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Arriving in Australia

Covid-19 update

Australia’s borders continue to remain closed and entry to Australia remains strictly controlled to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Travel to Australia is only available if you are exempt or you have been granted an individual exemption. Applications for an exemption will generally only be approved in very limited compelling and compassionate circumstances supported by relevant documentary evidence. Examples of this category include the death or terminal illness of an immediate family member.

From 1 December 2021 fully vaccinated international students with a valid visa no longer need an exemption to travel to Australia. More information on travel exemptions can be found at the Department of Home Affairs website.

Student visas continue to be processed so that students are able to travel once borders open, however, a visa grant does not allow students to travel at this time.

The information on this page will help guide you through what you need to know when arriving to Australia.

Arriving at the Airport

Melbourne has two airports. The airport you choose will depend on the airline you fly and the campus you are attending.

Melbourne International Airport is Melbourne’s largest airport and is located 30 minutes from the centre of the city. Most international flights land at Melbourne Airport as do many domestic flights.

Avalon Airport is located 30 minutes from Geelong and you can fly there on some Air Asia flights as well as domestic airlines.

When booking your flight to Melbourne it’s a good idea to arrive at least two weeks before our Orientation Program. That way you’ll have plenty of time to adapt, settle in and see a bit of the city and surrounding areas before starting at Deakin College.

On the Flight

While you are on the flight to Australia you will be asked to fill out and Incoming Passenger Card. This is to be presented when you go through customs and immigration.

You will need your passport and flight details to fill out this card. Remember it is a legally binding document so you must fill it in honestly and correctly. If you have trouble understanding the form, the flight attendants will be happy to help you.

You must tick YES if you’re carrying any food, animal products, wooden items or plant material.

Any food that you may have had with you for the flight can be thrown away in the quarantine bins once you land.

If you have currency with a value of more than $AUD10,000 with you, you need to declare it.

View a sample of the Australian Incoming Passenger card

Going Through Customs and Immigration

Once you have collected your luggage from the baggage carousel, you need to pass through customs before exiting to the arrival hall.

You have the choice of going through the green lanes (nothing to declare) and the red lanes (something to declare).

We have strict quarantine laws in Australia to protect the country from the importation of diseases and pests. While you may want to bring some of your favourite foods from home, there are several items that you’re not allowed to bring into Australia.

You must declare:

  • any items made from wood, plant and animal material
  • any fresh food or egg products even in powder form, including dried or packet food
  • all food items (including cans, jars and processed foods).

If you’re in doubt about whether or not to declare an item, it is safer to declare it. You won’t get into trouble for declaring a prohibited item; you simply won’t be able to bring it into Australia.

Find out more about Australian quarantine laws for travellers

Help at the Airport

Once you’ve passed through customs and immigration you will go through into the arrivals hall. This moment may feel a little frightening but there are plenty of resources to help you.

In the arrivals hall you will find the Traveller’s Information Service. Just look for the big blue ‘i’

The staff are very friendly and will help provide you with any information you need including maps and brochures on the city and surrounding areas.

If you’ve booked the Deakin College free pick-up service, our driver will be there to meet you.

Travellers Information Service
International Arrivals Hall
Ground Floor, Terminal 2
Melbourne International Airport

+61 3 8326 3347
Open 7am to 12am, seven days a week

Airport Pick-up

Deakin College loves welcoming its new international students and offers a free airport pick-up service from either Melbourne or Avalon airports.

To book your free airport transfer, complete our online airport pick-up form and include your flight number, arrival date, destination address and student ID (found on your Letter of Offer and Confirmation of Enrolment).

Make sure you apply at least three business days before your flight. You should receive a confirmation email once your booking is complete. This email will include arrival instructions .

All students must wear a mask whilst travelling in the airport pick-up vehicle.

If you have any problems completing your airport pick-up request, please email

Please note: If you can’t find your driver 30 minutes after you’ve cleared customs, phone Togoto on: 0409 503 646.

Currency Exchange

While it’s a good idea to arrive with some Australian currency, there are plenty of currency exchange desks and ATMs at the airport. The Traveller’s Information Service at the airport can direct you to the best place to get foreign exchange.

Once you’ve arrived in Melbourne most banks can exchange your foreign currency or travellers cheques.

Contact Your Family

In all the excitement of landing in Australia, don’t forget to contact your family and let them know you’ve arrived safely. They’ll be thinking about you!

The staff at the airport Student Welcome desk will provide you with a local SIM card. There is WiFi at the airport and many locations with free Internet in and around Melbourne.

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