URGENTLY needing eVisitor for Australia

Old Jan 27, 19, 9:04 am
  #1  
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URGENTLY needing eVisitor for Australia

I have a flight booked to leave KUL at 16:50 on Monday, local time, travelling to MEL. I applied for my eVisitor from the UK on Friday 25JAN and was expecting it to be approved instantaneously, as has been the case every year for the past 3 years. This time I am still waiting for my application to be approved with very little time before check in closes around 15:50 local time (18:50 AEDT) on Monday 28JAN.

I know I should have applied much earlier but I had no reason to think the process would be delayed based on my previous applications. I have sent an email to the Dept for Home Affairs to ask them to have a look at my application urgently. What else can I do or would you suggest in the meantime? I am currently in Vietnam with a flight out leaving at 11am Monday morning for KUL on Malaysian. My onward flight to MEL is a separate ticket on Malindo Air.

Last edited by Strawb; Jan 27, 19 at 9:10 am
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Old Jan 27, 19, 11:30 am
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You can try calling them on +61 2 6196 0196. This number is open from 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday "in your local timezone", which basically means that it's open when it's between those times pretty much anywhere in the world (which at the time of posting this message it isn't - but it will be 9am Monday in New Zealand in 90 minutes).

That said, Monday is a public holiday in Australia (Australia Day holiday, given that Australia Day itself was on a weekend) so I'm not 100% sure if the number will be staffed today or not. If your visa is waiting for manual intervention, then I'd be fairly sure it will not be processed today due to the holiday.

(If you're wondering why it's 'in your local timezone', it's basically because they have language staff available due the windows for other countries. eg, they will have people that speak Japanese available from 9am-5pm Japanese time, but not outside of that window. Presuming you're speaking English, then you should be good any time).
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Old Jan 27, 19, 12:09 pm
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You can always try asking whoever’s carrying you to Australia (MH?) if they offer an ETA service?

visa processing times in general have blown out of late (although they seem to be getting better again), in part due to changes to employer sponsored visas and citizenship, so it’s possible the processing of your evisitor is just slow rather than an issue (thinking optimistically)
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Old Jan 27, 19, 1:56 pm
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Originally Posted by Strawb View Post
<snip>
I have sent an email to the Dept for Home Affairs to ask them to have a look at my application urgently. What else can I do or would you suggest in the meantime?
Such a request would not be considered urgent by government employees.
In Australia Monday 28th Jan is a public holiday as Saturday 26th Jan was Australia Day. So the Monday is taken as the day off. (We do not miss days off for statutory holidays).
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Old Jan 27, 19, 7:14 pm
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It's a mistake to wait so close to your departure, and you chose to apply over a holiday weekend which made it that much worse.

Not much you can do now except call or email. Hopefully you can get on your flight. I'm sure the lesson is learned and hopefully others learn from this as well. Good luck.
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Old Jan 28, 19, 5:16 am
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For comparison purposes I applied, also from the UK, in the early hours of yesterday (Sunday 27th) local time. The acknowledgement of application and grant notification emails came with exactlly the same time stamp. Is there anything unusual about your application or any changes from previous ones?

Check your spam too if you haven't already
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Old Jan 28, 19, 6:07 am
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Call your carrier and see whether they have a back channel to verify documents. They likely do, but will also decline to use it for a routine customer service issue. Nonetheless, it is always worth a call.
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Old Jan 28, 19, 3:12 pm
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Originally Posted by ft101 View Post
For comparison purposes I applied, also from the UK, in the early hours of yesterday (Sunday 27th) local time. The acknowledgement of application and grant notification emails came with exactlly the same time stamp. Is there anything unusual about your application or any changes from previous ones?
Nothing, none at all. They were literally instant approvals from 2018 and 2017. I just called the Global Services Centre in Australia and they told me my application looks OK but they can't fast track it (or influence the decision). All they could do was put a note on my application to say I'm stuck in Singapore. I was told to expect the usual processing timeframe, up to 2 working days and it would be processed in order of when it was received so no fast track. They received my application Friday 25JAN Australia time.

It's my fault entirely, I had a whole 2 months since booking my flights to apply and I waited until the last minute. Before I checked out of my hotel in HCMC I pondered all the alternatives. I enquired about extending my stay but then I still had to pay extra to change my flight to KUL, and it was going to cost me extra to extend my stay. Also how much was a new ticket to Australia from SGN or KUL from there? I decided to leave SGN as planned and booked a one way flight from KUL to SIN, and redeem some points to stay at the Crowne Plaza Changi. No idea how long I'm going to be here. My flight back to the UK leaves from MEL in a week!

Originally Posted by Mwenenzi View Post
Such a request would not be considered urgent by government employees.
You are spot on!

I'd like to thank everyone for all their helpful responses so far!

Last edited by Strawb; Jan 28, 19 at 3:20 pm
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Old Jan 28, 19, 3:19 pm
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Monday in Au was a non working day
And depending on the time on Friday you submitted that may not count (given the time zone differences)
Hope it works out for
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Old Jan 28, 19, 3:25 pm
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Originally Posted by Mwenenzi View Post
Monday in Au was a non working day
And depending on the time on Friday you submitted that may not count (given the time zone differences)
Hope it works out for
Thanks. I remember I submitted it around 9pm UK time, Thu 24JAN so it would have been around 8am AEDT on Friday.

Edit: Checked my email and it was 21:45 when I submitted it.

Last edited by Strawb; Jan 28, 19 at 3:37 pm
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Old Jan 28, 19, 4:10 pm
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It's a bummer. These things usually go through almost immediately, which gives you a false sense of security. But at anytime they can end up in a processing queue, could be for random reasons. And Murphy's Law says it will be when you procrastinate the most. At least flights from SIN/KUL to Australia are usually cheap.
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Old Jan 28, 19, 4:22 pm
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Just another reference point. I did my other's half eVisitor visa this morning UK time. Logged onto his old account. Got it approved within a minute or so of submission.

I wonder if your's was one of the random ones selected for manual processing and checking? Good Luck.
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Old Jan 28, 19, 4:41 pm
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Originally Posted by dddc View Post
I wonder if your's was one of the random ones selected for manual processing and checking? Good Luck.
Most probably yes. I was 100% expecting an instant approval which is why I don't put a high priority to apply for an evisitor - never had a delay in all my previous applications which is why I took it for granted - this is my 15th visit to Australia. Never had any delay or problems with evisitor or ETAs in the past. This time I applied around 12hrs before my first flight, I had booked ZRH-SIN/MEL-SIN-LHR on SIA.
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Old Jan 28, 19, 7:14 pm
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Update: evisitor granted, email came through 10 mins ago just after 10am SIN time. Just missed the 11am departures direct to MEL.
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Old Jan 29, 19, 8:01 am
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Originally Posted by Strawb View Post
Most probably yes. I was 100% expecting an instant approval which is why I don't put a high priority to apply for an evisitor - never had a delay in all my previous applications which is why I took it for granted - this is my 15th visit to Australia. Never had any delay or problems with evisitor or ETAs in the past. This time I applied around 12hrs before my first flight, I had booked ZRH-SIN/MEL-SIN-LHR on SIA.
Good to know. I was going to cut it finer than 3 weeks out, just in case we make more trips there with in the year, but after your experience I'll always do it early for him.

Originally Posted by Strawb View Post
Update: evisitor granted, email came through 10 mins ago just after 10am SIN time. Just missed the 11am departures direct to MEL.
Shame
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