Arriving in Australia

During your flight to Australia you will be handed an Incoming Passenger Card to complete. This card states your name, your reason for staying in Australia, length of stay as well as declaring any goods that you might be bringing into Australia. Answer all questions honestly, otherwise prepare to be fined.

Clearing Immigration and Customs Checkpoints

Once landed you will be directed to the Immigration/Passport Control checkpoints.  Have ready for inspection your passport, visa, Confirmation of Enrolment (the original) and the Incoming Passenger Card.  Once through you will collect your checked baggage and continue on to Customs.  If you have nothing to declare, proceed through the green channel or through the red channel if you do have something to declare.

If you proceed through the green door, they may do random on the spot checking, so be careful.  When proceeding through the red door all your checked baggage and hand luggage will be x-rayed and you will asked to open your bags and show the items you have declared on your card, they may even inspect further into you bags.  If there is an item that breaches quarantine if will either be confiscated, destroyed or decontaminated and returned at a later date to you.

Quarantine Matter

In order to protect Australia on the onset of harmful diseases and pests that can cause severe damage to our native flora, fauna and agricultural industries, Australia has implemented tough quarantine laws. 

To avoid any chance of getting penalised and to speed up time through customs, the best advice is to not bring in any of the following into Australia:

  • food- including cooked, raw, died, canned, dairy, noodles, herbs and spices, seeds and nuts and processed or fresh items
  • plant materials that are either painted, lacquered or raw plant items, dried flowers and bark items
  • animal products such as feather, fur, bones, horns, wool, animal hair, skins, bee products, coral, etc
  • wooden items including straw, cane, bamboo and basket ware
  • dangerous and illegal items such as illegal drugs, guns and weapons and some prescribed medicines

Declare or Beware! are the signs that greet you at the customs checkpoints.  If you are unsure of an item you have packed that may fall into one of the categories above, then tick yes on the Incoming Passenger Card.  If you are found to be carrying an item that is stated above and have not declared it, you can be fined AU$220 on the spot or up to AU$60,000 and 10 years imprisonment. You will only be fined if you do not declare it on the card.

Leaving the Airport

Once through the Immigration and Customs checkpoints signs direct to the arrivals hall where, if by prior arrangement, you meet friends and family or a representative from the educational institute.  If you are to find your own way from the airport there will be signs to buses, trains and taxis.  First, if you have not already done so, it would be a good idea to exchange some money at the airport.

If you are transferring to a domestic flight there are signs to the domestic terminal.  Some larger airports will provide a free shuttle transport between the international and domestic terminals, to make it easier and faster for you.

Australia Arrival

Australia Arrival

Arriving in Australia

Immigration and Customs

After landing, follow the signs to an Immigration Check-Point. Have your passport, visa and Incoming Passenger Card ready. The officer may even ask you for your Confirmation of Enrolment so it is a good idea to have that in your carry on luggage as well. After immigration you will get to the luggage carrousels to pick up your baggage, you will then make your way to Customs.

If you are unsure about declaring an item then it is probably a good idea to declare it just in case because not declaring an item is a serious offence and you may be fined $220, be prosecuted and fined up to $60,000 or a face a jail sentence. If goods are declared you will not be fined.


Quarantine laws are very strict in Australia. For the entire list of items that are quarantined go to

Important Note: All weapons, guns, bullets and samurai swords cannot be taken into Australia even if you declare them.

Leaving the airport

For those wanting to exchange money you can find currency booths in all airports, however note that you will get more back if you do it at an Australian bank. Airports charge a fee.

At the majority of airports you can find buses or trains that go directly to the city, usually you will find a ticket booth just outside the arrival area. Or you will find a taxi rank outside the arrivals area.

Arriving in Australia! Just sounds so great and it will be

Once arriving in Australia after some hours or many hours on the plane, but well worth it and you might find yourself after you land tired, sleepy and just wanting to jump into bed or so excited that you just want to inhale everything and cant wait to go and see Australia all at once, but you can be sure your adventure is about to start.  Here are some tips to make to make your arrival relaxing and stress free:

You arrived in Australia!

During some point in your flight to Australia you will be handed an incoming Passenger Card to fill in.  This is where you make a list of any items in your luggage that might have to be declared to Customs officials.  If you are not sure you can just list everything, especially this process being new to you.

