Non-Australian citizens transiting Australia to another country or passing through Australia to join a ship as crew must obtain a visa overseas before travelling to Australia.
Transit without visa arrangements
Some non-citizens, who belong to certain categories of passengers, who:
• intend to transit Australia by air within 8 hours of their arrival; and
• hold confirmed booking and documentation necessary to enter the country of their destination;
do not need a transit visa, as they are deemed to hold a special purpose visa provided they do not leave the airport transit lounge. The categories of travellers covered under this arrangement are listed at: http://www.immi.gov.au/visitors/transit/no-visa.htm
For all other passengers, a Transit Visa is required even if a traveller remains on the same aircraft in the same airport and even if you stay in the transit lounge and do not leave the airport.
The Transit Visa (subclass 771), which is free of charge, allows the holder to enter and remain in Australia for up to 72 hours for the purpose of transiting. Please download the Transit Visa Checklist if you are considering making an application for a Transit Visa:
Transit Visa Checklist(PDF file)
More information on Transit Visa requirements is at: http://www.immi.gov.au/visitors/transit/771/