Australia Entry Restrictions: How to Avoid Getting Denied Entry

There are numerous Australia entry restrictions that travelers need to be aware of before getting on their flight to Australia.

There are a number of laws that can cause entry restrictions when it comes to entering Australia. Once a person is denied entry to the country, they are less likely to be able to enter under any circumstances, ever again.

Thus, it’s important to understand why a traveler might be denied entry into Australia. That way, they can avoid the most common pitfalls and give themselves the best possible chance of easily getting a visa to Australia and entering the country without any problems.

Sydney Opera House, Australia
Walking past the Sydney Opera House.

What are the current Australia entry restrictions?

It’s important to understand the common Australia entry restrictions, here’s how to avoid getting denied entry into the country.

Tell the truth on formal paperwork

Visitors applying for a visa to Australia need to tell the truth at all times. Even if this means disclosing details they would rather not share, it is better for them to do so than for the government to find out that they lied on official paperwork.

It’s important that travelers make sure they don’t inadvertently give wrong information, too. For instance, all of the pieces of data on their visa application need to perfectly match the information on their passport. A data discrepancy can cause delays or even a denied visa.

Obtain the best visa

Travelers need to apply for and enter Australia on the best visa for their needs. This can be confusing, because Australia offers a lot of different visas for a lot of different purposes. However, there are services that can help match visitors with the best visa for their needs.

Find more info and help to get the online Australia ETA visa.

Travelers also need to fully fill out their visa application, leaving nothing incomplete. This includes submitting all required documents for their visa, and additional documentation if it is requested and required by the Australian government.

Different visas require different documentation, and it’s up to each traveler to make sure they submit the correct paperwork. Travelers who are unclear on what is required should contact the government before they apply for their visa.

Check out our guide on the different Australian visa types.

Australia Entry Restrictions
Make sure to get the right visa before entering Australia.

Don’t bring (or declare!) restricted substances and items

Australia does not allow items that are dangerous to enter the country. Similarly, they do not permit certain agricultural items that may transmit disease or carry pests, to enter the country.

Travelers should not attempt to bring these items into Australia. If they do, they should declare them and not attempt to hide them. This allows Australian customs officers to confiscate anything that might be dangerous or not permitted.

Travelers who do not declare these kinds of items may be denied entry to Australia at the border, even if they have a visa.

Some items that are not permitted are:

  • Firearms
  • Other weapons
  • Steroids
  • Drugs
  • Some types of food
  • Animals
  • Plants
  • Protected wildlife
  • Indigenous or historical items

Expect baggage searches

While many travelers will enter and leave Australia without having their baggage formally checked, others will need to submit to luggage searches before they can enter the country. These may be performed randomly, or officials may be looking for some item in particular.

No matter the reason or the baggage search, it’s important to submit to it with good grace. Travelers may not like having their baggage searched, but it is the right of the Australian government to do so.

Travelers who protest baggage searches may lose their right to enter the country. Being chosen for a baggage screening does not reflect on an individual’s character, grooming, or other personal characteristics. A little bit of patience usually sees the search completed and the traveler moving on.

Stay calm with government officials

Visitors should remain calm whenever they are dealing with Australian government officials. They may find questions, searches, and more to be inconvenient and annoying, but these are essential for keeping travel to Australia safe and both travelers and citizens alike secure.

A traveler who loses their temper with a government official may find it more difficult to enter Australia, if they are permitted entry at all. An outburst or an act of violence can get a visitor banned from Australia or make it much harder for them to get into the country.

An outburst at a consulate or an embassy visit, such as those required to obtain some visas to Australia, can have similar results. Overall, travelers should keep their emotions under control at all times.

Have tickets for destinations outside of Australia

Australia is unlikely to grant visas for visitors who they believe will not abide by the terms of that visa. Similarly, officials at the airport are less likely to allow someone to enter Australia if they believe that the person will not leave when their visa is up.

One of the best ways to prove that a traveler has the intention of honoring the terms of their visa is for them to have a ticket for a destination outside of Australia. The ticket needs to depart Australia within the time period allowed on their particular visa.

A ticket like this shows a person’s intent to travel away from Australia before their visa expires. It is an act of good faith, showing that the visitor knows the terms of their visa and means to abide by them.

Travelers who have previously overstayed a visa in Australia will need to be able to explain this overstay. There are a few circumstances where these transgressions are considered legitimate and can be overlooked. Other overstays may result in denial of entry in the future.

Things to do in Adelaide, Australia
Adelaide, Australia

Follow COVID-19 rules and procedures

The Australian borders are currently closed due to COVID-19. Travelers who do not have specific permission to Australia will not be permitted to enter the country. This permission must be granted before the traveler departs for Australia.

Upon entry to Australia, most travelers will need to quarantine for 14 days in a government-approved quarantine facility. These are hotels where they will be shown to a room. Food will be brought several times a day, but they will not be permitted to leave the room until their quarantine is complete.