And finally when you land if you are unsure of where to go or what to do just find and official and ask for help, they will guide you to your checking point.

Clearing Immigration and Customs checkpoints since you are an international student and all…

Standing in the airport follow the sign to an Immigration check-point, if you are not from Australia you need to clear yourself in immigration, it doesn’t matter that you’re a student and have all your papers in order, is just a process that you must do.  Show your passport, visa and incoming passenger card.  You may also have to show your Confirmation of Enrolment.   Once you have cleared and have shown all the necessary documents, which best is to pack on your carry on for no issues; you will be send to baggage hall, or also known as baggage claim and proceed to Customs and baggage examination.

The government has assigned colors for this, and stated by them:
(Color green) Nothing to declare

(Color red) something to declare

Depending if you have something to declare or not are the color you will follow.  If you follow the red channel, your luggage, including your hand luggage will be x-rayed.  A Customs official will ask you to open your luggage so they may inspect them, there is no need to be alarmed or frightened; this is a normal procedure, especially for all international individuals entering Australia.  They just want to make sure you are not carrying something that you shouldn’t or that could cause issues later on.  Like food that shouldn’t be done.

If Customs official decides that an item is not quarantined, you will be allowed to keep the items and move though the Customs checkpoint; Like your camera, magazines etc.  If the item is quarantined, this item will either be destroyed or confiscated and will be returned at a later date.  But keep in mind if you are not traveling with anything that is harmful, illegal or against security you should be fine.

When you encounter a message that says: Declare or Beware! It means you should declare all items listed below. They are warning you because you cannot play with the officials nor the government system, is important you declare everything and you are honest.  If you fail to declare or dispose any quarantined items or make false declaration you will be caught.  This message greets all passengers entering Australia on international flights.  If you do not follow the rules you could be fined $220 on the spot or prosecuted and fined over $60,000 and risk 10 years in jail according to the Australian government.

You will not be penalized if you follow the rules, listen to Customs and if you’re good are declared and you can move on to the next step.

Quarantine matters!

Is just referring to items that are prohibited to enter in Australia, certain food and obviously drugs is an example you cannot transfer them in nor out of no where that is illegal and has jail time.  The list is on the Australian quarantine and Inspection service website at for the complete list.

But to get you off on the good foot, here are a few that you might want to consider twice before coming to Australia with this:

  1. Food (including cooked and raw food, ingredients, paste, like tomato paste, dried fruits and vegetables, canned meant products, dairy products, egg and egg products, fish and other seafood products, instant noodles and rice, herbs and spices, biscuits, cakes and confectionary, tea, coffee and other beverages)
  2. Plant material (including painted, lacquered or raw wooden carving, handicrafts, souvenirs made from plant material, straw products, bamboo, cane or rattan basket ware, potpourri, fresh or dried flowers and items that contain bark)
  3. Animal products (including feathers, bones, horns, wool, animal hair, skins, furs, shells, coral, bee products, live animals, and birds’ eggs)
  4. Amount of money you carry with you.  If you carry AU$10,000 or more you must report it on arrival or departure.  Does not matter what currency the money is in, if you have any doubts on how much you are carrying you may ask any guard at the airport to point you in the right direction for assistance.
  5. List provided by the Australian government.

Prescription and medicine is also a big deal when traveling.  There are restrictions that you should take in mind on the medicine that you can take and not.  You can check with the Australian Therapeutically Goods Administration at for more information and this guide will also provide more information on medicine later on.

As in Australia and other locations, all firearms, weapons and ammunitions are also prohibited.

Leaving the Airport and beginning your journey

Now that you have your baggage, you have been cleared and you have all you need, checking points behind you, welcome to Australia! Let begin.  You will be directed to arrivals hall where you can exchange some money into Australian dollars.  (Currency Exchange booths are throughout the airport.)  You also might want to check the currency of your dollar and compare it to the Australian dollar to make sure you have enough and you take enough and you can balance it out.
As for people who are picking you up, like friends, family members or someone you arrange to come and get you will be waiting by the arrival hall and that is where you will go after finishing the process in the airport.

Public transportation is also available at all international airports and most regional airports as well; you can count on taxi services, busses and trains, fairies, all of which is also later on discuss or you can find out more information by contacting the airport.

