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Question about booking an OUTBOUND flight.

Travel Forums Australia / New Zealand & The Pacific Question about booking an OUTBOUND flight.

1. Posted by Perry89 (Budding Member 5 posts) 38w

Perry89 has indicated that this thread is about Visas (Australia)

Hi there,

I'm travelling to Australia to meet up with a friend, we're going to plan a road trip or simply explore a couple of places around Melbourne for a week or 2. Then we're heading to South East Asia for 3 months.

I am flying from the UK to Australia and then flying back to the UK from Bali. The flights are booked and paid for.

When I was on the phone to STA travel sorting my travel insurance out... I was speaking to an agent who was trying her best to get me to book a flight OUT of Australia to Bangkok.

I was trying to explain to her that EVENTUALLY we will be booking a flight to Bangkok, however we are still yet to decide on exactly what we're going to do and how long we're going to stay once I arrive (1/2 weeks maximum). There's even been talks of flying to NZ. So because of that we were thinking of just booking the flights when I am in Australia.

The agent then kept saying that I will be refused entry if I do not have proof of an OUTBOUND flight, directly from Australia before I enter, because I only have a E-Visitor visa and also said that my flight from Bali won't mean anything to them.

Is this true or was she just trying to get a flight out of me for some commission?

I did ring the Australian embassy in London and the lady simply said that if I only have a one way ticket, I will be questioned and they will make a decision then.. She didn't say if my Bali flight would be seen as my proof of leaving or not. So it's got me a little puzzled and confused.

Any help would be grateful. Thanks.

[ Edit: Edited on 16-Mar-2016, at 10:16 by Perry89 ]

2. Posted by OldPro (Respected Member 289 posts) 38w

This question of 'proof of onward travel' is one that comes up frequently on travel forums. There is a great deal of misunderstanding and misinformation that also comes up.

First, you need to know that what is required by Immigration and what is required by an airline are NOT necessarily one and the same thing. An airline can be fined and required to fly you back to your point of origin if you are refused entry into a country for any reason. Because of that, it is easy to see why an airline would want you to have either an onward or return ticket. So that is why an AIRLINE may insist on something Immigration does not necessarily insist on. That being the case, you either have to go along with what the airline requires or find another airline to fly with who do not insist on it.

Regarding what Immigration requires and the agent insisting you will be refused entry. Some countries Immigration laws do require proof of onward travel and some do not. In many cases, the law reads something like, 'satisfy an Immigration Officer of your intentions'. While a onward/return ticket does not PROVE you intend to leave and not work illegally (which is what they are concerned about), it is an indication that you plan to leave.

I do not believe (but don't rely on my opinion) that Australia REQUIRES proof of onward travel. But it does sound like the woman at the Australian Embassy was in fact confirming that yo don't HAVE to have a ticket but you do have to satisfy Immigration of your intentions if asked. I do know (and you can rely on it) that Canada does not need an onward/return ticket. Yet someone flying from the UK to Canada will get the same story, that they need an onward or return ticket. In fact, Canadian Immigration don't require you to have an onward/return ticket, they require you to, 'satisfy an Immigration officer of your intentions' and you may fail to do that whether you have a return ticket or not!!

So my advice would be to find out for sure if Australian Immigration insist on a ticket or not and if not, find out if the airline you plan to fly with insist on you having one or not. They are two separate things.

If no ticket is required by Immigration and the airline will board you, then all you have to be prepared to do is 'satisfy an Immigration Officer of your intentions.' That is done by being ready to explain your plans and be prepared to show proof of sufficient funds to support yourself (as easy as accessing your bank balance online to show them).

The important thing to know is that the Airline's requirements may differ from Immigration's requirements and you need to satisfy both if you expect to board the plane. In the majority of situations where this comes up, it is the AIRLINE that insists rather than Immigration.

3. Posted by Perry89 (Budding Member 5 posts) 38w

Excellent, thank you very much for your speedy response. I have spoke to a few people in regards to this now and I feel confident on going with no direct flight out of Australia. Although I might get questioned by the border control... But I have all the proof I need from, my flight from Bali back to the UK, an email from my manager in regards to me returning back to work (in the UK) after my 3 months unpaid leave authorization, enough funds and proof of those funds to support my 3 months travelling and also places such as Villas pre-booked in South-East Asia.

I'm sure they will won't have a problem believing my intentions once I arrived. Hopefully me and my friend do book a ticket out of Australia as the last thing I want is to be sat waiting for hours at the border haha.

Thanks again.

4. Posted by OldPro (Respected Member 289 posts) 38w

Just make sure the airline you are flying to Australia with will allow you to board without an 'onward/return' ticket Perry89. As I wrote, it is usually the airline that insists on this to 'cover their ass'.

5. Posted by Perry89 (Budding Member 5 posts) 38w

Oh yeah, I forgot about that part. I will give them a call tomorrow and ask. Thanks.

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