Travel news

Outgoing Passenger Cards to be phased out in new streamlining scheme

Skip filling in those annoying green forms forever.

By Amber Elias
Forget queuing to hand over those pesky green Outgoing Passenger Cards you had to scramble to fill out before heading overseas, as the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) is preparing to get rid them altogether.
It was revealed in May 2017 that DIBP, along with the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), had decided to switch to electronic data collection rather than the manual paper process many of us travellers would be familiar with. However, it has not been advised exactly how this data will be collected electronically going forward.
In case you've never travelled abroad, an Outgoing Passenger Card (OPC) is filled out and handed over by people leaving Australia to travel internationally, and the data is collected primarily for the ABS and used in the Movements Reconstruction database and the Passenger Name Record.
"The Australian Government is focused on low contact automated border clearance technologies to manage the 50 million travellers expected annually by 2020," the ABS said in a statement on its website.
"Removing paper-based passenger cards is integral to achieving a seamless and automated traveller experience [...] As a result, the OPC is on track to be retired in July 2017."
But does this all mean you can skip filling out and handing in the green slip? Not quite yet.
Although there have been reports that officers are no longer collecting OPCs at departure points, avoid any extra drama and have your slip ready to go, just in case.