Information for visitors to secure areas of airports

What is a Visitor Identification Card (VIC)?

A VIC is an identification card visitors must wear when they are in a secure zone of a security controlled airport. VICs are intended to permit temporary access to non-frequent visitors to an airport. If you are a frequent visitor to an airport you should consider applying for an aviation security identification card (ASIC).

Obtaining a VIC

A VIC may be issued by:

  • the operator of the airport;
  • selected national passenger airlines approved to issue VICs at the airport;
  • an authorised agent of the airport or airline; and
  • Australian Immigration and Border Protection may issue VICs to law enforcement, intelligence and government officers who are on duty, but for no longer than 24 hours.

Before a person is issued a VIC they must have a valid reason for entering the secure area of an airport which must be confirmed by the holder of an ASIC. This reason must be updated if it changes at any time during the visit.

The 28 day rule

Visitors can be issued a VIC to access a secure area across a particular security controlled airport for a maximum of 28 days within a 12 month period. This is known as the 28 Day Rule.

There is a separate 28 day limit for each airport. The number of days a VIC has been issued at one airport does not count towards the number of days you have been issued a VIC at a different airport.

Some airlines may be approved to issue VICs at certain airports. Airlines can only issue a VIC for a maximum of 28 days within a 12 month period across Australia. It does not matter for which airport the VIC was issued.

If you are issued a VIC by an airline at a particular airport, it will count towards the 28 days that you may have a VIC at that airport. It does not matter whether an airport or airline issues you a VIC—you are still limited to a maximum of 28 days within a 12 month period at each airport.

VICs issued to government officials by the Australian Immigration and Border Protection Service, to applicants and holders of ASICs, or in exceptional circumstances, do not count towards the number of days you have been issued a VIC.

If a person is found to have intentionally applied for a VIC for more than 28 days at any airport they may be subject to a penalty of up to $3400. A person applying for a VIC can ask their VIC issuer for a count of the number of days that they have been previously issued a VIC in a 12 month period.

When applying for a VIC you will need to provide:

  • your name, date of birth and residential address along with proof of their identity;
  • a declaration that you have not been refused an ASIC, had an ASIC cancelled or one that is currently suspended due to an adverse criminal record;
  • a declaration you have not been issued a VIC in breach of the 28 day rule.

Proof of identity may include:

  • one form of official identification with a recent photograph, for example a current passport, driver's licence, government employee identification or student identification; or
  • two forms of identification issued by either a government or a financial institution, such as a Medicare card, credit card, birth or citizenship certificate, title to land or an extract from the electoral role. One of these must have a signature which can be replicated by the applicant.

Responsibilities of a VIC holder

All VIC holders must be supervised by an ASIC holder and display their VIC at all times while in the secure area of an airport. If a VIC holder is unsupervised at any time they must leave the secure area immediately.

If a VIC has expired, been cancelled or damaged, it must be returned to the issuer within seven days. The holder of a VIC is also required to return their VIC within seven days if they no longer have a need to access the secure area of an airport.

A VIC issuer may impose conditions upon a VIC holder which must be followed.

A person found to breach any of their responsibilities may be subject to penalties of up to $3400.

What if a person needs to access the secure area of the airport for more than 28 days in a 12 month period?

If someone requires access to the secure area of an airport for more that 28 days a year, they will need to apply for an ASIC. Information on applying for an ASIC is available from airport personnel or from an ASIC issuing body.