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Opal for asylum seekers

Asylum seekers header

If you are an eligible asylum seeker you are entitled to concession travel with a Gold Senior/ Pensioner Opal card.

Once you have a Gold Opal card, you can load value onto it to pay for your travel on any mode of public transport, including trains, buses, ferries and light rail in Sydney, the Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Hunter, Illawarra and Southern Highlands.

Who can apply?

To be eligible for a Transport Concession Entitlement Card and Gold Opal card as an asylum seeker, you need to:

or

or

You can only apply through one of these asylum seeker support agencies (or ‘Designated Agencies’):

Asylum Seeker Program (ASP), St Vincent De Paul Society
Asylum Seekers Centre
Australian Red Cross
House of Welcome
Jesuit Refugee Service
Life Without Barriers
Marist Youth Care
NSW Service for the Treatment and Rehabilitation of Torture and Trauma Survivors (STARTTS)
Serco SRSS
Settlement Services International

See contact details of these agencies

 There is no age limit to apply for a Transport Concession Entitlement Card and a Gold Opal card.** 

*Excluding the Sydney Airport station access fee
**All children under the age of four years travel for free.

Need help in your language?

The Gold Opal card for asylum seekers fact sheet has been translated into eight languages:

Key benefits

Lower fares

Gold Opal card fares for asylum seekers are half the price of Adult Opal fares*. Plus with Opal you can also save 30% on off-peak train fares.

Daily, Weekly and Sunday Travel Caps

Gold Opal card fares are capped at $2.50 a day*. And if you only take a short bus or train trip and don’t reach the $2.50 cap, then you’ll pay less.

Opal Transfer Discount

If you switch modes of transport during a journey, you can get an Opal Transfer Discount of $1 for each transfer to a new mode of transport. To benefit from the Opal Transfer Discount, you will need to transfer to your new mode of transport within 60 minutes of tapping off from your previous mode. Once you reach the $2.50 Daily Travel Cap, there is no further discount.

Weekly Travel Reward

Friends, shopping, appointments...trips on public transport can add up fast. That's where Opal shines: once you complete eight paid journeys in a week you can travel for the rest of the week for half-price*. It's called the Weekly Travel Reward.

Opal trip advantage

If you make several trips using the same mode of transport, as long as your transfer occurs within 60 minutes of tapping off from your last section of the trip, it counts as a single journey and a single fare.

Just set and forget

You may want to choose auto top up so you’re always ready to travel. Whenever your Gold Opal card value falls below $5 it automatically tops up to the amount of your choice using a linked credit or debit card§. You can change the top up amount or cancel auto top up at any time.

Get the Opal Travel app

You can plan your trips, search your transaction history, top up your Gold Opal card and even calculate your fares, all from your smart phone.

*Excluding  the Sydney Airport station access fee
The journey count for the Weekly Travel Reward resets every Monday at 4:00am. Journeys made after reaching the Daily Travel Cap do not count as paid journeys, so don't add towards the Weekly Travel Reward.
^Excluding transfers between Sydney Ferries and light rail.
60 minutes applies to all services except the Sydney Ferries F1 Manly service where the standard transfer time is extended to 2 hours and 10 minutes from tap on.
§Visa card or MasterCard.

How to apply

Go to one of the following asylum seeker support agencies (or ‘Designated Agencies’) and ask for assistance in applying for a Transport Concession Entitlement Card and Gold Opal card.

Asylum Seeker Program (ASP), St Vincent De Paul Society
Asylum Seekers Centre
Australian Red Cross
House of Welcome
Jesuit Refugee Service
Life Without Barriers
Marist Youth Care
NSW Service for the Treatment and Rehabilitation of Torture and Trauma Survivors (STARTTS)
Serco SRSS
Settlement Services International

Note: you can only apply through one of these Designated Agencies. The agency will help you to complete the online form.

Transport Concession Entitlement Cards and Gold Opal cards can only be sent to a NSW address.

If your application is approved you will receive a Gold Opal card and a Transport Concession Entitlement Card (for each applicant) in the post. You need to carry your Transport Concession Entitlement Card when travelling with a Gold Opal card or you can be fined. Allow approximately two to three weeks for processing and delivery.

How to top up

If you don't add value to your Gold Opal card when you first order it, you need to add some value before you travel.

You can top up your Gold Opal card:

Online and phone top ups may take up to 60 minutes to take effect and you must tap on at an Opal card reader within 60 days to collect the top up value on your card, otherwise your top up value will be reversed to your credit/debit card account. Some retailers require their customers to pay minimum transaction values or a service fee to cover credit/debit card merchant fees.

Find out more about topping up

Travelling with your Opal card

When travelling with your Gold Opal card you need to tap on and tap off every time and always carry your Transport Concession Entitlement Card or you could be fined.

Concession Entitlement Card

Validity period

The Transport Concession Entitlement card and the Gold Opal card for asylum seekers are valid for 12 months from the date of issue.

If you are still eligible, you can apply to renew your Transport Concession Entitlement Card 30 days or less before its expiry date. See How and when can I renew my Transport Concession Entitlement Card?

Make sure you register your Gold Opal card once you receive it. You’ll also need to elect to receive notifications and supply your email address so you can be sent an email two weeks before your Gold Opal card expires, giving you time to get another Opal card and transfer your balance.

If you haven’t elected to receive notifications your Gold Opal card will simply stop working once it expires. 

Hearing and speech impaired customers

Call Opal Customer Care via the National Relay Services (NRS) on 1300 555 727

TTY users please call 133 677

Non-English speaking customers

For support in your language call the Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS) on 131 450