What is the change? A labour strike by Department of Immigration and Border Protection workers, which is scheduled to begin Tuesday, will now include some workers at Sydney International Airport.  Additionally, strike dates announced at other airports last week have been extended into April, and now include a 24-hour stoppage across all worksites on 24 March.

What does the change mean? As Sydney Airport is the busiest airport in Australia, travellers should plan for delays over the next two weeks and plan accordingly.

  • Implementation timeframe: 22 March through 1 April.
  • Who is affected: All travellers entering and exiting through Australian international airports.
  • Impact on processing times: Services at airports will be slowed.
  • Business impact: The strikes may cause travel delays.
  • Next steps: Travellers should leave additional time when arriving at the airport and planning connecting flights.

Background: Last week, the Community and Public Sector Union, which represents the DIBP, announced planned labour stoppages for 22-23 March and made clear that additional strikes may be planned. Today, the union announced that Sydney International Airport would be included and that the strikes at all airports would continue through April 1.

The strikes at Sydney International Airport will take place as follows:

Dates Sydney Airport Strike Schedule
24 March 24-hour work stoppage
25 March Midnight to 8 am; 4 pm to midnight
27 March 5 am to 1 pm; 4 pm to midnight
28 March Midnight to 12.15 am
29 March 5 am to 1 pm; 4 pm to midnight
30 March Midnight to 12.15 am; 5 am to 1 pm;  4 pm to midnight
31 March Midnight to 12.15 am
1 April 5 am to 1 pm; 4 pm to midnight

The full schedule of planned strikes at all airports beginning 22 March may be viewed here on the DIBP’s webpage.

BAL Analysis: Although the DIBP indicated it was working to minimise the impact on travellers and to put in place contingencies for visa and citizenship services, it noted that the 24-hour stoppage on 24 March is expected to cause delays for travellers arriving and departing Australia at all international airport terminals. Travellers should remember to arrive at the airport early and plan for delays in moving through immigration and customs controls.

This alert has been provided by BAL Australia. For additional information, please contact

MARN: 9683856

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