Australia Entry and Travel Requirements
Australia Entry and Travel Requirements determine all the rules for travelers entering and exiting Australia, including necessary documentation that they must arrange prior to the planned trip.
Some of the most essential Australian entry requirements include having a valid passport and a visa. Every traveler should ensure that their passport remains valid for at least 6 months from the date of intended entry to Australia.
Depending on the travelers' nationality, travel purpose, and length of stay, there are different types of visas required for Australia.
According to the Australian visa policy, most foreign visitors must obtain a visa in advance of their travel, except for New Zealanders who are entitled to the Special Category Visa granted on arrival. Holders of any European country's passport can apply for an eVisitor visa online, while nationals of Canada, Brunei, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Japan, Singapore, Taiwan, and the USA are eligible for Australian ETA that can be obtained through a mobile app. Both ETA and eVisitor allow visiting Australia for tourism or business purposes.
Travelers from other countries will need to apply for an embassy visa at one of the Australian diplomatic posts. All those who plan stays exceeding 3 months must arrange an embassy visa, regardless of their nationality.
Due to the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Australian entry regulations used to be one of the most stringent globally, allowing entry for practically none. The country's borders were reopened to fully vaccinated international travelers in February 2022.
Before your trip, check on the current entry protocol to visit Australia without any issues. Different Australian states and regions may apply their own entry rules, including testing and quarantine requirements.
Important Update!: The recent changes to Australian entry requirements include dropping pre-departure testing in April 2022. Moreover, from 6 July, Australia no longer requires incoming travelers to declare their vaccination status and complete the Digital Passenger Declaration. Read more here.
Who can enter Australia?
Currently, travelers from the following groups can enter Australia:
- travelers holding a valid visa;
- Australian permanent residents and citizens.
From 6 July 2022, unvaccinated travelers no longer need to obtain a travel exemption in order to enter Australia.
Documents check-list for entering Australia
Before going to the airport to board a flight to Australia, make sure you have the following:
- a valid visa
- travel insurance (optional)
Travelers allowed to travel to Australia must have a valid visa. During the coronavirus pandemic, the visa processing time may take a bit longer than usual.
Visitors to Australia who hold valid visas should remember that they must meet other entry requirements. Otherwise, their visas can be canceled upon arrival in Australia if a holder:
- does not meet the travel requirements of the Australian definition of a fully vaccinated for international travel purposes;
- is not fully vaccinated and does not have medical reasons for not taking a COVID-19 vaccine;
- is not falling under an exempt category or does not hold an individual travel exemption to enter Australia.
Types of visas
European passport holders can apply for an eVisitor Australia (subclass651) visa, while holders of passports of other countries may be eligible for a Visitor (subclass 600) visa.
Citizens of 8 countries can apply for Australian ETA using a mobile app. The list of ETA eligible nations includes holders of passports from the following countries:
- Hong Kong (SAR of China)
- South Korea
- the United States of America
APEC Business Travel Card
Business travelers from several countries are allowed to visit Australia visa-free for stays up to 90 days as long as they hold an APEC Business Travel Card. The card must include the 'AUS' code on its reverse side.
The list of countries eligible for ABTC is as follows:
- Hong Kong
- South Korea
- Papua New Guinea
Digital Passenger Declaration
All passengers traveling to Australia must complete the Digital Passenger Declaration. Since all the information needs to be up-to-date, you can start filling out the DPD 7 days before the planned departure and submit it within 72 hours of the flight.
A traveler who fails to provide evidence that the critical information on a traveler’s health was completed before boarding the flight, will be subject to a civil fine of $6,660 AUD.
When filling out the Australia DPD, you will need to:
- provide your contact information, including a contact phone number in Australia
- declare your vaccination status (untrue information are subject to legal penalties)
- declare your travel history, including the last 14 days
- make a declaration of your awareness of the testing and quarantine requirements after arrival in a given state or territory in Australia (non-compliance may result in applicable penalties)
The following information is required to fill out the DPD:
- valid passport
- flight number
- travel history (last 14 days before the intended flight)
- destination and quarantine arrangements (if applicable)
- COVID-19 vaccination record (or proof that you cannot be vaccinated due to specific medical reasons)
Every traveler aged 16 and over is required to complete their own Digital Passenger Declaration. For travelers younger than 16, it should be a parent or guardian who should complete a declaration.
West Australia introduced its own passenger declaration - a G2G Pass. Completing it is mandatory in order to be allowed to enter the state. G2G Pass will be checked upon arrival in WA. To complete it, travelers may use the G2G Pass or ServiceWA apps.
COVID-19 Testing requirements
To enter Australia, every passenger needs a negative coronavirus test result.