See also Travelling in a Pandemic: Crucial Safe Travel Tips and Review: LCP Medical Face Masks for Traveling

Visit Australia soon

Travelers who are permitted entry to Australia can enjoy it now. Once they know they can enter the country, they should visit as soon as possible because Australia has a lot to offer!

Check out the below posts for some Australian travel inspiration:


Coronavirus – Are Travel Restrictions Ridiculous or Useful During Covid?

Why does the tourism industry and the politicians struggle with allowing consumers to travel during Covid times?

I’ve seen many strange regulations over the past few months.

Quite a few restrictions made me frustrated, as I feel it can be possible to let people travel safely, as long as general infection numbers remain low.

There are solutions to keep the risk low.

For example, it’s relatively easy to sell paperless tickets online for sights and activities, which limits the total number of visitors each day. Then for enforcing social distancing rules, provide limited entry to specific times, by providing extra time slots.

And if a Zoo in Cologne is capable of achieving this, others should be able to do this too. 😉

So there shouldn’t be pictures emerging online with visitors in super long queues, as you would only be allowed to turn up, when it’s your time to socially distance and to enjoy the attraction.

On the other side I think it’s essential to be strict on enforcing restrictions, as long as they make sense. If the local health system is struggling and new infections numbers are high, action should take place.

So as long the infection numbers remain high, it’s tough to recommend consumers to travel.

But what if the infection rate remains low and high-risk groups have been vaccinated?

Then we should find ways to make it possible, as we can’t let the tourism industry suffer for much longer, as local economies and job security rely on it.

Not to forget the fact that consumers might have missed out on a much needed holiday in 2020 and can’t wait to travel again, which is seen in advanced booking number figures and increased website traffic.

It seems that it’s all about testing and several times. 

Also, airlines and airports can work together with the government and health boards to provide quick test results to avoid the risk of spreading the virus.

Those tests might not provide the best reliable results, but they add to a bigger and safer situation. One piece more of reassurance.

It makes no sense on arrival to lock down tourists for 14 days in a hotel room. I doubt tourists would be eager to do this. It doesn’t sound like a dream holiday situation and I wouldn’t do it.

Instead, why not allow guests access to the whole resort or specific parts until the PCR tests come back negative.

Hotel arrivals could take place on specific days, to allow hotel staff to take part in large deep cleaning operations and to avoid past guests mixing with new arrivals.

Hotels could choose the arrival day they prefer. Limited packages could be sold to control manageable visitor numbers and they could include a minimum stay of several nights.

Believe it or not, many tourists spend their holiday time at the pool or relaxing on the beach.

Being upfront about the additional steps needed to make a trip happen, I feel many would still be interested in travelling abroad.

There could be 3-4 tests to be made by guests:

– one PCR test before arrival, usually 48 hours before departure

– one rapid test at the airport

– one PCR test on arrival 

– and one PCR test after 4-5 days before being allowed to leave the resort

If all tests are negative, the risk becomes low and avoids the chances of Covid-19 spreading further.

There is still a small chance that it can spread, but we should not forget that life itself is not completely 100% risk-free.

Washing hands, wearing a face mask, keeping socially distanced, all still help to reduce the spread of covid, we shouldn’t forget that.

With such a situation, it would be possible to allow visitors outside of the hotel and explore a destination, after a few days. Also, here again, you can define specific restrictions, which should be in place already anyway.

Destinations like the Seychelles, Barbados and Sri Lanka are good examples of how it could be done.

It might be easier for islands to manage arrivals, but I don’t see why it’s not also possible for other destinations.

Very important is that everyone sticks to the rules.

The visitors and the businesses need to play along!

The moment someone breaks the rules and refuses to follow guidance, they should be fined as they put the whole operation at risk.

Make customers sign waivers, so they’re aware of the risk. If they break the rules, send them home, allow no refund, let them pay for all extra costs as well as a fine.

If a hotel, airline or tour operator doesn’t play along, then close down the operation and add a fine.

Nobody is forcing anyone to open for business or travel. And if destinations and their politicians make it possible to travel again, everyone should appreciate this and play along to provide a safe environment for everyone.

Vaccines are currently being administered as we speak in many countries. And we will still have to deal with Sars-CoV-2 in the future, especially when we talk about international travel.

Communication is key!

When we ran the restart tourism recovery campaign with the UNWTO and Lanzarote in Spain, we got a lot of positive and interested feedback from travelers.

There was a high demand for seeking information. (Get in touch with us, if you are interested to get the case study.)

Travellers wanted to find out about the different restrictions, not really in detail, but more if it’s safe to travel.

Don’t show a post-Covid situation, as it’s not in operation yet.

Show that it’s safe and fun to travel, even with additional rules and restrictions. 

We should learn from the past and see what worked and adapt. Let’s remain sensible and respectful and most importantly keep safe.

Let’s also stay realistic and don’t create ridiculous rules, but be responsible for everyone.