Pre-Departure Information

Before you leave your home country

Bring these documents

Prepare a folder of official documents to bring with you to Australia, including:

Customs and Border Protection

[Provided by Australian Government]

You need to be aware of what you cannot bring into Australia and therefore what you should not pack. It is illegal to carry drugs including marijuana, cannabis, heroin, cocaine and amphetamines in and out of Australia. There are a number of items that you must declare upon your arrival in Australia including:

You should also be aware that as a routine part of their work, Customs and Border Protection officers may question travelers at any time, and trained dogs may also be used to detect illegal drugs or prohibited imports. If you are in doubt, declare your goods or ask a Customs and Border Protection officer for advice. Declaring goods does not necessarily mean your baggage will be examined.

People who deliberately break Australian Customs and Border Protection regulations could be or taken to court. You can also find information at the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service website.

Agriculture, Fisheries, and Forestry

Students are often surprised by how strict the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF) biosecurity requirements can be.

Live animals and plants, plant material, animal products and some food from overseas could introduce some of the world’s most serious pests and diseases into Australia, devastating our valuable agriculture and tourism industries and unique environment.

So, it’s important to remember that when you’re packing to not bring fresh fruit and vegetables, meat, poultry, pork, eggs, nuts, dairy goods and live plants and seeds, as they will not be allowed into the country.

You can also find information on what you can bring or send to Australia at the DIBP web site.

If you’re in doubt about whether your goods are prohibited or not, declare them on the Incoming Passenger Card which you will receive on the plane. On the spot fines can apply for not declaring items.

On Arrival in Australia

When you first arrive, you will be required to make your way through Australian immigration. An immigration officer will ask to see your completed incoming passenger card (given to you on the plane) and your passport. The immigration officer will check your documents and may ask you a few questions about your planned stay in Australia. You may also have to show your Confirmation of Enrolment.

Once you have cleared the immigration checkpoint you will enter the baggage hall where you can claim your luggage and proceed to Customs and baggage examination.

People arriving in Australia clear Customs through one of two channels: the green channel is for those with ‘nothing to declare’; the red channel for those with ‘something to declare’. You must to declare any food, plant materials and animal products. For more information about what you can and cannot bring into Australia, visit

Regardless of the channel you follow, your luggage, including your hand luggage, may be x-rayed inspected or checked by a detector dog team.

If you do not have anything to declare, follow the green channel.
If you do have something to declare, follow the red channel.

As you go through the red channel of Customs, an official will ask you to open your luggage so that it can be inspected. If the Customs official decides that an item is not quarantined, you will be allowed to keep it and move through the Customs checkpoint. If the item is quarantined, it will either be confiscated and destroyed, or held for decontamination and returned to you at a later date.

If you go through the green channel, you may be subjected to a random check and asked by a Customs’ official to open your luggage for inspection.

Australia has strict quarantine laws so it is important to declare all the items you are carrying on the incoming passenger card. Those who do not declare honestly risk fines and prosecution.

Opening a Bank Account

To open a bank account in Australia must show several pieces of personal identification, each of which is allotted certain number of ‘points’. You will need 100 points of identification to establish your identity as the person who will be named on the account.

Your passport and proof of your arrival date in Australia will be acceptable as 100 points if you open an account within six weeks of arrival in Australia. After this time, you will need additional documentation. To open an account, you’ll also need a minimum deposit (this can be as little as $10).


Finding the right accommodation is one of the biggest challenges facing any new international student, and finding a place in your price range can be even harder. It is extremely important that you factor the high cost of housing into your budget before you come to Australia, and that you are able to access sufficient funds to cover possible rent increases.

A range of accommodation options are available. Our Student Welfare Officer can provide you with more information and links to website for your information. Accommodation may be found nearby to the campus or in Brisbane and train, bus, car or motorcycle used to get to the campus.

Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC)

Australia has a special system of health cover for international students called Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC). You will need to buy OSHC before you come to Australia to cover you from when you arrive.

The Department of Immigration and Citizenship requires you to maintain OSHC for the duration of your time on a student visa in Australia.

Culture and society

In Australia, you may notice some differences in etiquette, lifestyles and values to what you are used to back home. Australians are informal, which can take some adjustment, especially if you are more accustomed to a culture where ritual is important and where levels of status and authority are clearly distinguished and carefully respected. These are not obvious characteristics of Australian culture and you will be expected to be able to accept a wide range of people on an equal basis in informal situations.

Student Visa Conditions

The Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIBP) is the Australian Government department that manages everything relating to student visas.

It is very important that you are fully aware of, and meet, all the conditions of your visa. Visa conditions are set out in the letter of approval sent with a visa or on a visa label. There may be special conditions for students on scholarships, so if you are on a scholarship, it is important to read and understand all these conditions.

For a full list of mandatory and discretionary student visa conditions, visit

Unfortunately, a number of students abuse the law each year. For example, they may work longer hours than permitted by their visa or they may overstay their visa. Breaking these conditions can cause a visa to be cancelled and this has serious consequences: under the law, a student may be required to leave Australia and not allowed to return for three years after the visa is cancelled.

Changing or extending your visa

If your circumstances change and you want to change your course or provider, or you wish to stay in Australia longer, contact the nearest Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIBP) office for advice on how to make these arrangements.

It is also important to ensure your visa does not expire while you are in Australia. If you remain in Australia for more than 28 days after your student visa expires without obtaining a new one, you may not be allowed to return for three years.

If your student visa expires before you have finished your course of study, or if you wish undertake further study, you should contact your nearest Australian visa office. You can only extend your stay in Australia if your do not have a “No Further Stay” condition on your current student visa.

If you need help in understanding any of these conditions, contact the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIBP), or visit

For further information, go to and select “Students” from the “Visa, Immigration and Refugees” menu.

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