Hey guys! Are you looking forward to starting your life in Adelaide? I am sure that you are so excited about coming to this most liveable city and have visualised it in your mind one thousand times. You can’t wait for your new life to begin, can you? Great! Adelaide is waving to you. Hello!
Hold on a second! Before starting your life in Adelaide, let’s have a look at your first point of entry – Adelaide Airport. Here are my handy tips for an easy passage through Australian Customs and Biosecurity.
First Stop, Customs
When you get off the plane, my first tip is to look for a tax-free shop. After stopping to shop, you will arrive at customs. You will see several smart gates by the wall on your left-hand side and some customs officers sitting behind the desks on your right-hand side.
To pass customs, you need to hold your passport and incoming passenger card in your hand. Most of the time, a printed visa is not necessary, but I still recommend you carry a copy with you just in case.
To use the smart gates, international students should be aged 16 years or older and holding an ePassport from one of the following countries: Canada, China, France, Hong Kong, Ireland, Japan, Korea, Macau, New Zealand, Singapore, Sweden, Switzerland, UK or USA. The passport with the camera sign on the cover is an ePassport.
If you are not eligible to use the smart gates, you need to be manually processed. There are clear instructions to show you which queue you should be in.
And do not ever use your mobile phones or cameras in the customs area!
Keeping Australia disease-free
Once you’ve cleared customs you can head downstairs to collect your luggage. There is only one luggage carousel for international flights in Adelaide Airport, so you cannot miss it. Usually, while you are waiting for your luggage, a biosecurity (quarantine) officer will come to you, check your incoming passenger card and ask you some questions, such as, did you bring any food? Don’t panic! Just remember to be honest.
When it comes to completing the incoming passenger cards, I have some tips for you:
- Please read the card carefully and make sure you understand the meaning of every sentence. The incoming passenger card is a legal document, so you are responsible for what you write. And don’t worry about the language barrier. The airport provides the passenger cards in multiple languages.
- When you are not sure whether you need to declare something or not, declare it. Declaring does not mean it will be confiscated. Declaring means that the biosecurity officers can figure out if the stuff you are carrying is eligible to be brought into Australia.
Australia has very strict quarantine laws. This is because Australia’s native ecosystems are unique, they’ve evolved in relative isolation for such a long time, and they’re very easily disrupted. We all love Australia, so let’s follow the laws and protect it special environment together.
When you have collected all your luggage, you are ready for the next step, biosecurity. At this point, you can put your passport away, you only need to hold your passenger card and smart gate ticket (if you used the smart gates). Officers will take away your smart gate card and passenger card and direct you to go through the biosecurity area. You may be asked to open your luggage and have it checked. Again, being checked does not mean you will get into trouble or have anything confiscated – as long as you have declared what need to be declared. Once you get the all clear, you can go the exit and leave the airport.
Look out for the StudyAdelaide team as you come out the gates. Welcome to Adelaide!