Lonely Planet Writer

Australia’s old-fashioned arrival and departure cards will soon be a thing of the past

With all of the stress and rushing involved in travelling through airports, filling in outgoing and incoming passenger cards can be an added irritation. Travellers flying to and from Australia will be glad to know that its Department of Immigration and Border Protection is planning to phase out these cards and make the process seamlessly electronic.

 Australia’s antiquated arrival and departure cards will soon be gone.
Australia’s antiquated arrival and departure cards will soon be gone. Image by Nazmans_99

Filling in the green and orange slips currently in use tends to exasperate travellers and slow down their passage through the airport. The good news is that the Department of Immigration and Border Protection told news.com.au that it is planning to remove paper-based manual processes to achieve a seamless and automated traveller experience. “The Government is focused on low contact automated border clearance processes and technologies to manage the 50 million travellers expected annually by 2020,” it said.

Sydney International Airport. Image: georgeclerk/Getty Images
Sydney International Airport. Image: georgeclerk/Getty Images

The move to streamline border processing is partly attributable to the fact that the Government can obtain passenger information from other sources, such as the Advance Passenger Information System. This system already provides passengers’ passport, contact and flight details. The DIBP is currently working with the Australian Bureau of Statistics to find an alternate method to collect the data contained on the cards.

The green departure card could be axed.
The green departure card could be axed.

It is expected that when it has all of its processes in position, outgoing passenger cards will be eliminated first, followed by incoming passenger cards. It is anticipated that this move will speed up the time it takes to exit immigration, which will be welcome news to future generations of harried passengers.