Some airports of the cities include:

Sydney Airport:
Melbourne Airport:
Brisbane Airport:
Adelaide Airport:
Perth Airport:
Canberra Airport:
Darwin Airport:
Hobart Airport:

The airports have displayed signs in order to help you get around.  If you are transferring to a domestic flight, follow the signs to the domestic terminal.  Look out for intra-airport terminal shuttles services that can also help you travel with in the airport and arrive to your destination.

When Arriving in Australia

On all international flights, passengers will be handed an Incoming Passenger Card this will need to be filled in truthfully as it will need to be handed to customs officials upon arrival in Australia.

All Australian airports have signs directing passengers, how ever if still unsure of where to go ask an airport official for information and directions.

An Incoming Passenger Card will be issued to you onboard your flight to Australia.  Be sure the information you provide is honest and complete, particularly regarding items to be declared for Customs purposes. 

Australia regards quarantine infringement very seriously and employs a variety of measures, including sniffer dogs, to catch offenders.  You could receive an on-the-spot fine of $220 and, if prosecuted, could receive more than $60,000 in fines and up to ten years jail!  

However, if you declare the items, you will not face a penalty.  At worst, restricted goods will be confiscated and destroyed. Otherwise they may be quarantined and returned to you at a later date, or found to be non-restricted and approved for you to keep.  

Upon disembarking your flight, signs will guide you to an immigration checkpoint where your passport, visa, incoming passenger card and enrolment documents will be inspected. 

From here you will proceed to the baggage claim area, where you will collect your luggage and be processed by Customs.  Proceed via the Red Customs channel if you have goods to declare, or via the Green channel if you have none.  

When you exit via the Red channel, your suitcase and personal baggage will be x-rayed and may be opened up for inspection. 

Your declared items will either be approved or confiscated, and you will then be free to exit the terminal.

Immigration and Customs Check points (Where to go and what to do)

On arrival passengers will need to make their way to the Immigration check points. Here present your Incoming Passenger Card, Passport, Visa and possibly you will need the letter showing Confirmation of Enrollment. These will need to be presented to customs officials.

If the passenger has items which need to be declared they will need to follow the red channel, here items will be presented and baggage will be checked by officials. If required a customs will either take a prohibited item and place it in quarantine or it may be destroyed. At some stage the item may be returned to the owner.

If the passenger does not have any items needing to be declared they should follow the green channel. Remember though if you do not declare any prohibited items, you will be caught and penalties do apply. Penalties include on the spot fines, further fines, or a possible 10 years in prison.

The importance of Quarantine

Passengers will find there are signs all around Australian airports which say "Quarantine Matters" or "Declare of Beware". These signs are there to encourage tourists to declare prohibited items and avoid penalties. Take the time to read these signs as they will give you an idea of what is not aloud into the country.

The most common objects people try to bring into Australia include any food products, anything with plant material, animal products and money of AU $10,000 or more.

All illegal drugs and weapons are prohibited also. For further information on quarantine in Australia visit

Leaving the Airport

After clearing customs, passengers will make their way to the arrivals hall.

The arrivals hall is the exit this is where passengers can meet any one who needs to pick them up and where they can be directed to public transport, hire cars and taxi services.

In the arrivals hall there is the Currency Exchange booths here travellers can exchange their money to Australian dollars.

Most International Airports are closely located to the Domestic terminal. Passengers will either be directed via signs or can make their way to the airport bus stops which will take passengers and their luggage to the domestic airport.

Visa Requirements

All visa types have certain conditions which must be met, these conditions are determined by the Department of Immigration and Citizenship or the DIAC. If students have any concerns or questions regarding their student visa they must contact this department.

If conditions are not met, this could mean deportation and a cancelled visa. Be sure to know what you can and can't do during your stay before arriving in Australia.

Students need to update any changed details with the department, this is set out in the visa conditions. They must also leave Australia as soon as the visa expires, failure to do so could mean not being aloud bake into the country for 3 years.

To contact the Department of Immigration and Citizenship visit or contact the Australian Mission or Embassy in your home country.

Arriving in Australia


So you had a long flight and arrive in Australia excited but tired. Where to now?
When you are flying into Australia, the aircrew will hand you an Incoming Passenger Card. You will be required to fill this in and hand it back to the aircrew. Questions noted on the card relate to your identity and also what items you are carrying in your luggage. Please answer these questions accurately as you may be required to open your luggage for inspection by Customs officials at the Clearing Immigration and Customs checkpoints.

