Arrival Cards: What is it?

When embarking on an international journey, you’ll often encounter various forms and documents necessary for a smooth immigration process. One such document is the arrival card, a crucial component of your travel paperwork. In recent years, many countries have transitioned to electronic versions known as e-arrival cards to streamline the entry process. In this article, we’ll explore what an arrival card is, the significance of this document, and how to obtain one, with a focus on e-arrival cards. We will also list some of the countries that require these cards and provide online registration links for a few popular tourist destinations.

An arrival card, also known as an entry card, is a form that travelers must complete upon arriving in a foreign country. It contains essential information about your identity, travel plans, and the purpose of your visit. The primary goal of an arrival card is to provide immigration authorities with the necessary details to verify your eligibility for entry and to maintain accurate records of visitors to the country.

Arrival Cards

What is an E-Arrival Card?

An e-arrival card is a digital version of the traditional paper arrival card. Instead of filling out a physical form upon arrival, travelers can now complete an electronic version online before their trip. E-arrival cards are designed to expedite the immigration process, reduce paperwork, and enhance security by allowing authorities to pre-screen incoming passengers.

How to Obtain an Arrival Card

The process for obtaining an arrival card, whether paper or electronic, varies from country to country. However, here are the general steps:

  1. Check the Requirements: Before your trip, research the immigration requirements of your destination country to determine if you need an arrival card.
  2. Complete the Form: If an arrival card is required, you can often find the necessary forms on the official website of the country’s immigration authority. Fill out the form accurately with your personal and travel information.
  3. Submission: For paper arrival cards, you’ll typically receive the form on the plane or at the airport. For e-arrival cards, submit the form online through the designated portal provided by the immigration authorities.
  4. Keep a Copy: Make sure to keep a copy of the completed arrival card with you during your trip, as immigration officers may request it upon arrival.

Why is an Arrival Card Necessary?

Arrival cards serve several important purposes:

  1. Immigration Control: They help immigration officers verify the traveler’s identity, the purpose of the visit, and the intended duration of stay.
  2. Security: Arrival cards assist in maintaining records of visitors, enhancing border security, and identifying potential threats.
  3. Statistics: They provide valuable data for governments to monitor tourism trends, track visitor demographics, and plan for infrastructure development.
  4. Legal Compliance: Completing an arrival card is often a legal requirement, and failure to do so can lead to delays or denial of entry.

Significance of E-Arrival Cards

E-arrival cards offer several advantages:

  1. Convenience: Travelers can complete the form from the comfort of their home or hotel, saving time at the airport.
  2. Reduced Paperwork: E-arrival cards contribute to environmental conservation by reducing the need for printed forms.
  3. Accuracy: Digital submission minimizes errors, ensuring that immigration authorities receive correct information.

Countries Requiring Arrival Cards

Many countries require arrival cards, and the specific requirements can change over time. Commonly, these cards are needed for tourism, business, or short-term visits. It’s crucial to check the latest entry requirements for your destination before traveling. some countries also provide E departure card similar as E arrival cards.

Countries Offering E-Arrival Cards

Several countries have embraced the digital age and now offer e-arrival cards to streamline the entry process. Some popular tourist destinations that provide e-arrival cards include:

  1. Australia: Visit the Australian Border Force website for more information: Australia E-Visitor
  2. India: Apply for an e-Visa on the official Indian government website: Indian Visa Online
  3. Thailand: Explore the Royal Thai Embassy’s website for e-Visa information: Thai E-Visa
  4. Brunei: Visit the Brunei INRS portal for more information: Brunei INRS Portal
  5. Singapore: Visit the ICA website of the Singapore government for SG Arrival card: ICA SG Arrival Card
  6. Philippines: Apply for an e-Visa on the official Philippines government website: E-Travel Philippines and for Philippines Health card on E-Health Card
Arrival cards
E-arrival card Singapore

Arrival Cards
E-arrival card Philippines
Departure card
E- Departure card Philippines

E Arrival Card: Process

Obtaining an e-arrival card for any country generally involves a straightforward process, although specific steps and requirements can vary from one country to another. Here’s a generalized step-by-step process for obtaining an e-arrival card:

  1. Check Eligibility:
    • Determine whether you are eligible for an e-arrival card for the country you plan to visit. Eligibility criteria can vary based on nationality, purpose of visit, and other factors.
  2. Visit the Official Website:
    • Go to the official website of the country’s immigration or border control authority. You can typically find this information through an online search or by visiting the official government website of the destination country.
  3. Find the E-Arrival Card Application Section:
    • Look for the section of the website that provides information and access to the e-arrival card application. This section may be labeled as “Visa/Entry Requirements,” “Visitor Services,” or something similar.
  4. Read Instructions and Requirements:
    • Carefully read the instructions, eligibility requirements, and documentation requirements provided on the website. Ensure that you meet all the criteria and have the necessary documents.
  5. Complete the Online Application Form:
    • Fill out the online e-arrival card application form provided on the website. You will typically need to provide personal information, passport details, travel itinerary, and other relevant details as required.
  6. Review and Confirm Information:
    • Double-check all the information you’ve entered for accuracy. Ensure that your passport details match your travel documents.
  7. Submit the Application:
    • Submit your completed e-arrival card application through the online portal. Some countries may require you to create an account or provide contact information for communication.
  8. Pay Any Required Fees:
    • Some countries may charge processing fees for e-arrival card applications. Follow the payment instructions provided on the website, if applicable.
  9. Receive Confirmation or Reference Number:
    • After successfully submitting your application and, if necessary, paying the fees, you may receive a confirmation email or a reference number. Save this information for your records.
  10. Check Application Status (if applicable):
    • Depending on the country’s procedures, you may be able to check the status of your application online to confirm approval.
  11. Arrival and Verification:
    • Upon arrival in the destination country, present your passport to the immigration officers. They will verify your e-arrival card electronically using your reference number or other provided information.
  12. Adhere to Entry Conditions:
    • Ensure that you adhere to the entry conditions specified by the immigration authorities, such as the permitted length of stay and any other requirements.

Remember that the specific process and requirements for obtaining an e-arrival card can vary widely from one country to another. Therefore, it’s crucial to refer to the official website of the destination country’s immigration or border control authority for the most accurate and up-to-date information before your trip. Additionally, always check your eligibility and gather the necessary documents in advance to facilitate a smooth application process and entry into the country.


Arrival cards, whether traditional or electronic, play a crucial role in international travel by ensuring the smooth entry of visitors into foreign countries while maintaining security and statistical data. With the emergence of e-arrival cards, the process has become more convenient and efficient for travelers. To avoid any entry hassles, always check the entry requirements and the necessity of an arrival card for your chosen destination well in advance. By staying informed and completing the required paperwork accurately, you can enjoy a hassle-free international journey.

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