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Overseas passport application - possible fraud inquiry

Overseas passport application - possible fraud inquiry

Old Jun 16th 2012, 3:38 pm
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Default Overseas passport application - possible fraud inquiry

Being me, it's no wonder I stumbled into an ugly issue with the Australian consulate here in Frankfurt. (I'm a German national, but also naturalized Australian)
Last week I paid the consulate a visit and handed in all necessary forms for a first time passport application. So far so good.
Few days later after apparently very inquisitive questioning by the consulate officer, my guarantor, who was in hospital at the time after heart surgery, denied having any memory of having signed the photographs attached to the form. He was remembering though to have signed on the form itself.
Questions included the colour of ink and kind of pen he was using at the time of signing the photographs.
In a very strictly formulated email I was then advised of the legal consequences of committing passport fraud and that the fraud unit of the Australian Passport Office would be informed.

While this doesn't scare me too much for now, and I have to mention, that the officer in question is a German national, I wonder what all this nit picking is for, as in the long run, I will hopefully jump through all necessary loops to get a passport.
I am in the process of getting a new guarantor to sign - this time one with a university degree - but have also asked for legal assistance with my insurance, which will hopefully give me some moral support in this.
Anybody else ever had a similar experience?
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Old Aug 16th 2012, 6:19 am
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Default Re: Overseas passport application - what else can go wrong?

Just wanted to bring this to a close by recounting what happened next.

I was asked to hand in a second guarantor form to the consulate with new photos - taking care to use black ink, which I did.
The officer also insisted on an international birth certificate this time, as my English translation wasn´t accepted anymore because of a minor discrepancy with the original (Sex stated in translation, but missing in original).
All of this delayed the issue of a new passport, so I went off to Perth with just my citizenship certificate and drivers´s license.
At the check in it took more than 30 minutes to clear all the hurdles, until I was finally cleared and I really had pity on the poor staff, having to deal with this.

Arrival in Perth was fine as well, no problem at all,as oppopsed to a previous entry without passport, where I was strictly admonished to get a passport. (Maybe this time my application was already in the system)

As passports applied overseas only get sent to a local address, my sister took it on to resend the passport to Perth.

The total application time from my first visit until the passport was posted by the consulate was from June 12 until July 12, so this makes it 4 weeks.
For the passport to finally reach me here in Perth was another 3 weeks.

As a peculiarity I can mention, that for wharever reason the originally rejected photos were used in the passport and not the ones I had done with the second guarantor.

I still suspect, that this must have been intentional somehow, to delay the issue of my passport, so I´d have some hazzle entering Australia, as my travel time was given in the application.

In the end this leaves me totally clueless, but throws a light or rather a shadow on senseless bureaucracy.

Last edited by Shhhhhh; Aug 16th 2012 at 6:21 am.
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Old Aug 16th 2012, 6:38 am
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Default Re: Overseas passport application - what else can go wrong?

Originally Posted by Shhhhhh View Post
Just wanted to bring this to a close by recounting what happened next.

I was asked to hand in a second guarantor form to the consulate with new photos - taking care to use black ink, which I did.
The officer also insisted on an international birth certificate this time, as my English translation wasn´t accepted anymore because of a minor discrepancy with the original (Sex stated in translation, but missing in original).
All of this delayed the issue of a new passport, so I went off to Perth with just my citizenship certificate and drivers´s license.
At the check in it took more than 30 minutes to clear all the hurdles, until I was finally cleared and I really had pity on the poor staff, having to deal with this.

Arrival in Perth was fine as well, no problem at all,as oppopsed to a previous entry without passport, where I was strictly admonished to get a passport. (Maybe this time my application was already in the system)

As passports applied overseas only get sent to a local address, my sister took it on to resend the passport to Perth.

The total application time from my first visit until the passport was posted by the consulate was from June 12 until July 12, so this makes it 4 weeks.
For the passport to finally reach me here in Perth was another 3 weeks.

As a peculiarity I can mention, that for wharever reason the originally rejected photos were used in the passport and not the ones I had done with the second guarantor.

I still suspect, that this must have been intentional somehow, to delay the issue of my passport, so I´d have some hazzle entering Australia, as my travel time was given in the application.

In the end this leaves me totally clueless, but throws a light or rather a shadow on senseless bureaucracy.
Why on earth would you even imagine that as a reason? The CO in Frankfurt did a simple search with regard your guarantor. For reasons that are irrelevant to the CO and unexplainable to me, your guarantor denied knowledge of the countersignatory. They obviously then required proof that you were not committing fraud. I don't see why it matters which photo they used. Once they received confirmation and the photos were of the same person, they obviously didn't care which was used. It very clearly states on the forms that BLACK ink must be used.

You were very lucky to be admitted to Australia, you were even more lucky to be able to leave Germany in the first place without either a visa or a valid Australian passport so if I were you, I'd be extremely grateful you now have a passport and you're in Australia and not moan about an Immigration Service doing it's job properly.
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Old Aug 16th 2012, 7:13 am
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Default Re: Overseas passport application - what else can go wrong?

