Latest release

Overseas Travel Statistics, Provisional

Provisional statistics on international travel based on initial border crossings, arriving in and departing from Australia, including tourism trips

Reference period
March 2021
Released
20/04/2021
Future releases
  • Next Release 14/05/2021
    Overseas Travel Statistics, Provisional, April 2021
  • Next Release 16/06/2021
    Overseas Travel Statistics, Provisional, May 2021
  • Next Release 14/07/2021
    Overseas Travel Statistics, Provisional, June 2021
  • View all releases

Key statistics

Provisional estimates of overseas trips in March 2021 show:

  • 32,900 arrivals, a 27.4% increase compared to the previous month
  • 14,300 Australian citizens arrivals (43%), 6,700 permanent residents (20%), 5,100 New Zealand citizens (15%) and 6,900 temporary visa holders (21%) 
  • 32,400 departures, a 1.2% decrease compared to the previous month

Travel restrictions

These statistics are compiled using information from the Department of Home Affairs.

For information on travel restrictions see the Department of Home Affairs website.

Migration Statistics

This release presents statistics on, provisional monthly estimates of overseas travel, which is not the same as migration statistics.

If you are looking for migration statistics, please refer to:

Arrivals

Provisional statistics on international travel movements of persons arriving in Australia. It is the number of international border crossings rather than the number of people.

Key findings

All overseas arrivals to Australia in March 2021 (provisional estimates):

  • 32,900 estimated arrivals
  • 27.4% increase compared to the previous month and a 96.4% decrease compared to the corresponding month of the previous year
  • 14,300 Australian citizens arrivals (43%), 6,700 permanent residents (20%), 5,100 New Zealand citizens (15%) and 6,900 temporary visa holders (21%). 
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All arrivals - by citizenship

The five largest countries of citizenship (excluding Australian) for all arrivals to Australia in March 2021 were:

  • New Zealand (5,100), increasing 24.7% compared to the previous month
  • India (2,000), increasing 25.8%
  • China (1,300), increasing 15.1%
  • UK (1,000), increasing 8.1%
  • USA (750), increasing 28.6%.

 

1.3 All arrivals - Top 10 Countries of citizenship - provisional estimates(a)
Country of citizenshipMar-19Mar-20Feb-21Mar-21Feb-21 to Mar-21
% change
Mar-20 to Mar-21
% change
Mar-19 to Mar-21
% change
New Zealand150,37083,5704,0605,06024.7%-93.9%-96.6%
India64,00038,9801,5501,95025.8%-95.0%-97.0%
China(b)151,63038,0901,0901,26015.1%-96.7%-99.2%
UK(c)91,50050,4909601,0408.1%-97.9%-98.9%
USA90,12034,37058075028.6%-97.8%-99.2%
Philippines17,1608,65041052027.9%-94.0%-97.0%
Vietnam13,4107,650140460223.9%-94.0%-96.6%
Afghanistan1,0701,120140400180.9%-64.5%-63.0%
Malaysia39,34013,99025037049.6%-97.3%-99.1%
Pakistan5,4704,95024034040.5%-93.1%-93.8%

(a) To confidentialise, estimates have been rounded to the nearest 10.
(b) Excludes SARs & Taiwan.
(c) Includes the United Kingdom, Channel Islands and Isle of Man.
Note: Large percentage changes can be observed due to monthly fluctuations of small numbers.
 

All arrivals - by visa group

The three largest visa groups arriving in Australia in March 2021 were:

  • Temporary other visas (3,300), increasing 49.0% compared to the previous month
  • Permanent family visas (2,500), increasing 45.7% 
  • Permanent skilled visas (2,400), increasing 13.2%.

 

1.4 All arrivals - Visa groups - provisional estimates(a)
Visa GroupMar-19Mar-20Feb-21Mar-21Feb-21 to Mar-21
% change
Mar-20 to Mar-21
% change
Mar-19 to Mar-21
% change
Permanent Family Visas24,03014,7001,7302,53045.7%-82.8%-89.5%
Permanent Other Visas46,54026,6401,3901,76026.5%-93.4%-96.2%
Permanent Skilled Visas39,16020,2202,1302,41013.2%-88.1%-93.8%
Temporary Other Visas35,39023,4002,2103,29049.0%-85.9%-90.7%
Temporary Skilled Visas19,3309,3901,0201,29026.1%-86.3%-93.3%
Temporary Student Visas75,71061,88020023016.9%-99.6%-99.7%
Temporary Visitor Visas597,380195,7801,5101,95029.4%-99.0%-99.7%
Temporary Work Visas23,82013,43013016023.3%-98.8%-99.3%

(a) To confidentialise, estimates have been rounded to the nearest 10.
 

