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Migration Amendment (Seamless Traveller) Regulations 2018

This legislative instrument amends the Migration Regulations 1994 (Migration Regulations) to create greater efficiencies in border processing at international ports in line with the digital transformation agenda.

In particular, the amendments will reduce the processing burden for travellers at some international ports using a SmartGate (or other authorised system) by removing the requirement to present a physical passport if details of their passport are already held electronically and can be used to establish identity.

Prior to the amendments, an image of the traveller’s head and shoulders had to be compared with the image and details in the physical passport to establish identity, citizenship and visa status, as applicable. Under these amendments, in certain circumstances, the image of the person’s head and shoulders can instead be compared with electronic passport details already held, saving the inefficient burden of presenting the physical document and more quickly clearing travellers in increasingly busy ports.

The electronic passport details will be obtained either the first time a person travels on that passport or, for Australian citizens, they may also be able to be obtained from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. This is colloquially referred to as ‘Contactless Processing’ as little contact is made with clearance authorities other than presenting to a SmartGate for the purpose of having a facial image taken and compared with existing data.






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