Visa issues for Australia

Old May 7, 19, 7:19 pm
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Visa issues for Australia

Purchased Air NZ error fare from ORD-SYD through Orbitz.

Need some advice if anyone has any helpful suggestions.

My fiancee has a DUI conviction from her early college days (6 years ago), she applied through a ETA and answered the criminal conviction honestly.
She had to apply for a full Australian visa (stream 600). Submitted the FBI check, State Check, court records and the other documents that were requested.
That was over a month ago, tonight she finally received an email from them stating they have referred her case to the VACCU with a listed time frame over a year. It states due to the large number of applications it is currently processing it will be almost a year before they review it.

I tried doing some searches online and there's a very limited amount of posts on the subject but they all seem to have waited at least 5 months with no updates.
We aren't flying until Sept 6th but based on everything I've read it wont be done in time.

Best course of action ?
The fare rules above state that you can get a refund if the visa is denied, but since It will likely still be awaiting processing.
What is the best way to go about this ?
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Old May 7, 19, 7:44 pm
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Might want to check in the Oceania forum too. I've found more visa info there than anywhere else.

Oceania Forum
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Old May 8, 19, 2:28 am
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Lots of information here:

Australia visa DUI

Unfortunately I don't think anyone in that thread had their case referred to the VACCU. That's not a great sign.

I'd recommend a migration lawyer as offering the best chances of success at this point.
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Old May 8, 19, 8:48 am
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Thanks for the link. I will review it. Not sure why it was sent to VACCU. No other criminal history.

Would it be possible to do TWOV ( Transit without a Visa). We could fly back to NZ and just vacation there for the week.

If we book tickets on AIR NZ and brought hand luggage only would that work ? Would they let her board the plane from ORD-SYD with proof of an onward ticket within 8 hours ?
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Old May 8, 19, 10:36 am
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I'd never heard of the VACCU. I found a list of criteria to be referred here. https://www.homeaffairs.gov.au/foi/f...s-released.pdf

DUI does not seem to fall at all within the realms of that. They're looking for people who've been on death row or convicted for people smuggling. Dare I say there's been some sort of administrative error. I'd call Home Affairs and clarify why it's been sent there.
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Old May 8, 19, 1:40 pm
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She spoke with them as advised.

The front line lady on the phone seemed rather suprised it went to this unit as well, placed her on hold for an extended period of time.

She didnt have a lot of information except that it was sent to VACCU because the length of probation was over one year.
She was placed on non reporting probation for 2 years. She enquired about that and advised the lady while she was on probation for 2 years. The max sentence in jail for this charge is only 180 days, so they should consider the max sentence and not the probation period.

Rep advised she made notes and submitted to someone.

I would imagine it would be approved in the VACCU department, but the issue is how long itís going to take to be reviewed. They had no information on that.
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Old May 8, 19, 6:15 pm
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It's good that you got someone on the phone and could explain the situation. Hopefully it gets processed through.

Yes, you can transit (international-to-international) in SYD airside without a visa. You can access international departures after arrival without any customs/immigration checks, just re-clearing security with your BP. So in that respect, it is very straightforward.

The main issue as you've mentioned is boarding at ORD without an Australian visa. This shouldn't be a big drama, however you will need to show your onward reservation within 8 hours, and the check-in agent will have to manually exempt you from the visa requirement. Since you are transiting AKL on the way to SYD, it might cause some confusion, so you may be better off buying a ticket SYD-ZQN or something just so it doesn't look strange. I would just arrive to the airport extra early if you go this route, and you should be OK.

NZ does have more strict requirements for character now, but it looks like as long as there is no jail term 180 days or greater you should be OK. It's all handled on arrival to NZ.
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Old May 8, 19, 7:02 pm
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Originally Posted by Shadowfactor View Post
What is the best way to go about this ?
Don't make any plans unless your GF receives a definitive answer.

Also - for ticket cancellation purpose, the ETA is a form of visa (at least according to Australia - subclass 601), so your GF did have a visa denial.

Originally Posted by Shadowfactor View Post
The max sentence in jail for this charge is only 180 days, so they should consider the max sentence and not the probation period.
Not true - Maximum sentence is simply a legal limit. Actual sentence has the bearing on the severity.

And 2-year probation for DUI? It is long.
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Old May 8, 19, 7:11 pm
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Originally Posted by garykung View Post
Don't make any plans unless your GF receives a definitive answer.

