Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Destinations > Oceania (Australia, New Zealand & the South Pacific) > Oceania (Australia, New Zealand & the South Pacific)
Reload this Page >

Entered Australia and Exited with different passports by accident - any bad outcome?

Entered Australia and Exited with different passports by accident - any bad outcome?

Old Dec 1, 18, 5:29 pm
  #1  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Florida
Posts: 27,300
Entered Australia and Exited with different passports by accident - any bad outcome?

We traveled to Australia with HKSAR with ETAs as usual, but on the departure due to we were flying back to US we checked in at QF F lounge at MEL with our US passports. After check in there was a ground staff escorted us to the security check point where we were guided to the special lane and went thru the security check quickly. All the while we had our US passports in hand, totally forgot to switch to the HKSAR passports for exit purpose. We did not expect the immigration was e-Gates and just a few steps after security. We went thru the e-Gates with our US passports, not a single moment I thought about it - UNTIL much later when we had settled in at the QF lounge when I started to putting our docs away then I realized we should have used the HKSAR because it is the doc the ETA attached.

So now in Australia immigration records, it may seem we have never left Australia?

Would we be deny entry when we revisit Australia under the same ETA within its validity?

I kept our QF boarding passes, the slips of the Global Entry at LAX, as well as the BPs on the subsequent flight on AS as proofs of our departure from Australia, that we have not overstayed the 3 months allowance.

Our US Passports expire Mar 2019 so we would have new US passports. Should we reapply ETA with our new US passports? The names on both nationality are identical, and of course the DOBs.
Happy is offline  
Old Dec 1, 18, 6:40 pm
  #2  
Original Member
 
Join Date: May 1998
Location: Portland OR Double Emerald (QF and AA), DL PM/MM, Starwood Plat
Posts: 19,351
I believe the airline validates your visa status (using the Advance Passenger Processing system) which is done prior to check-in (maybe rechecked then too, I dont know). Your visa/ETA is electronically attached to your passport used to apply for it.and then to your ailrine PNR when you enter Australia. So the system does know you left within your visa/ETA conditions and you should have no problem. I'd guess you aren't the only pax to do this, but they do like you to use the same passport on exit.
number_6 is offline  
Old Dec 1, 18, 8:50 pm
  #3  
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: New York, London, Sydney
Programs: United GS/2MM, DL*P, VS*G, AA*EXP, Avis CHM, Hertz Platinum, Sixt*D, HH*D, HGP*P, Starwood*P
Posts: 9,732
Yeah, if the system let you out, I wouldn't worry about it.
stevenshev is offline  
Old Dec 2, 18, 6:12 pm
  #4  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Florida
Posts: 27,300
We did not travel on a R/T ticket.

The incoming ticket and the outgoing ticket were booked independently and flew on different airlines.

We flew in on CX which the check in agent at HKG did ask me the print out of the ETA.

We flew out on QF. The agent wanted the US passports (naturally because we flew to LAX). The security check staff wanted to see both passports and matched the details of both. But after that was done, he motioned us to put away the HKSAR passports. It was this little extra step that disrupted our travel routines since 2012 - that the US passports were only used when we ARRIVED US soil, for the re-entry of US Else it is always the HKSAR passports that see us thru immigration around the world. The little "lounge" of QF F check in and the extra security scrutiny of flights to US upset our routine and caused my totally forgetting we should use HKSAR to exit Australia.

Both tickets were issued completely independently without any linkage. In other words, 2 PNRs though both were from same issuer - Alaska airlines issued it as their mileage awards. Upon entering Australia the immigration officer did a lot of checking on her computer with my HKSAR passport, and asked me to take off my eyeglasses but never asked me my return ticket.

I was surprised at exit the eGate opened with the US passport when I later thought about it - as it should not have any information of this passport associated with the current ETA. Back in May of 2009 was the last time the US passport being used for the ETA and subsequent entry/exit.

Last edited by Happy; Dec 2, 18 at 6:34 pm
Happy is offline  
Old Dec 3, 18, 12:13 am
  #5  
Original Member
 
Join Date: May 1998
Location: Portland OR Double Emerald (QF and AA), DL PM/MM, Starwood Plat
Posts: 19,351
The systems are more sophisticated than you expect. You are fine, me thinks.
number_6 is offline  
Old Dec 3, 18, 12:15 pm
  #6  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Florida
Posts: 27,300
Originally Posted by number_6 View Post
The systems are more sophisticated than you expect. You are fine, me thinks.
I dont know - the system seems to be less competent than we think after talking to a rep at the Australian Home Affairs call center (based on a state next to Victoria according to him).

