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Visa, Customs and Quarantine


IMPORTANT: All travellers to Australia, other than Australian and New Zealand citizens, are legally required to hold a valid visa to travel to Australia. You will need to apply overseas.

The following information is our interpretation of the information given by the Australian Department of Immigration. We believe, but cannot guarantee that the information given here is correct and up-to-date. Please check with your travel agent and/or an Autralian diplomatic office as well.

For conference participants, the appropriate visa is a Business (Short Stay) visa, even if some tourism activities are planned for part of the stay in Australia. It is called a 456 visa if it is issued as a label into a passport (fee of $A65 payable). The 456 visa can be applied for at an Australian diplomatic office overseas. For holders of a passport from an ETA-elegible country it can also be issued as a 977 visa if it is issued electronically as an Electronic Travel Authority, that is, no label (no fee payable). ETAs are issued via travel agents and airlines around the world, and also via the internet (for a fee of AU$20).

Conference participants from non-ETA countries will need to provide additional documentation about the conference when applying for a visa - contact the Conference Organising Committee to arrange the appropriate documentation.

Partners and children of conference participants from ETA-elegible countries should apply for a Visitor/Tourist ETA.

Visitors to Australia must be free from tuberculosis, and free from any disease or condition that may result in being a threat to public health, or a danger to the Australian community or needing health care or community services while in Australia. ETA holders must make a declaration to that effect on arrival in Australia.

The Department of Immigration recommends that intending visitors to Australia also access the visitors section of the Department's internet site.

Customs and Quarantine

The Australian Customs rules for short-term visitors are not very different from other countries.

Australian Quarantine is very strict. For example, all fruit, vegetables and dairy products are forbidden. You must declare all food, plant and animal items and also all medicines on your Incoming Passenger Card. Food includes apparantly innocent articles such as biscuits, cakes and confectionary. Medicines should be kept in the containers in which they were dispensed or supplied. See for more information. Goods may be returned to you (some items may need treatment before they are returned); however, some may be confiscated. Detector dogs and X-ray machines are being used frequently.

For more information, please contact

  Last modified: Fri Aug 6 15:43:37 EST 2004