Crossing the border

Movement records

Arrival and departure records of travellers to and from Australia dating from 1981, are contained within the Movements Reconstruction database. These 'movement records' may include the traveller's name, date of birth, gender and relationship status, country of birth, departure and/or arrival date, travel document number and country, port code and flight/vessel details, visa subclass and expiry date, and the number of movements.

The Department also maintains non-electronic movement records information including:

  • microfilm records of passenger cards from 1965
  • ship manifests (1924 to 1964)
  • Alien’s cards (1947 to 1979)

How is the Movements Reconstruction database protected?

Section 488 (Tampering with Movement Records) of the Migration Act 1958 imposes strict guidelines concerning access to and disclosure of movement records stored in the Movements Reconstruction database. Only authorised officers can access the information. The purposes for which movement records can be disclosed are prescribed in the legislation. A breach of this provision is punishable by two years imprisonment.

Information sharing

To support whole-of government initiatives, the Department has various movement records information sharing arrangements in place. Those initiatives involve border security, law enforcement, entitlement and identity verification, validations actions, eligibility determinations and various notifications.

The storage, use and disclosure by government departments of movement records and passenger card information are governed by migration legislation and the Privacy Act 1988.

See: Form 1442i and Incoming Passenger Card

Requesting access to movement records

Access to your own movement records is available under section 488 of the Migration Act 1958 and the Freedom of Information Act 1982.

See: Request for travel records