Photo: Perth in Western Australia
There are three things you need to consider before travelling to Australia - Visa and Requirements for Immigration, Health insurance and Quarantine Restrictions.
Every year, millions of overseas visitors arrive in Australia. If you wish to spend time in Australia and are not a citizen, you will need a valid Australian visa.
Tourists, business visitors, sports people, newly arriving immigrants, students who wish to study here and others will need to apply. If in doubt, there are registered agencies available that can help with visa and immigration issues.
You will need to obtain your visa prior to your arrival, but the government has made it easier since visitors can not only apply at embassies, consulates and other government missions but with airlines and travel agents around the world.
While New Zealanders can obtain a visa upon arrival, Australian visas can also be obtained online with the Electronic Travel Authority (ETA). Available to citizens from 34 countries.
Most visitors can not access Australia’s subsidised system of health care. There are some countries where reciprocal agreements are in place, you can find out more from your travel agent.
Ensuring you have the right type of Health and Travel Insurance is strongly advised by the Australian Government.
Due to Australia’s unique island environment, there are strict quarantine restrictions in place, deemed essential for the stopping of exotic pests and diseases as well as the usual restrictions on prohibited items, including weapons, illegal drugs and the like.
That is why it is important to understand current restrictions on items including meat, plants or plant products such as foods, or in soil on machinery or timber.
If you wish to save yourself from long explanations, even fines or jail, declare all items when you are given the declarations form to fill in and sign. Anything made from plants or animals must be declared.
With Australia’s diverse population from all over the world, you will have little or no problem sourcing your favourite foods or products here, so it is unlikely you need to bring anything like that in the first place.
There are beagles about! At airports and Australian points of entry the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service checks incoming baggage, mail and cargo using inspectors, x-ray machines and other hi tech devices as well as a corps of trained beagles, that can detect smells far beyond what humans can. Silent, cute and effective.
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Photo: Northern Territory Outback
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