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Australian visa system problems

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Australian visa system problems

Old 24th Nov 2016, 13:21
  #1 (permalink)  
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Australian visa system problems

My wife and I applied for Australian tourist visas (TV/651) on-line last week. My visa came through almost immediately (as usual) by email, with the grant letter being available also from the on-line system.

However, my wife did not receive an email and the on-line system said the documents were not available to view (but the word "granted" did appear on one screen). So it appears she has her visa - but cannot prove it if required.

Contacting the Australian Immigration people by UK telephone (they say they answer the phone in English in the afternoon, but the phone appears always to be engaged) or on-line seems to be impossible.

The only way we eventually found round the problem was to do a VEVO (Visa Entitlement Verification Online) check. This gives my wife's details, including passport number and visa details (but not the Grant number).

Hopefully this will suffice if there are any questions when we check-in next week or on arrival in Sydney.

So, if you have applied for a visa but not received your email and attachments the VEVO process might come in handy.

The Aussies are working on their systems until 2 December, so hopefully this issue will be temporary.

Thanks also to the starter of, and contributors to, the existing thread on visas - reading it enabled me to convince my wife she need evidence of her visa.
modelflyer is offline  
Old 24th Nov 2016, 19:35
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If I recall correctly, the airline checks your Visa status at check in.
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Old 25th Nov 2016, 05:01
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Yes, but by that time it is too late.
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Old 25th Nov 2016, 08:02
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Originally Posted by PAXboy View Post
If I recall correctly, the airline checks your Visa status at check in.
Is that an online check against the Aussie visa system, or is the passenger expected to supply a copy of the grant letter ?

My last visit to Oz was via a stopover, so I don't know what's needed at the UK end.
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Old 25th Nov 2016, 16:11
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I've never had to show a paper copy (but always carry one!!) or provide the number of the Visa to any airline on entering Australia

I assume its done as part of the data provision process
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Old 25th Nov 2016, 17:09
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Everything you wanted to know:

ETA Visa Frequently Asked Questions: Australian Visa Bureau

When you check in your passport number is checked against AU government data base. If it matches you are good to go. If it doesn't, ....
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Old 26th Nov 2016, 09:19
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you are convicted and sent to ................ oops.............
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Old 27th Nov 2016, 16:23
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Like Heathrow Harry, we have never had to show any paperwork on entry to Australia. However, we have always had a paper copy of the visa Grant letter with us just in case.

I'm not sure about being denied boarding a flight to Australia if one does not have a visa (my son in Sydney says people turn up without visas from time to time and are put on the next flight home).

However, I believe visas are checked at check-in when travelling to the USA.

I will ask the question at the Qantas desk on Wednesday and see what they say.
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Old 27th Nov 2016, 17:45
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Originally Posted by modelflyer View Post
I'm not sure about being denied boarding a flight to Australia if one does not have a visa (my son in Sydney says people turn up without visas from time to time and are put on the next flight home).
Given that flying the passenger home is done at the airline's expense, they have a strong incentive to check that you have a visa before you board the outbound flight.
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Old 28th Nov 2016, 15:33
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I know someone who had a tourist visa but was turned back at Sydney because his company had been in the habit of sneaking non-Aussies in for a three montsh at a time to work. Someone in their office obviously tipped off Immigration

Trouble was he WAS a tourist - but it certainly got the message through..................
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Old 28th Nov 2016, 16:14
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Went to Australia last year with Cathay from London. Left it to the travel agent to sort out the visas which he duly did. Turned up at the Cathay check in deck to be told my visa was ok but wife's was not. Apparently two digits were reversed on her visa and the 'computer says no', not that we saw any paperwork at any time and the check in lady was staring at a computer screen. She made a phone call, spoke a few sentences then handed us back our passports and said all sorted, there you go.

I asked her what would have happened if she had not been able to sort it out, she pointed to the ticket sales desk and said I would have just sent you over there and they would have sorted it out. I really got the impression it was no big deal. I don't mean no big deal about not having a visa, I mean no big deal getting one sorted.

I guess this would allow for late ticket sales etc, otherwise how would last minute changes or ticket purchases be dealt with?
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Old 28th Nov 2016, 16:46
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The don't board instruction was because your wife's correct passport number wasn't in the Government data base. I suspect she just did a new request using the correct information. Most of the time the response is immediate - but not always.
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Old 7th Dec 2016, 09:46
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Update from Sydney.

PAXboy was correct - the airline (Qantas in our case) check visas as part of the check-in process and if a passenger does not have a visa the system will not print a boarding card.

The check-in person did say that they can usually resolve any problems by telephoning the Australian immigration authorities, which confirms what yellotriumph said earlier.
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Old 7th Dec 2016, 16:55
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presumably they do the same when you leave - never filled anything in..............
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