All arrivals - by state or territory of clearance

All international travellers must be processed and cleared by Australia's Border Force via specific seaports or airports around the country. This information provides the state or territory of clearance for each traveller. 

For March 2021 when comparing to the previous month, increases were recorded for:

  • WA (66.4%)
  • NSW (41.3%)
  • NT (35.3%)
  • Qld (31.8%)
  • SA (9.5%)

Decreases were recorded for:

  • Tas. (68.8%)
  • Vic. (42.1%)
  • ACT (12.0%)

 

1.5 All arrivals - State or Territory of clearance - provisional estimates(a)
State of clearanceMar-19Mar-20Feb-21Mar-21Feb-21 to Mar-21
% change
Mar-20 to Mar-21
% change
Mar-19 to Mar-21
% change
NSW663,460350,80010,59014,96041.3%-95.7%-97.7%
Vic.470,920260,7103,2301,870-42.1%-99.3%-99.6%
Qld304,410173,8505,6107,40031.8%-95.7%-97.6%
SA39,84025,2302,0502,2409.5%-91.1%-94.4%
WA167,440102,8202,3603,92066.4%-96.2%-97.7%
Tas.5,1602,4409030-68.8%-98.8%-99.4%
NT9,9606,6301,7302,34035.3%-64.7%-76.5%
ACT2,7401,500170150-12.0%-90.2%-94.6%

(a) To confidentialise, estimates have been rounded to the nearest 10.
 

Departures

Provisional statistics on international travel movements of persons departing Australia. It is the number of international border crossings rather than the number of people.

Key findings

All overseas departures from Australia in March 2021 (provisional estimates):

  • 32,400 estimated departures
  • 1.2% decrease compared to the previous month and a 96.2% decrease compared to the corresponding month of the previous year
  • 9,900 Australian citizens departures (31%), 3,700 permanent residents (11%), 3,200 New Zealand citizens (10%) and 15,700 temporary visa holders (49%).
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All departures - by citizenship

The five largest countries of citizenship (excluding Australian) for all departures from Australia in March 2021 were:

  • China (4,800), increasing 2.5% compared to the previous month
  • India (3,500), decreasing 22.1%
  • New Zealand (3,200), increasing 0.9%
  • UK (880), increasing 11.5%
  • USA (770), decreasing 0.1%.
2.3 All departures - Top 10 Countries of citizenship - provisional estimates(a)
Country of citizenshipMar-19Mar-20Feb-21Mar-21Feb-21 to Mar-21
% change
Mar-20 to Mar-21
% change
Mar-19 to Mar-21
% change
China(b)129,59038,6704,7004,8102.5%-87.6%-96.3%
India44,44027,7104,5003,510-22.1%-87.3%-92.1%
New Zealand146,79087,6203,2203,2500.9%-96.3%-97.8%
UK(c)109,12088,90079088011.5%-99.0%-99.2%
USA93,61060,770770770-0.1%-98.7%-99.2%
Malaysia38,88016,16051056010.4%-96.5%-98.6%
Nepal4,2702,990680540-19.9%-81.9%-87.3%
Japan60,12027,62037049031.9%-98.2%-99.2%
South Korea34,2908,480610440-27.6%-94.8%-98.7%
Philippines15,8108,650610430-29.3%-95.1%-97.3%

(a) To confidentialise, estimates have been rounded to the nearest 10.
(b) Excludes SARs & Taiwan.
(c) Includes the United Kingdom, Channel Islands and Isle of Man.
 

