an outgoing passenger card. This was a cumbersome additional step; most of the data provided has now become redundant, making it a waste of time.
As of 1 July 2017, the Australian government removed the outgoing passenger card requirement. This makes departure easier for everyone. As part of the update, the incoming passenger card will be changed sometime in 2018.
Travelling Through Australia
Whether you plan to take up permanent residency in Australia or only pass through the country, Emergico can help with your travel plans. Contact our team of registered migration agents to learn more about entering and leaving the country legally. Complete our free online visa eligibility assessment to get started