After spent some time on the Australia Home Affairs website I finally found the Contact Us Outside Australia, with a list of countries from the drop down menu. I found Hong Kong's Consulate info together with its email address. However for USA, the site threw me to something totally unrelated. At the end I did find something about one can call Global Service Center at this +61 2 61960196 (you need to add IDD of your country in the front),that is answered 9 to 5, M to F, at the LOCAL TIME OF YOUR COUNTRY. Why dont they just say the center is operated 24hr M to F?

Anyway when you call you would get the spill of finding information online (if that works... ), and then a menu to choose from. I picked the first option - Visit Australia and none of the remaining options has relevance to our scenario.
A gentleman came online rather quickly. After listened to me on what happened, he said he needed to read up first and then put me on hold. He came back after 5 to 6 minutes, told me he would try to do some Proof of Identity test first and see if it can be fixed from there. Unfortunately he could not find ANY information of my HKSAR passport by using the number / name / date of birth, so he could not go further. He said ETA also gives very little information and cannot be used to search... How sophisticated that would be?
Because he could not dig up my information, he told me to submit a Form 929, downloadable from the Home Affairs site, fill it out and sends back together with supporting documents.
https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/form.../forms/929.pdf
Though I am a bit skeptical on this form which is for those who apply a visa online at the Home Affairs site, and then need to change information on their applications.
At least this is an avenue to start things rolling.

I asked him how come the US passports were accepted by the eGates, He said for Exit, Australia is more lenient - as long as the passport is a Valid ePassport, the eGate would open. It does not do any matching according to him...

Therefore I dont understand how the poster on the other thread had such a hard time to get his BP issued when using US passport to check in, and then later having a hard time to exit with his Australia passport which by law, he had to enter and exit with Australia passport.

See this related thread
https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/30196495-post25.html

Also what described in the subsequent post
https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/30205068-post26.html

does not seem to be the actual operation. Theoretical it seems that is how it work. Realistically it is totally not the case.
Happy is offline  
Old Dec 3, 18, 4:05 pm
  #7  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Florida
Posts: 27,300
I am going to use this thread to document the progress or lack thereof, for future reference in case others accidentally make the same mistake.

This afternoon (Australia morning) called the +61 2 6196 0196 Global Service Center number. This time got a lady rep who again tried to pull up my information using my HKSAR passport number, DoB, PoB to no avail. Like the guy this morning our time, she could not find me exists in the Australian Visa data base. Instead of telling me to get the Form 929, she told me to find out what the Visa Grant Number and Client ID (the Visa applicant) first. Without those 2 pieces of info, she claims it is impossible to find me in the data base...

It now becomes really puzzling - IF passports are so important, just HOW could full detailed information of a passport that has an ETA attached, cannot be located in their system, therefore no way to tell whether the passport holder is "On Shore" or "Off Shore". They need the actual Visa Grant Number and Client ID to locate such a person?!

I thought, and most others probably, too - that a passport that has used to enter a country, should be "registered" in the immigration system of any country. That is why those immigration officers would scan your passport or key in information to the system to locate you.

If a passport is not able to pull up any Visa information, as per BOTH reps I talked to today, then just HOW the airline stuff can verify your passport have the valid Visa to enter Australia when you check in for your flight?

I am very puzzled by the seeming failure of finding our existence in the Australia Visa system. Just how they keep track of visitors' entries and exits, when Visa Grant Number is the only mean to locate the visitor's data in their data base?

Does anyone see the above being very illogical, that a passport could not pull up the holder's entry status to Australia? Or rather, does not even exist in the data base of the immigration dept this Global Service center staff use?
Happy is offline  
Old Dec 4, 18, 12:57 am
  #8  
Original Member
 
Join Date: May 1998
Location: Portland OR Double Emerald (QF and AA), DL PM/MM, Starwood Plat
Posts: 19,351
It seems what the airlines get and what you get from DHA is very different. Maybe for data privacy reasons ... did they validate your identity at start of the call, with more than the passport number? Personally I wouldn't worry about your situation and there may well be systems that the call center was not accessing for various reasons.
number_6 is offline  
Old Dec 4, 18, 12:52 pm
  #9  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Florida
Posts: 27,300
Originally Posted by number_6 View Post
It seems what the airlines get and what you get from DHA is very different. Maybe for data privacy reasons ... did they validate your identity at start of the call, with more than the passport number? Personally I wouldn't worry about your situation and there may well be systems that the call center was not accessing for various reasons.
Yes, they TRIED to retrieve our information in their system but both reps were not able to, with the Passport Number, Full Name (incl middle name fully spelled out), DoB, PoB - Nada. They could not find a trace of the passport that has ETA attached.

