Skip Ribbon Commands Skip to main content
Home > Help and advice > Travelling overseas

Travelling overseas

Australians take more than nine million trips overseas each year, and many live abroad. Travelling or living overseas can be rewarding, but it also carries potential risks.  Each year the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) provides consular services to thousands of Australians in difficulty.

To help Australians avoid difficulties overseas, the Smartraveller website contains useful advice on local laws, entry and exit requirements, health issues and a general assessment of the risk of travel to more than 170 countries.

If you want to help people affected by international conflicts there are a number of ways to do this without travelling to conflict zones.  For information on legitimate organisations who are helping people affected by conflicts visit 'Where we give aid'.

Declared areas

Declared areas are extremely dangerous locations where listed terrorist organisations are engaging in hostile activities.

The Minister for Foreign Affairs may declare an area in a foreign country if they are satisfied that a listed terrorist organisation is engaging in hostile activity in that area. 

It is an offence for a person to intentionally enter, or remain in, a declared area in a foreign country where the person should know, that the area is a declared area.  The maximum penalty for this offence is 10 years' imprisonment.

The Minister for Foreign Affairs may declare an area in a foreign country if they are satisfied that a listed terrorist organisation is engaging in a hostile activity in that area.

It is a defence for a person to enter, or remain in, a declared area solely for a legitimate purpose or purposes. Legitimate purposes for travelling to a declared area are provided at subsection 119.2(3) of the Act and are limited to providing humanitarian aid, making a genuine visit to a family member, working in a professional capacity as a journalist, performing official government or United Nations duties, appearing before a court or tribunal, and any other purpose prescribed by the regulations.