Australia accepts the following COVID-19 tests:
- a negative PCR or other NAAT test performed within 3 days of the scheduled departure flight;
- a medical certificate confirming a negative RAT result performed under medical supervision 24 hours of the scheduled departure flight.
In case of flight delays, a traveler still needs to meet the pre-departure testing requirements. The new test is, not required as long as your test report is still valid (72 hours before the re-scheduled flight for PCR tests and 24 hours for RAT tests).
Most Australian states and territories may also require visitors to perform COVID-19 tests upon arrival. Check the specific requirements for a visited Australian state.
Do also remember to check testing and vaccination requirements for all countries on your travel itinerary that you plan to visit or transit.
To be recognized as fully vaccinated for entering Australia, a traveler needs to provide evidence that he or she either:
- has received the full regiment of coronavirus vaccine recognized by the Australian government;
- is a child younger than 12;
- is a child aged between 12 and 17 years who will be accompanied by at least one adult traveler who has been fully vaccinated; or
- cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons.
Vaccines accepted in Australia
Currently, the list of recognized vaccines and dosages for the purpose of international travel includes the following manufacturers:
Two-dose vaccines administered at least 14 days of travel:
- AstraZeneca Vaxzevria
- AstraZeneca Covishield
- Pfizer/BioNTech Comirnaty
- Moderna Spikevax or Takeda
- Sinovac Coronavac
- Bharat Biotech Covaxin
- Sinopharm BBIBP-CorV for people who are under 60 years of age when they enter Australia
- Gamaleya Research Institute Sputnik V
- Novavax/Biocelect Nuvaxovid
- One dose of Johnson & Johnson/ Janssen-Cilag COVID Vaccine (administered at least 7 days of travel)
Travelers who do not meet Australia’s definition of a fully vaccinated person for international travel purposes need to obtain a travel exemption in order to enter Australia.
The incoming passenger caps apply to unvaccinated travelers who must follow the requirements of the particular state or territory of their arrival in Australia.
Quarantine and local requirements
Requirements regarding quarantine in Australia are determined by the governments of particular states and territories. If a traveler plans to travel from one state to another, they may be refused entry or may be required to undergo quarantine before being allowed to explore the territory.
The restrictions are subject to change at short notice and Australian states and territories have implemented their own travel and entry rules. Before traveling around Australia, check quarantine and other Australia entry requirements for the given region(s) that you plan to visit:
- New South Wales
- South Australia
- Western Australia
- Northern Territory
- Australian Capital Territory
Transit through Australia
Transit of 72 hours or less
A person who only transits through Australia for no longer than 72 hours is automatically exempt from travel restrictions (and does not need to obtain a travel exemption).
Travelers transiting through Australia must obtain an onward ticket on a flight departing no later than 72 hours after the initial entry into the Australian territory.
If you plan to spend more than 72 hours in Australia while awaiting the connecting flight, you are not recognized as a transit traveler. In such a situation, you must meet all entry and travel requirements applicable to Australia, including vaccination, testing, visa, health declarations, etc.
Visa and health declaration
Travelers who plan only to transit Australia must hold a valid transit visa unless they are from a country eligible to transit without a visa.
Transit passengers are also required to complete the Digital Passenger Declaration and submit it within 72 hours of their departure flight for Australia.
A negative COVID-19 test report is required for transit through Australia. It may be either a PCR/NAAT test performed within 72 hours of departure or a RAT taken within 24 hours of departure.
State and territory requirements
Every traveler must follow the tranist entry requirements applicable for a given state or Australian territory. Depending on the area, a traveler may need to book a hotel accommodation when waiting for connecting flight.
Entry Rules for Children
Children aged below 12 or children aged 12 to 17 years traveling in a companion of at least one fully vaccinated adult are subject to the same travel rules as vaccinated travelers. They must have a valid passport that will also serve as their proof of age.
Families traveling in a group with not-vaccinated or only partially vaccinated children, should also check self-isolation or quarantine requirements applicable for certain territories and states they plan to travel to or transit.
Children aged 4 years or younger are exempt from a pre-departure testing requirement, while children aged 11 or younger are not required to wear a mask at the time of boarding the flight.
Australia does not require travelers to have travel insurance, but they are highly advised to purchase one. Medical treatment in Australia can be really expensive for foreign visitors. The cost of hospitalization may be several thousand dollars and very often even more.
Since there are no specific travel requirements to purchase travel insurance for a trip to Australia, you should adjust it to your individual travel purposes. Before signing up for a plan, consider your planned activities in Australia. For example, choose insurance covering adventure sports if you plan to scuba dive at the Great Barrier Reef. Moreover, make sure to choose an insurance plan that includes the coverage of potential COVID-19 treatment costs.