Visiting or moving to a new country can be both exciting but also a little daunting. As you may not be familiar with the way a country operates, it’s good advice to familiarise yourself with what happens when you first arrive on foreign territory.
Most people visiting Australia arrive by plane. You won’t be allowed into the country unless you hold a valid visa. While you’re on the aircraft, you will be asked to complete an incoming passenger card and on arrival show immigration officers your passport and valid visa which needs to be organised ahead of your trip.
Border force crackdown
Australia is currently sending out a firm message to those who may be involved in criminal or fraudulent activities. On arrival you may go through a something called a SmartGate using ePassport data and facial recognition territory to check you are the person you claim to be.
All travellers coming into and departing Australia must have a passenger card, which means their entry is officially logged.
This gives the Australian authorities vital information about your health and character and must be completed in English. It will also ask you whether you have anything to declare to customs or quarantine officers, where you boarded the flight, flight number, duration of intended stay, occupation and nationality as well as a contact number.
You are legally obliged to declare a past criminal conviction, whether you are in good health and your migration status.
Australia is renowned for being very strict about the good character of an individual. People can be deported if they have criminal convictions overseas or while in Australia on a visa. An Australian law passed in 2014 stipulated that a visa may be cancelled if a person is imprisoned for longer than a year.
Since it was introduced 400 people have been deported.
A mother-of-five who moved to Australia when she was just two but hasn’t progressed from a visa to citizenship, is currently facing the prospect of deportation because of her criminal past. Kelly Webb from Geelong in Victoria, served 18 months in prison after being found guilty of committing a burglary with a knife. Once out of jail her visa was revoked and she was taken into an immigration centre and will be removed from Australia and taken to England, away from her children.
Similarly, a New Zealander had her visa cancelled after she was jailed twice for drug offences and also faces deportation. Joanne Gordon-Stables from Port Kennedy near Mandurah in WA served a six-month sentence. She moved to Australia when she was just 7.
Australia’s anti-drug message
Australia takes a tough stance on drugs, don’t take narcotics such as marijuana, cannabis, heroin and amphetamines. Drug offences carry severe penalties including a prison sentence and rigorous checks are carried out on arrival. Remember! Trained sniffer dogs can detect illegal drugs!
Firearms, weapons and ammunition all require written permission before they can be imported and may be subject to safety testing. All firearms, weapons and ammunition must be declared even “BB” guns, which are popularly known as toy guns.
If you’d like to know more about what you can and cannot bring into the country or need a visa for your visit, speak to us here at Visa Solutions Australia on 08 9328 2664.