After you have successfully cleared the checkpoint, you will be permitted into the baggage lounge. It is here you will claim your luggage and then you may proceed to Customs and the baggage examination area. This area is sectioned into the Green (nothing to declare) and Red (something to declare) areas. If you choose to line-up in the red lane, your luggage (including hand luggage) will be x-rayed.  Also, a Customs official will require that you open your luggage for inspection of declared items.

Please note that if you do not declare all your luggage items on your card, and you are randomly chosen to have your luggage inspected by officials, you could face being fined $220. If you may false statements, you could even be further prosecuted and fined more for more than $60,000.  There is even the risk of a 10 year jail term. So it really is vital that you pack only items that you are sure are legal to carry into Australia. However, if you do make an innocent mistake when packing, you will not be penalized if the goods you carry into Australia are declared.

What not to pack in your luggage?

The following items are prohibited in Australia. (Note: You can find further information on the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service website at

  • Cooked or raw food items such as: canned meat products, eggs, egg products, seafood products, instant noodles, coffee, tea, cakes biscuits, confectionary, spice, dairy products, vegetables, dried fruit, rice, beverages, seeds and nuts.
  • Plant products such as: raw wooden items, wooden carvings, souvenirs, handicrafts, straw products, rattan baskets, potpourri, dried flowers, cane ware, bamboo, painted or lacquered wooden carvings, fresh flowers, and any other items that contain bark.
  • Carrying AU$10,000 or more with you (or equivalent in foreign currency (this entails notes and coins of legal tender). You must declare this upon arrival or departure.
  • Prescription medicines: there are restrictions and guidelines on these items so please examine the Australian Therapeutical Goods Administration at for more information.
  • Any type of weapons, firearms, and ammunition are absolutely prohibited. Australia has strict gun laws.

Leaving the airport

After you have successfully cleared the incoming passenger checkpoints, you will have gained official entry into Australia! As a welcome visitor of Australia, you will be directed to the arrivals hall. It is here you may exchange some money into Australian dollars. There are Currency Exchange booths in all parts the airport. Also, the arrivals hall is where you can meet-up with your Australian family or friends. It is also the main place where your pre-arranged Education representative can pick you up from the airport. (It can get crowded in this area as people disembark so it might be a good idea for your Education representative to hold a sign-up for you with your name!).

Arriving in Australia and our Bio-Security Laws

As Students prepare for their move to Australia in 2018 to commence their course of study, please emphasise to the parents and families that Australia has strict bio-security laws.

Certain food, plant material and animal items from overseas could introduce serious pests and diseases into Australia, devastating our valuable agriculture and tourism industries and our unique environment.

Please remind students of the following requirements when they are packing their bags.

Allowed into Australia

·      breakfast cereals

·      chocolate

·      confectionary (excluding Indian dairy sweets and meat based sweets)

·      instant noodles

·      muesli bars

·      plain bread rolls or buns (without fillings or toppings)

·      tea (black and green tea only)

·      coffee

·      white rice.

·      Household items—such as clothing, bedding and kitchen equipment—must be clean and free from seeds, soil, bark, insects, food residue, animal tissue and plant debris before you bring them to Australia.

NOT allowed into Australia

·     eggs and egg products (including whole, dried and powdered eggs, century eggs, egg based mayonnaise or sauce, custard or egg noodles)

·     dairy products (including milk, cheese, yoghurt and butter)

·     flowers (including fresh cut and dried)

·     food or medicines intended for animals (worming tablets, antibiotics, canned or dried pet food)

·     fruit and vegetables (including dates, apples, bananas and citrus fruit)

·     home-cooked meals (any meals not commercially prepared and packaged)

·     live animals (including mammals, birds’ eggs, insects, amphibians, reptiles, fish or silkworms)

·     plants (including potted plants, cuttings or bulbs)

·     meals or snacks received on your flight (including fruit, yoghurt, milk drinks and sandwiches)

·     meat (including salami, sausages and ham)

·     pulses (including beans, lentils, peas and chick peas)

·     seeds and nuts

·     seeds for planting (including bulbs)

·     soil (including samples, specimens and dirt on equipment or shoes)

·     sporting/camping equipment that is dirty or wet

·     traditional remedies and medicines that contain herbs, animal products

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