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Cross border travel

If you are travelling into South Australia, by road or via the Adelaide airport, you need to complete the cross border pre-approval form at least 72 hours prior to your arrival.

The process will speed up the border crossing process and provide certainty for you about any restrictions that may apply before reaching the border.

Online application

Fill out the form at least 72 hours prior to your arrival into South Australia to allow time for South Australia Police to process your application. Once your application has been processed you will receive an email with:

1. A pre-approval receipt number that you will need to take with you to the border.

2. An assessment with ‘single status’ or ‘ongoing status’ approval to determine whether you are:

  • able to travel without restriction (including people arriving directly from NT, QLD, TAS and WA)
  • an essential traveller, with or without self-quarantine restrictions
  • required to self-quarantine on arrival for 14 days.

If you are unable to complete the online application you can still proceed to the border and a police officer will assist.  The border process will be significantly faster if your details have been entered before you arrive and an assessment has been made.  

Essential traveller status

If you already have an essential traveller status under the cross border community member category and your circumstance has not changed you do not need to complete the cross border pre-approval form.

If you have an essential traveller status other than the cross border community member category you will need to apply online.

If you are seeking an essential traveller status for health services or urgent medical, dental or health treatment, you must attach written evidence of an approval from SA Health to assist in your application. If you do not have written approval, please contact SA Health at HealthExemptions.Covid19@eso.sa.gov.au.

At the border

There are checkpoints at roads leading into South Australia from New South Wales and Victoria, and at Adelaide airport.

No travellers will be turned away. All people travelling to South Australia can enter, it is only the circumstances and restrictions applying to the traveller that differ.

At the South Australian checkpoint you will need photo id and if you:

  • already have an essential traveller status under the cross border community member category provide the police officer with your existing approval notice, or
  • already have your online pre-approval receipt number provide this to the police officer, or
  • have completed the online pre-approval form but not received your pre-approval receipt number tell the police officer so that they can verify your online form and issue you with an ‘interim status’ assessment, or
  • haven’t filled out the online form the police officer will complete the online form with you and issue you with an ‘interim status’ assessment.

All traveller arrivals will be registered on police systems to allow compliance checking of self-quarantine requirements if required.

If you need to speak to someone about your travel

Phone the SA Information Line on 1800 253 787.

Instructional video

Video - Online pre-approval form instructions

Frequently asked questions

What is the new process for a pre-approval to cross the border

From Wednesday 1 July 2020, all people travelling to South Australia will be able to get pre-approval before travelling and returning to South Australia.

The portal will process applications from travellers seeking status as an essential traveller, non-essential traveller or an unrestricted traveller from a low community transmission zone such as Western Australia, Northern Territory, Tasmania and Queensland.

Travellers with pre-approval will be fast tracked when crossing the border into South Australia.

How do I apply to get a pre-approval to cross the border

The pre-approval process can be accessed via the South Australia Police website at https://www.police.sa.gov.au/border-form.

Do I need anything before I start the application

Yes. If you want to apply for an Essential Traveller status then you will need a letter confirming why you are seeking this status, it could be from your employer or a funeral home for example.

You will also need to provide details in the short description of why you are travelling, if you are an essential skills worker, transport or entering for compassionate grounds. Things to include the business you work for or are visiting, a summary of why you need to enter the state as an essential traveller and if necessary how often you will be travelling to the state.

What should I write in the short description of why you meet the selected criteria box

It is important that people assessing applications know why you are entering the state. Although the description only needs to be short, include a summary of who you work for or the business or who you are visiting, why you are entering the state, how long you will be in the state and whether you will return often.

What is the pre-approval, is it a document

After applying online, travellers will receive an email with their pre-approval receipt number and their status and requirements on entering South Australia.

When crossing the border, travellers will be required to present their receipt number and photo id (matching the personal information entered in the form) to police at the border or Adelaide Airport.

Who is managing the pre-approval process and how long until I receive my approval

A dedicated team of SAPOL staff will assess your application within 72 hours and applicants will receive an email with their pre-approval receipt number confirming their status and requirements on entering South Australia.

Do I have to apply for pre-approval before arriving at a border

No. Travellers can still travel without pre-approval but they will complete the process at the border with police officers.  An interim status will be provided by the police officer subject to final determination of the traveller status.  Travellers can expect delays at the border if they do not pre-apply.

Something has happened and I need to travel urgently, I don't have time to pre-apply

If you need to travel within 12 hours or less, you can flag this on your application.  These applications will receive priority.  However, even if not assessed yet travellers can proceed to the border, it will still be faster to process an application that has been entered, but not approved.  An interim status will be made and you can still progress through.

If I have my pre-approval do I still have to stop at the border

Yes.Your pre-approval will make the process faster, but police will still check your pre-approval receipt number and status at the border.

How long does the pre-approval form take

The form will take around five minutes to complete.

What if I have applied but did not get the pre-approval receipt number in time

Police on the borders will still be able to assess your situation and determine your status.

What if I don't have the pre-approval receipt number with me when I cross the border

Police can access your application at the border using your name.

If I am travelling with multiple people, do we all need to apply for pre-approval

All individuals need to apply for pre-approval, there are no joint applications.

If I have to cross the border regularly, do I have to do this application every time

Essential travellers of certain categories may be given a pre-approval receipt number which can be used for a period of time. This will be on a case by case basis.

Do you have to apply for the pre-approval process if there are no restrictions on the borders of my state (eg Western Australia, Northern Territory, Tasmania, Queensland)

Yes everyone who is entering South Australia will need to complete the pre-approval process or apply for a status when they arrive on the border.

What if I have a South Australian driver's licence and live in the state

Everyone entering South Australia, even residents will need to complete the pre-approval process or apply for a status when they arrive at the border.

What if my application gets declined

If your application is declined you may receive an email asking for more information, this can include documentation or adding to your description information about why you want to enter South Australia.

Why is the system changing now

The new pre-approval system will streamline the process for people travelling into South Australia and will provide consistency.