Originally Posted by moneypenny20 View Post
Why on earth would you even imagine that as a reason? The CO in Frankfurt did a simple search with regard your guarantor. For reasons that are irrelevant to the CO and unexplainable to me, your guarantor denied knowledge of the countersignatory. They obviously then required proof that you were not committing fraud. I don't see why it matters which photo they used. Once they received confirmation and the photos were of the same person, they obviously didn't care which was used. It very clearly states on the forms that BLACK ink must be used.

You were very lucky to be admitted to Australia, you were even more lucky to be able to leave Germany in the first place without either a visa or a valid Australian passport so if I were you, I'd be extremely grateful you now have a passport and you're in Australia and not moan about an Immigration Service doing it's job properly.
+1

Originally Posted by Shhhhhh View Post
Just wanted to bring this to a close by recounting what happened next.

I was asked to hand in a second guarantor form to the consulate with new photos - taking care to use black ink, which I did.
The officer also insisted on an international birth certificate this time, as my English translation wasn´t accepted anymore because of a minor discrepancy with the original (Sex stated in translation, but missing in original).
All of this delayed the issue of a new passport, so I went off to Perth with just my citizenship certificate and drivers´s license.
At the check in it took more than 30 minutes to clear all the hurdles, until I was finally cleared and I really had pity on the poor staff, having to deal with this.

Arrival in Perth was fine as well, no problem at all,as oppopsed to a previous entry without passport, where I was strictly admonished to get a passport. (Maybe this time my application was already in the system)

As passports applied overseas only get sent to a local address, my sister took it on to resend the passport to Perth.

The total application time from my first visit until the passport was posted by the consulate was from June 12 until July 12, so this makes it 4 weeks.
For the passport to finally reach me here in Perth was another 3 weeks.

As a peculiarity I can mention, that for wharever reason the originally rejected photos were used in the passport and not the ones I had done with the second guarantor.

I still suspect, that this must have been intentional somehow, to delay the issue of my passport, so I´d have some hazzle entering Australia, as my travel time was given in the application.

In the end this leaves me totally clueless, but throws a light or rather a shadow on senseless bureaucracy.
There were discrepancies in your application - you've admitted that, even if they were unintentional. It's not DIAC's fault that there were errors. The onus is on you to ensure that it is all correct. DIAC had a responsibility to ensure that no fraud was being committed. I say well done to DIAC for doing their job.
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Old Aug 16th 2012, 10:17 am
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Default Re: Overseas passport application - what else can go wrong?

Originally Posted by moneypenny20 View Post
Why on earth would you even imagine that as a reason? The CO in Frankfurt did a simple search with regard your guarantor. For reasons that are irrelevant to the CO and unexplainable to me, your guarantor denied knowledge of the countersignatory. They obviously then required proof that you were not committing fraud. I don't see why it matters which photo they used. Once they received confirmation and the photos were of the same person, they obviously didn't care which was used. It very clearly states on the forms that BLACK ink must be used.

You were very lucky to be admitted to Australia, you were even more lucky to be able to leave Germany in the first place without either a visa or a valid Australian passport so if I were you, I'd be extremely grateful you now have a passport and you're in Australia and not moan about an Immigration Service doing it's job properly.
Incredibly lucky to be allowed on the plane with no Aussie passport and no visa Someone seriously slipped up at check-in, could have cost the airline thousands of dollars.
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Old Aug 16th 2012, 10:33 am
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Default Re: Overseas passport application - possible fraud inquiry

He's a german, so he can get the ETA so probably the airline didn't bother to check!
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Old Aug 16th 2012, 10:55 am
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Default Re: Overseas passport application - possible fraud inquiry

Originally Posted by totomvn View Post
He's a german, so he can get the ETA so probably the airline didn't bother to check!
The airline still checks to see if the visa is valid. The OP says they went through check-in with a citizenship certificate so hopefully they did not have an ETA as well. Possession of the citizenship certificate isn't guaranteed to get one on a flight though.
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Old Aug 16th 2012, 11:42 am
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Default Re: Overseas passport application - possible fraud inquiry

Thanks for the feedback, so would you advice anyone without a valid passport should take the boat, if he wants to enter Australia legally?
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Old Aug 16th 2012, 12:22 pm
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Default Re: Overseas passport application - possible fraud inquiry

Originally Posted by Shhhhhh View Post
Thanks for the feedback, so would you advice anyone without a valid passport should take the boat, if he wants to enter Australia legally?
No, I would advise anyone travelling to Australia to ensure they either have a valid Australian Passport or a valid Passport with an equally valid visa inside. Don't know where the boat came from, don't much care to be honest.
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Old Aug 16th 2012, 12:59 pm
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Default Re: Overseas passport application - possible fraud inquiry

Originally Posted by Shhhhhh View Post
Thanks for the feedback, so would you advice anyone without a valid passport should take the boat, if he wants to enter Australia legally?
As Moneypenny says, I would advise them to get a valid passport (if Aussie) or passport with visa otherwise. Don't care how they plan to arrive, they should have the right documents even if they are going to tunnel through the earth's core.
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Old Aug 16th 2012, 1:35 pm
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Default Re: Overseas passport application - possible fraud inquiry

Originally Posted by Shhhhhh View Post
Thanks for the feedback, so would you advice anyone without a valid passport should take the boat, if he wants to enter Australia legally?
No, the best thing would be to ensure that you don't submit an application riddled with errors, whine about DIAC having to sort out your mess & actually have the correct documents.
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