The male rep I first talked to actually seemed more knowledgeable as he did not confused ETA with Visa. He said ETA system was as scanty or worse than the system the guy said he was using.

He told me if he could not find my HKSAR passport that had ETA attached, it would be useless to use my US passport to check. He did not want to try it.

The female rep I got many hours later insisted ETA was one type of Visa - from that point I knew she was just worthless because she did not even know what an ETA was - It is NOT a Visa. I pointed out ETA stands for Electronic Travel Authorization and it definitely is not a Visa.

There is no Visa Grant Number nor Client ID for applying / being approved an ETA, because simply put, ETA is NOT a Visa.

Unfortunately, she insisted she was right and I was mistaken... This is a government employee manning a Global Call Center line for the Australian Home Affairs, Immigration Dept....

Last edited by Happy; Dec 4, 18 at 2:06 pm
Happy is offline  
Old Dec 5, 18, 12:57 am
  #10  
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: MEL
Programs: VA-PLT, DL-GM, QF-GLD, UA-ex1K, AA-exPLT, HH-DM, IHG-PLT, MR-GLD
Posts: 7,492
Originally Posted by Happy View Post
The female rep I got many hours later insisted ETA was one type of Visa - from that point I knew she was just worthless because she did not even know what an ETA was - It is NOT a Visa. I pointed out ETA stands for Electronic Travel Authorization and it definitely is not a Visa.

There is no Visa Grant Number nor Client ID for applying / being approved an ETA, because simply put, ETA is NOT a Visa.

Unfortunately, she insisted she was right and I was mistaken...
She is right, and you are mistaken. Maybe you should listen. The ETA is a Visa (subclass 601).

https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/visa...a/visa-listing
https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/visa...-authority-601

It is not travel-without-visa. It is a Visa. There is no ambiguity about it. A US Citizen (or HKG citizen) cannot enter Australia without a visa.

Last edited by CPMaverick; Dec 5, 18 at 1:11 am
CPMaverick is offline  
Old Dec 5, 18, 1:05 am
  #11  
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: MEL
Programs: VA-PLT, DL-GM, QF-GLD, UA-ex1K, AA-exPLT, HH-DM, IHG-PLT, MR-GLD
Posts: 7,492
Have you tried going on the VEVO system and using your reference number from the ETA in place of the TRN?

https://online.immi.gov.au/evo/first...tionType=query
CPMaverick is offline  
Old Dec 5, 18, 8:36 am
  #12  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Florida
Posts: 27,300
Originally Posted by CPMaverick View Post
Have you tried going on the VEVO system and using your reference number from the ETA in place of the TRN?

https://online.immi.gov.au/evo/first...tionType=query
No, I dont even know this link exists. The male rep told me no way to check my ETA status as the ETA system is very scanty.
The lady rep insisted to have the Visa Grant Number which our ETAs do not have.

Thanks for the link now I can try... Unfortunately, none of the Reference Types works.
It also looks to me you would have to have an account set up on this site and apply thru this site in order to be able to retrieve anything - because it mentioned if you forget about the Transaction Reference Number you can ask it to be resent to you but you need to know the email address used to apply the Visa. I dont have that, because our ETAs are handled by the kind FTer, Guy Betsy, whose thread is the Top STICKY in this forum.

I have tried the first 3 of the 4 options to choose from the drop down menu of Reference Type
1) Transaction Reference Number (TRN)
2) Visa Reference Number
3) Visa Granted Number
4) password

All gave back an INVALID ERROR.

When I asked if I could find any info of our ETAs, the male rep said it would be useless due to the scanty info provided. He did not want to take the 4 digits on my ETA and told me no way to check. After reading up (his words) he suggested me to use Form 929 to update the passport information.
However after studying Form 929, I am not sure this is applicable.
FWIW, Form 929 is for people who have applied the types of Visa that have far more requirements, that their applications are either in the process or already being granted a Visa - they need to use Form 929 when their information changed from originally listed on the passports (marriage, birth of child, contact info, new passport, to name a few). It is NOT for ETA, which surprisingly, the Home Affairs site provides virtually no information at all other than the the eligibility and the initial process, the stay restrictions, .
Though at least I can send back a covering email, filled Form 929 and supporting docs via the receiving email address and then see if it brings any outcome.

