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SmartGates - All You Need To Know


Alternative Airlines has put together a complete guide to SmartGates. All you need to know about SmartGate, including countries that use SmartGates, how to use SmartGates and FAQs.

Whilst you're at the airport, why not make the most of your time there? Check out our blog on the best ways to have the perfect airport experience.


What is a SmartGate?

SmartGate is an automated self-service border control system. It is operated by the Australian Border Force and located at immigration checkpoints in ten Australian international airports.

SmartGates use ePassports and facial recognition technology to check a passenger's identity against the data stored in the chip of their biometric passport, as well as performing additional security checks by checking this information against immigration databases. The process is quick and secure, meaning passengers can leave the airport faster.

Please note, that SmartGate does not change the visa requirements or the visa process for travel to Australia.

Who is eligible to use arrival SmartGates?

Travellers need to meet certain criteria to be eligible to use Australia's arrival SmartGates. Travellers can use SmartGates by having an ePassport from an eligible country and: 1. be a citizen or non-citizen aged 16 years or older, or be an Australian citizen aged 10 to 15 years old and travelling with at least two adults.

Eligible Countries that can use SmartGates

All Australian passports have ePassports. Other eligible countries include Canada, China, France, Hong Kong, Ireland, Japan, Korea, Macau, New Zealand, Singapore, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America.

Who is eligible to use departure SmartGates?

Unlike the arrival SmartGates, passengers of any nationality can use departure SmartGates. Passengers will still need to have an ePassport or other machine-readable passport.

SmartGates Locations

Arrival and departure SmartGates can be found at passport control at all of Australia's major international airports, including:

Adelaide Airport, Brisbane Airport, Cairns Airport, Canberra Airport, Darwin Airport, Gold Coast Airport, Melbourne Airport, Perth Airport and Sydney Airport.

Please note that arrival SmartGates still requires a traveller to present their passport at a kiosk first. Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney airports all have the self-service kiosks in the arrivals concourse.

How to use a SmartGate

SmartGates are easy to use. The SmartGate process is the same for arrivals and departures.

1. Passengers will need to follow the signs to the SmartGates.

2. Only one person may enter the SmartGate at a time, so join the queue and wait for the display screen to ask you to enter the SmartGate when it is your turn.

3. Follow the instructions displayed on the SmartGate monitor. This will include placing your passport on the passport reader.

4. Once successful, the gate will one and allow you to pass.

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SmartGate FAQs

How do I know if my passport is biometric?

Biometric passports have an embedded chip that contains your personal details and allows you to use ePassport gates, including Australia's SmartGates. It is easy to identify whether you have a biometric passport by looking at the front cover. There is an international symbol that can be used to identify biometric passports. Look below the word PASSPORT, if you see a symbol that looks like a rectangle bisected by a horizontal line, with a circle in the middle, this means that it is biometric. Australia's SmartGates are similar to the ePassport Gates used in the UK.

Is it quicker to use SmartGate?

SmartGate offers a quicker and simpler way for eligible travellers arriving or departing from Australia's international airports to self-process through passport control. Using SmartGate to self-process is likely to be faster than waiting for to be processed by a Customs and Border Protection officer, especially during busy travel periods.

Can children use SmartGate?

No. Families or adults accompanying young children who are aged under 10 will need to see a security officer for manual processing.

Does Sydney Airport have SmartGate?

Yes, Sydney Airport operates the SmartGate technology.

Does Dubai Airport use SmartGates?

Yes! Dubai Airport uses SmartGate technology. UAE and GCC Nationals may use SmartGate, as well as UAE residents and those Visa on arrival guests who have biometric passports.