Travel tip: The importance of travel documents for your entry to Australia

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In order to be allowed entry to Australia, anyone who goes there should have an acceptable travel document to support one’s identity and nationality. Aside from your passport, which is the normal document presented by travellers; there are also other documents that you can present (in some circumstances).

Make sure you have an appropriate travel document prepared for travel to Australia

These include:

  • Document of Identity (if holder is not an Australian citizen, then a visa is required)
  • Certificate of Identity (a visa is required)
  • Document for Travel To Australia – DFTTA (a visa is required; DFTTAs are normally issued to offshore refugee and humanitarian entrants for their initial entry to Australia)
  • Laissez Passer (a visa is required)
  • Convention Travel Document (such as Titre de Voyage; a visa is required)
  • Documents issued to refugees (a visa is required)
  • Kinderausweis issued to German minors; (a visa is required)
  • Military documents for military personnel travelling by air.

Take note that these aforementioned documents have to be issued by a recognized authority, and should also be acceptable for travel to Australia. The photograph of the bearer should appear on the document. Additionally, it should give the bearer a re-entry authority to the country where the document was issued or an entry authority for another country.

Only Australian citizens do not need a visa to enter their country because they have the automatic right of entry to Australia. As such, they only need to present their passport, or other acceptable travel document, and a complete and signed Incoming Passenger Card to the officer in immigration clearance.

Unless an Australian with dual (or multiple) citizenship has been issued an Australian Declaratory Visa, he or she must present a valid Australian passport when arriving at and leaving Australia. This is so even if a foreign passport is being used overseas.

Australian citizens can also be approved an Australian Declaratory Visa (ADV), which is valid for 5 years, unless the holder ceases to be an Australian citizen. It is issued only to a limited number of Australians who have dual nationalities. To be granted this administrative document, they have to be dual nationals aged below 18 and should be in an emergency situation or a situation that prevents travel with an Australian passport.

Travelling to Australia also requires certain documents from citizens of New Zealand. They are mostly eligible to apply for the electronic Special Category Visa (SCV) upon arrival in the country. However, upon arrival in Australia, they shall be subject to health and character requirements.

They should present the following to the officers of immigration clearance so that they will be approved the SCV:

  1. Valid New Zealand passport
  2. Completed and signed Incoming Passenger Card. The character and health declaration should also be included.

New Zealand citizens who do not have some travel documents other than their passport will need to apply for a visa to Australia before travelling to Australia as they do not qualify for the SCV.

Remember that if you have tuberculosis or criminal convictions, you do not qualify for a SCV. It is recommended that you discuss your situation with National Visas well in advance of your intended date of travel in order to avoid delays and hassles in your trip.

As for all other travellers, you need to present the following to the officers in immigration clearance so that you will be allowed entry to Australia:

  1.  Valid passport or any acceptable travel document
  2.  Valid visa, including electronic visas, or authority to enter Australia
  3.  Completed and signed Incoming Passenger Card, which includes health and character declaration

Travelling without valid documents may cause delays as your identity will be subject to confirmation. You will not be allowed to enter Australia until your identity has been confirmed.

The following travellers have specific travel documents to present to obtain entry to Australia.

Members of the Armed Forces

Military personnel from Antigua, the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Brunei, Canada, Fiji, Grenada, Jamaica, Malaysia, Mauritius, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Singapore, Solomon Islands, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Thailand, Tonga, Tuvalu, the United Kingdom, and the United States are to present the following:

  • Military Identity Document (a valid passport may be used in place of this)
  • Movement Orders
  • A Completed and Signed Incoming Passenger Card is to be presented if arriving at a proclaimed port

If these documents are complete, members of the Armed Forces of the aforementioned countries who travel on duty do not need to apply for a visa to Australia.

As for those members of the Armed Forces of countries not included in the list above, they need to apply for a visa prior to travel as well as present standard, non-military documents to the immigration.

Civilian Employees of Specific Armed Forces

An Australian visa is not required from any civilian employee of the Armed Forces of Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, Singapore, and the USA who is travelling for military purposes. This is if they are able to present the following documents:

  • Valid passport
  • Status certificate to be presented either in their passport or on official letterhead
  • Completed and signed Incoming Passenger Card when arriving at a proclaimed port

Partners or Dependent Relatives of Members of Civilian Employees of Specific Armed Forces

For dependent relatives or partners of members or employees of specific Armed Forces from Antigua, the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Brunei, Canada, Fiji, Grenada, Jamaica, Malaysia, Mauritius, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Singapore, Solomon Islands, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Thailand, Tonga, Tuvalu, the United Kingdom, and the United States who accompany or join the armed forces members, they may not need a visa for Australia if they have the following documents:

  • Valid passport
  • Movement Orders or Status Certificate
  • Signed and Completed Incoming Passenger Card

For more information, feel free to contact National Visas, a registered migration firm, to give you insightful ideas on how to apply for an Australian visa or travel document for travelling to Australia.

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National Visas offers Personalised Services to help you apply for a visa. National Visas has developed into a world leader in online immigration services. Our Migration Agents are registered to provide Australian immigration advice, as required by Australian law.
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