According to the ETA site,

https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/visa...rity-601#HowTo

the Visa Grant Number is NOT given, UNLESS

If you apply in person and we grant your visa, we will tell you this in writing and let you know:
  • your visa grant number
  • the date your visa starts
  • your visa conditions
Therefore, if your ETA is NOT applied in person, there is NO Visa Grant Number to your ETA.

That is why I still believe the lady rep is not very knowledgeable. I told her our ETAs were handled by a Travel Agency (therefore should not have the Visa Grant Number though at the time I did not know that.) She insisted there was one, at the bottom of the Visa...
She may be new on the job because she asked me if I would do a survey on her service after the call. I said Yes. But after waiting for 3 min and there was still no patch to the Survey I hang up because I was calling from US, not a toll free.

The FTer whose thread is the STICKY at the top of this forum, handled the ETA application for us as a "Pay it Forward" project. He has helped many of FTers to apply the ETA without paying fee. Instead we donate the value to our chosen charity works

Read this TOP STICKY thread
Free Australian ETA Visa application*

I asked him about the information the lady rep requested, he told me there is NO such thing of Visa Grant Number on our ETAs. Now I see why - online applications would not have the Visa Grant Number, but may have a TRN which I have to ask him again because the system does not recognize the 4 digits on our ETAs. (each has a different one but in sequence)

As indicated above, all 3 options returned with ERROR when I input the ONLY "reference" on the ETA Approval text file Guy Busy sent me.
He told me to just leave it and use the US passports to apply for ETA next time... I will give the Form 929 route a try to see if it would do any good.

For the records, our 2009 and 2016 visits also were helped by Guy Betsy to get the free ETA and we paid forward. Hence I do believe he knows the process very well. And I truly appreciate his kindness and generousness to help the community and to bring more kindness to the world. I mean it.

Last edited by Happy; Dec 5, 18 at 10:00 am
Happy is offline  
Old Dec 5, 18, 9:59 am
  #13  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Florida
Posts: 27,300
Alright - Guy Betsy told me there is NO transaction reference number associated to our ETAs either - because our ETAs are applied using the channel that the airlines and travel agencies - the ETA is tied to the passport number and that is all the linkage to it. No any other reference.
Happy is offline  
Old Dec 8, 18, 1:45 am
  #14  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: SDF
Programs: former Olympic Airways Gold (yeah - still proud of that!)
Posts: 13,538
I think the bottom line is that you may be seen as an 'overstayer'. You entered under one passport and there may not be a record of you leaving.

What problems will that cause? Who knows. You may (or may not) be able to get a new electronic travel authority in the future. You may make it to Australia and be stopped for questioning (I'd keep your outbound boarding passes to the USA from this time, and any record you have taken the flight (such as FF miles posting)).

Or nothing may happen.

Sounds like trying to sort it out is proving difficult. Unless you might have an urgent need to travel to Australia in future - one where you absolutely can't wait if your ETA request is refused - I would probably just let it go and sort it out later.
LHR/MEL/Europe FF is offline  
Old Dec 10, 18, 6:40 pm
  #15  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Florida
Posts: 27,300
Originally Posted by LHR/MEL/Europe FF View Post
I think the bottom line is that you may be seen as an 'overstayer'. You entered under one passport and there may not be a record of you leaving.

What problems will that cause? Who knows. You may (or may not) be able to get a new electronic travel authority in the future. You may make it to Australia and be stopped for questioning (I'd keep your outbound boarding passes to the USA from this time, and any record you have taken the flight (such as FF miles posting)).

Or nothing may happen.

Sounds like trying to sort it out is proving difficult. Unless you might have an urgent need to travel to Australia in future - one where you absolutely can't wait if your ETA request is refused - I would probably just let it go and sort it out later.
1) Overstay penalty is 3 years ban from date of violation, not be able to get a visa during the ban period.
2) I was told to send in a Form 929 together with the pertinent docs (the 2 passports bio pages, boarding passes, US CBP admittance slips). It can only be sent electronically by the way.
I am much more surprised by the puzzling "fact" that the passports used to enter Australia, have no trace in their system? Or unable to find such records... How could this be?
3) Have a potential need to use PER as a destination for an Aeroplan miniRTW award redemption. Hence the interest to sort this out sooner than later. That is the only reason for me to make the effort to sort it out.

Will try the Form 929 route being the "have tried my best effort" type of thing. If no response from them, that is it. I thought our 2016 visit would be the last time we went (solely to revisit Vivid Sydney) after frequent trips in the 2000 to 2009. But as fate would have it that the so-called Unicorn, Qantas F award seats were available hence we went again. Else we would not even have the recent visit. lol.
Happy is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread