Crossing the border

​​​Incoming Passenger Card (IPC)

Passengers arriving in Australia are required under Australian law to identify themselves and provide certain information through the completion of a passenger card.

Australian law concerning completion of a passenger cards is set out in the Migration Act 1958 (the Migration Act) and the Migration Regulations 1994 (the Migration Regulations).

What is a passenger card?

A passenger card is a document providing passenger identification and an effective record of a person's entry to Australia.

An Incoming Passenger Card (IPC) is to be completed by passengers entering Australia.​​​​​ IPCs will be provided to travellers on board their flight or ship before arrival or by the Australian Border Force in the arrival terminal.​​

Passenger cards also serve as:

  • a declaration in relation to health and character requirements for non-Australian citizens
  • a visa application form for Special Category Visa applicants and for Norfolk Island Permanent Residents.

Who needs to complete a passenger card?

Most passengers are required to complete and present a passenger card when entering Australia. However, particular people are exempt from completing a passenger card (as prescribed in regulation 3.06 and schedule 9 of the Migration Regulations).

Australian citizens who refuse to complete an IPC may be penalised. Non-Australian citizens may be penalised and refused immigration clearance.

Completing a passenger card in English

An IPC must be completed in English. Passengers requiring assistance to complete a passenger card can download printable sample versions of the IPC, including translations (see Passenger Card Samples section below).

Completing an incoming passenger card

Passengers entering Australia are required to accurately provide the following information on both sides of the IPC:


Front of incoming passenger card  

  • family/surname, given names and passport number
  • flight number or name of ship
  • intended address in Australia
  • if they intend to live in Australia for the next 12 months
  • declarations relating to customs and quarantine.


Back of incoming passenger card  

  • the country in which they boarded the flight/vessel
  • their date of birth and usual occupation
  • nationality as shown on their passport
  • contact details in Australia and emergency contact details.

Passengers are required to sign and date the IPC, and are also required to correctly answer additional questions concerning their migration status, health status and any prior criminal convictions. For non-Australian citizens, providing false information can affect their visa status.

Completing a passenger card on behalf of another traveller

An IPC can be completed on behalf of another traveller where a person is in charge of that traveller. This includes parents/guardians of minors and carers of travellers with special needs.

A non-Australian citizen is considered to have completed a passenger card where the card is completed on their behalf.

Further information

Information about the Departments access to passenger information of all persons taking or proposing to take international passenger air service flights into and out of Australia.

See:Collection of passenger name records

Information about arrival and departure records in the Movements Reconstruction database and how to request access to the information.

See: Movement Records​​​​​​​

Passenger card samples