How Do I Move My Pets To Australia From South Africa?

If you cannot imagine immigrating to Australia without your beloved four-legged friend, this is for you.

South Africa is a Group 3 Country which means that rabies is absent or well-controlled. Since 2013, when Australia relaxed its quarantine laws, pets now need to spend only ten days in quarantine….

…provided you follow all the procedures in this checklist:


For your cat or dog to be eligible to enter Australia, it:

  • Needs to be at least 12 weeks old and females cannot be suckling or more than 30 days pregnant.
  • Must have lived in South Africa for a minimum of six months before the proposed move.
  • Must be microchipped.
  • Cannot one of the banned breeds such as a pit bull terrier or a hybrid cat.

You may only take two cats and/or two dogs.


Having confirmed the eligibility of your pet(s), start the preparation around seven months prior to your proposed departure date:

  • Check the Australian Department of Agriculture and Water Resources website for any revised requirements before getting started.
  • Find a vet who is approved by the Australian government to prepare dogs and cats for their move to Australia.
  • At least 42 days before your estimated date of departure, apply and pay for your import permit and submit all supporting documentation online through the Biosecurity Import Conditions System. The supporting documentation includes a rabies vaccination and RNAT test declaration form and the RNAT test laboratory report.
  • Once issued, the import permit is valid for 12 months or until the Rabies Neutralising Antibody Titre (RNAT) test expires, whichever happens first.


There are quarantine centres in Sydney, Melbourne, and Perth. Book a place for the 10 days or more well in advance as these spots fill up quickly.

Select a pet transportation company to help you get everything ready for departure day. They will then collect your pet from your home, take them to the airport, and arrange their transfer to the quarantine centre in Australia.

Contact the Tri-Nations Migration team of advisers for assistance when immigrating to Australia with or without your pets.