Also - for ticket cancellation purpose, the ETA is a form of visa (at least according to Australia - subclass 601), so your GF did have a visa denial.



Not true - Maximum sentence is simply a legal limit. Actual sentence has the bearing on the severity.

And 2-year probation for DUI? It is long.
That's a very good point about the ETA being a visa denial. She still has the email with the denial, so at this point we will likely just cancel for a full refund.

I don't know much about probation periods, but she said it was "non-reporting/provided no convictions". She told me she never had to see anyone and as long as she stayed out of trouble the probation would end automatically after paying the fine.
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Old May 8, 19, 7:44 pm
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Originally Posted by Shadowfactor View Post
I don't know much about probation periods, but she said it was "non-reporting/provided no convictions". She told me she never had to see anyone and as long as she stayed out of trouble the probation would end automatically after paying the fine.
AFAICT - DUI probation generally does not last more than 1 year, even for those under the diversion program.

Reporting is somehow non-material as many non-violence offenders are allowed no reporting (including felons).
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Old May 8, 19, 7:56 pm
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Originally Posted by Shadowfactor View Post
Thanks for the link. I will review it. Not sure why it was sent to VACCU. No other criminal history.

Would it be possible to do TWOV ( Transit without a Visa). We could fly back to NZ and just vacation there for the week.

If we book tickets on AIR NZ and brought hand luggage only would that work ? Would they let her board the plane from ORD-SYD with proof of an onward ticket within 8 hours ?
So want to have a seperate SYD-xxx-SYD flight nested in your Air NZ mistake fare ORD-AKL-SYD-AKL-ORD flight. As above, would look better not to fly back to AKL. Air NZ fly to many NZ air ports from SYD.
You would need to convince Air NZ at ORD check-in that this would replace a valid Au visa.
And then would need to convince Air NZ at XXX (New Zealand) check-in that the upcoming SYD-AKL-ORD flight replace a valid Au visa.
Would need to check the flight timing carefuly and be aware SYD closes to the public at night due to the 23:00-05: 00 curfew
At both NZ & Au airports I have seen people refused carriage due to visa/onward flight issues for trans Tasman NZ<--->Au flights.
You would not be able to no show the first leg on the SYD-AKL-ORD flight.
Or get the ticket changed to drop SYD-AKL leg. But on the low cost Air NZ mistake fare that is unlikely.
Link--->[PREM FARE GONE] ORD-SYD NZ $1500 RT biz

Anyway you have a few months. Worth waiting to see what happens with the Au visa application

Originally Posted by CPMaverick View Post
..<snip>
Yes, you can transit (international-to-international) in SYD airside without a visa. You can access international departures after arrival without any customs/immigration checks, just re-clearing security with your BP. So in that respect, it is very straightforward.
<snip>
Passports holders of a very few countries requires an Au transit visa, even if transiting air side. A few months ago was a post on that for some one trying to get to NZ that had that problem. Fixed by flying direct into NZ
TIMATIC link (one on many available)-->https://www.united.com/web/en-US/app...aspx?i=TIMATIC
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Old May 8, 19, 8:03 pm
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Originally Posted by Mwenenzi View Post
Passports holders of a very few countries requires an Au transit visa, even if transiting air side. A few months ago was a post on that for some one trying to get to NZ that had that problem. Fixed by flying direct into NZ
TIMATIC link (one on many available)-->https://www.united.com/web/en-US/app...aspx?i=TIMATIC
Fair to point out. But not applicable to the case at hand.
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Old May 8, 19, 8:06 pm
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Originally Posted by Mwenenzi View Post

Anyway you have a few months. Worth waiting to see what happens with the Au visa application
I think this is the best course of action right now. Give it a month or so, if you still haven't heard anything then use the ETA denial to cancel the tickets for a refund. Unlike most of the posters in a panic in the ETA megathread, the OP has a fair amount of time up his sleeve.
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Old May 12, 19, 7:18 pm
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I am not sure when it comes into effect, but NZ will soon have its own ETA system - that might add in a little more complication?

https://www.immigration.govt.nz/abou...avel-authority
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Old May 12, 19, 9:05 pm
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Originally Posted by jeffrocowboy View Post
I am not sure when it comes into effect, but NZ will soon have its own ETA system - that might add in a little more complication?

https://www.immigration.govt.nz/abou...avel-authority
NZ ETA master thread here---->https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/ocea...w-zealand.html
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