Arriving in Australia

Home > Australia > Arriving in Australia

At some stage during your flight to Australia you will be handed an Incoming Passenger Card to fill in. Answer the questions accurately and truthfully, especially those about the items in your luggage that you may have to declare to Customs officials. If you’re unsure of where to go or what to do when you disembark from your flight in Australia, ask an official for help. They will guide you.

Clearing Immigration and Customs checkpoints

Once you land in Australia to Study abroad, you will follow the signs to an Immigration check-point. Here, you will need to show your passport, visa and Incoming Passenger Card. You may also have to show your Confirmation of Enrolment. Once you have cleared this checkpoint you will enter the baggage hall where you can claim your luggage and proceed to Customs and baggage examination.

Leaving the airport

Once you have cleared all incoming passenger checkpoints, you will be welcomed to Australia and directed to the arrivals hall. If you need to exchange some money into Australian dollars you will find Currency Exchange booths throughout the airport.

If you have arranged for a representative from your institution to pick you up from the airport, or have friends or relatives meeting you, they will be waiting for you in the arrivals hall. Public transport is available at all international airports (see below) and most regional airports. You can generally expect that a taxi service will be available, and you may also find buses and trains. If you are transferring to a domestic flight, follow the signs to the domestic terminal. At some of the larger airports this may be some distance, so look out for intra-airport terminal shuttle services to get you there faster.

Visa requirements

Student visa conditions
The Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) is the Australian Government department which manages everything relating to your student visa. You must make sure you meet the conditions of your visa. There may also be special conditions for students on scholarships. Make sure you read and understand all the conditions of your scholarship to ensure you comply, or else your visa may be cancelled and you may be deported.

Your visa conditions are set out in the letter of approval you receive with your visa or on your visa label. It is important that you are familiar with these conditions and follow them. Every year, a number of students abuse the law by, for example, working longer hours than permitted by their visa or overstaying their visa. If you break your conditions, your visa may be cancelled and you may be required to leave Australia. You may also be prevented from returning to Australia for three years after your visa is cancelled.

If your circumstances change and you want to change your course or provider, or you wish to stay longer, you should contact your nearest DIBP office for advice on how to make these arrangements. It is also important that you ensure your visa does not expire while you are in Australia. If you remain in Australia for more than 28 days after your student visa expires without obtaining a new one, you may be prevented from returning for three years. If you need help understanding any of these conditions contact DIBP.

Extending your visa
If your student visa expires before you have finished your course during your study in Australia, you will need to apply for a new one at your local immigration office OR at the visa section at the Australian Mission or Embassy in your home country. Further information is available on the DIBP website at