Is a visa needed if transiting via Australia to NZ (or any other country)?

One frequent question I get is from travellers who are heading to NZ via Australia is “do I need a visa for Australia”?

According to the Australian Department of Home Affairs website, passengers who are transiting through Australia DO NOT need a visa provided they meet ALL of the following criteria:

  1. arrive Australia by air
  2. have a confirmed air ticket to travel to a third country within 8 hours of arriving Australia
  3. have a valid travel document for that third country
  4. must be a citizen of one of the following eligible countries:
  • Andorra, Argentina, Austria, Belgium, Brunei, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kiribati, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mexico, Monaco, Nauru, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Oman, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Samoa, San Marino, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Tonga, Tuvalu, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom (including its colonies), United States of America, Uruguay, Vanuatu and Vatican


  • a resident of Hong Kong who holds a Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) passport or a British National Overseas (BNO) passport
  • a resident of Taiwan who holds a passport issued by the authorities of Taiwan (other than passports purported to be official or diplomatic passports)
  • an Indian official passport holder


  • a diplomatic passport holder (This does not include holders of Arab Non-National Passports and diplomatic passports from Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Bahrain, Comoros, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Madagascar, Mauritania, Morocco, Pakistan, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, Yemen and Zimbabwe. These passport holders must get a visa.)

IF a traveller intends to leave the airport arrival lounge and pass through immigration control, the traveller WILL NEED a visa. Make sure to check with your travel agent or airline if you are required to exit the arrival lounge area to collect your luggage and transfer onto and board an onward flight. In this case, a Transit Visa (771) may be appropriate.

IF the traveller is from a country not stated in the list above, the traveller WILL NEED a visa to transit via Australia.

For assistance on visa and immigration issues, contact us at AL Migration. Consultation fees may apply.

This article was published on 6 March 2020.

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