All departures - by visa group

The three largest visa groups departing from Australia in March 2021 were:

  • Temporary other visas (8,000), increasing 4.9% compared to the previous month
  • Temporary student visas (3,300), decreasing 12.9% 
  • Temporary visitor visas (2,700), decreasing 41.3%.
2.4 All departures - Visa groups - provisional estimates(a)
Visa GroupMar-19Mar-20Feb-21Mar-21Feb-21 to Mar-21
% change
Mar-20 to Mar-21
% change
Mar-19 to Mar-21
% change
Permanent Family Visas22,5806,77057081043.4%-88.0%-96.4%
Permanent Other Visas50,60016,1101,2401,59028.3%-90.2%-96.9%
Permanent Skilled Visas35,89012,3009801,30032.1%-89.4%-96.4%
Temporary Other Visas41,53037,1107,6007,9804.9%-78.5%-80.8%
Temporary Skilled Visas18,1607,1708901,19033.3%-83.4%-93.5%
Temporary Student Visas31,95042,1303,8303,330-12.9%-92.1%-89.6%
Temporary Visitor Visas632,150354,3404,5502,670-41.3%-99.2%-99.6%
Temporary Work Visas22,92034,760830580-29.7%-98.3%-97.5%

(a) To confidentialise, estimates have been rounded to the nearest 10.
 

All departures - by state and territory of clearance

All international travellers must be processed and cleared by Australia's Border Force via specific seaports or airports around the country. This information provides the state or territory of clearance for each traveller.

For March 2021 when comparing to the previous month, increases were recorded for:

  • NT (118.8%)
  • WA (4.4%)
  • NSW (0.9%)
  • Vic. (0.4%)

Decreases were recorded for:

  • Tas. (100.0%)
  • Qld (15.7%)
  • SA (12.9%)
2.5 All departures - State or Territory of clearance - provisional estimates(a)
State of clearanceMar-19Mar-20Feb-21Mar-21Feb-21 to Mar-21
% change
Mar-20 to Mar-21
% change
Mar-19 to Mar-21
% change
NSW677,480340,64015,74015,8800.9%-95.3%-97.7%
Vic.463,750231,3108,9609,0000.4%-96.1%-98.1%
Qld314,410151,4404,9204,150-15.7%-97.3%-98.7%
SA41,56018,880520450-12.9%-97.6%-98.9%
WA177,96095,6702,4602,5704.4%-97.3%-98.6%
Tas.2080100-100.0%-100.0%-100.0%
NT12,0505,090140320118.8%-93.8%-97.4%
ACT3,5501,180010n.a-99.4%-99.8%

(a) To confidentialise, estimates have been rounded to the nearest 10.
n.a The percentage change could not be calculated because the denominator is zero
 

Data downloads

1. Total movement, arrivals and departures - country of citizenship

2. Total movement, arrivals and departures - visa group

3. Total movement, arrivals and departures - state of clearance

All data cubes

Notes

New publication in response to COVID-19

This is a temporary monthly publication in response to COVID-19 and the heightened interest in traveller data. It provides information 4 weeks earlier than the regular monthly Overseas Arrivals and Departures (OAD)(cat. no. 3401.0) publication.

This publication contains provisional arrivals and departures information for the reference month based on initial border crossings into and out of Australia using the Department of Home Affairs Travel and Immigration Processing System (TRIPS). It contains early information on arrivals and departures, country of citizenship, major visa groups, and state or territory of clearance. Like Overseas Arrivals and Departures, it is the number of international border crossings rather than the number of people. Individuals who travel multiple times in a year are counted each time they cross Australia's borders.

In response to the observed drop in the numbers of movements due to the ongoing travel restrictions, month on month (MOM) comparisons have been included in the publication, in addition to the year on year (YOY) comparisons. Please note that large changes may be observed due to monthly fluctuations of small numbers.

More detailed information including important variables such as state of residence, duration of stay, country of residence and main reason for journey (which can only be sourced later from the passenger card) will be available in the subsequent release of Overseas Arrivals and Departures scheduled for release 6 weeks after the reference month.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) commenced daily situation reports of the COVID-19 outbreak on 21 January 2020 and identified it as an international health emergency on 30 January. This was less than a month after suspected cases were reported in Wuhan, China. The Australian Government placed travel restrictions on those travelling to Australia initially from mainland China commencing 1 February. Other restrictions from other countries soon followed as the crisis worsened around the globe. Currently, all overseas travel is banned, with few exceptions. For more information, see the Smartraveller page from the Australian government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade website or the News and Media page at the Australian government Department of Home Affairs website.

Forthcoming Issues

This publication will be regularly reviewed in response to external data requirements, but it is anticipated this will be continued monthly while COVID-19 is still impacting on travel data.

The April 2021 issue will be released on 14 May 2021

The May 2021 issue will be released on 16 June 2021

Previous catalogue number

This release previously used catalogue number 3401.0.55.004.