Is a ticket home required?
February 25, 2011 1:18 AM   Subscribe

I'm leaving for Australia next week from Thailand, I have my tourist visa & will be staying with friends. What I don't have yet is my return ticket home to the US. Am I going to have any problems (with the airlines or AU immigration, or - ?) because I'm not yet ticketed?
posted by jsslz to Travel & Transportation (6 answers total)
Australian immigration is pretty strict, so you may well have some trouble. Have you got some sort of proof of funds to show that you're able to purchase a return ticket?
posted by une_heure_pleine at 1:31 AM on February 25, 2011

Yeah, you'll probably need to prove you have the funds to both buy the ongoing ticket, and support yourself during your stay (and/or provide contact details for someone who is going to support you).
posted by EndsOfInvention at 2:09 AM on February 25, 2011

When I did this 2 years ago, they did not ask upon departing Thailand or entering Australia (British Airways). However the airline DID ask when I subsequently went to New Zealand from Australia. As I had not yet purchased my ticket from NZ to the US, they had me go to some special counter and buy a fully refundable return ticket (which cost, iirc about $20 to refund).

I would suggest buying a fully refundable return ticket and refunding it after you purchase your real return. OTOH, you may get through without trouble.

Also, Australia does not want you to bring any food or wooden goods from SE Asia.
posted by Phredward at 8:24 AM on February 25, 2011

As to Phredward's last point, the AQIS website
posted by Logophiliac at 9:04 AM on February 25, 2011

Also, Australia does not want you to bring any food or wooden goods from SE Asia.

Not just food or wood - NOTHING made from plants or animals. Like, no seashells, no reed mats, no seeds, no packets of peanuts, no ham sandwiches. Even if you think the food is fine because it's e.g. made in the US or Australia and in an unopened packet, you still MUST DECLARE IT. If in doubt there are bins in arrivals to dump your stuff before customs (not clandestinely, I mean - that's why they're there).

If you try to go through customs without declaring food or animal/plant items, they will fine you even if the items are OK, purely because you didn't declare them (if you declare them they get the chance to check it over and say if it's OK or not - and if not they bin it but don't fine you IIRC).
posted by EndsOfInvention at 9:31 AM on February 25, 2011

I went to Thailand with no return ticket and had absolutely no problem. This was December '09, not sure if things have changed since then. I vaguely remember the immigration officer asking me what my plans were (which were to continue on to Laos) so she stamped my passport and I went on through.
posted by sacrifix at 11:10 AM on February 25, 2011

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