Would somebody please tell me if there is an expedited service for returning Australians to get through customs quickly?

I have dual citizenship (USA/AU) and while I can find info about going faster through using Sentri or USA Global - I cannot find any regarding Australians using that lane. So I don’t know if using that lane means I can only use my USA passport to enter.

I know I am supposed to use my Australian passport to leave or enter Australia. I am not sure if I can use the USA classified fast lane with my Australian passport. Is there any way I still can use a fast lane and should just have both passports out then enter on my Australian one as required.

I can’t find any info on special Australian clearance processing or if I can apply for something like that here in the States. If there is some way to get through fast using an Australian clearance system I assume that is a better choice.

  • 6
    If you haven't been there for twenty years, then why are you suddenly in such a hurry that the risk of spending, say, half an hour waiting in line is very important? Jul 31, 2019 at 23:37
  • 1
    The non-Australian line can easily take an hour (it did for me a few weeks back). I can totally understand why they'd want to avoid that. And the instructions at the Melbourne airport at least are quite confusing, so I think it's a pretty smart move researching this in advance.
    – daamsie
    Aug 1, 2019 at 4:45
  • I've never been to Australia but it would be utterly bizarre for a country to make it more convenient for foreigners to enter than citizens. Aug 1, 2019 at 18:15

1 Answer 1


ALL Australian citizens can use Smartgates at Australian airports. These are, by far, the fastest means of entering Australia.

US Citizens can also use these gates, however this isn't relevant to you as to enter using a US passport you would require a Visa/eTA which you won't have - plus you are supposed to use your Australian passport if you are an Australian citizen.

You seem to be referring to a previous provision that allowed some US citizens, such as those with Global Entry, to use the SmartGates when other passengers could not. This program has not existed for several years since they started allowing ALL US Citizens (as well as citizens from many other countries) to use the SmartGates. ie, there is no 'USA classified fast lane' (and really there never was - at least from the perspective of someone with an Australian passport)

And yes, I am 100% sure of what happens at Australian Airports.

  • 1
    On an ABF website I see a list of 15 eligible countries. I do not see how that can mean most other countries. Aug 1, 2019 at 10:04
  • @VladimirF Fair point - updated to many. It's "most" for exit immigration.
    – Doc
    Aug 1, 2019 at 14:59

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