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.
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.