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Stuck, can't go back! - permanent resident visa problem

Stuck, can't go back! - permanent resident visa problem

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Old Mar 2nd 2018, 12:45 pm
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Default Stuck, can't go back! - permanent resident visa problem

Trying to help a relative who's stuck in a hotel trying to get back to Australia.

He is a British citizen but a permanent resident of Australia, and he has a current 5-year visa on its second year of use.
He came to the UK for a 3-week holiday and was not allowed to board the return flight from Manchester airport. The airline says his visa is no longer valid because he left the country within 5 years of the visa being issued. I was not aware you could not take holidays if you live in Australia .

He's had reports that the procedure in such cases is that he should have been allowed to board the plane, then sort it out with the Australian authorities on his return. Unfortunately both the AUS embassy and the immigration and border service are closed for maintenance today . Then it's the weekend...

We've talked to the airline (Etihad) who says they are looking into this but will take hours to have an answer.

Has anybody been in this situation before?
Thanks!
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Old Mar 2nd 2018, 12:54 pm
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Default Re: Stuck, can't go back! - permanent resident visa problem

Originally Posted by JustAsking2 View Post
Trying to help a relative who's stuck in a hotel trying to get back to Australia.

He is a British citizen but a permanent resident of Australia, and he has a current 5-year visa on its second year of use.
He came to the UK for a 3-week holiday and was not allowed to board the return flight from Manchester airport. The airline says his visa is no longer valid because he left the country within 5 years of the visa being issued. I was not aware you could not take holidays if you live in Australia .

He's had reports that the procedure in such cases is that he should have been allowed to board the plane, then sort it out with the Australian authorities on his return. Unfortunately both the AUS embassy and the immigration and border service are closed for maintenance today . Then it's the weekend...

We've talked to the airline (Etihad) who says they are looking into this but will take hours to have an answer.

Has anybody been in this situation before?
Thanks!
Which Australia visa does he currently have? Sounds a bit odd to me, if the travel facility of his current visa class is still valid he shouldn't have had any problems.
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Old Mar 2nd 2018, 1:00 pm
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Default Re: Stuck, can't go back! - permanent resident visa problem

Hi spouse,

I don't know, I'm afraid (but I can find out if needed?). I only know he has a permanent resident visa valid for 5 years, which he got around 2 years ago.

Can I ask, what is this travel facility business? Someone mentioned that to me and it's the only thing that makes sense (I maybe clutching at straws here though).
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Old Mar 2nd 2018, 1:02 pm
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Default Re: Stuck, can't go back! - permanent resident visa problem

Sorry, forgot to add, at the moment all they have suggested to him is that he applies online for a RRV visa (for re-entry, I believe), but I'm assuming that will be a lengthy process and surely there must be a quicker, easier way for him to return.
The difficulty is that both embassy and website are closed today.
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Old Mar 2nd 2018, 1:08 pm
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Default Re: Stuck, can't go back! - permanent resident visa problem

I've emailed another BE member who may be able to help, not something I'd usually do but this is a bit of an emergency! If they get the email and are able to respond, I'm sure they will. There are also lots of other very knowledgeable BE members, although the Oz ones will be asleep now.

Oh dear, I accidentally deleted my previous post! For resident return visa info (which is what the last post was about) see here https://www.homeaffairs.gov.au/trav/visa-1/155-

As far as I'm aware, the first grant of a PR visa comes with a 5 year travel facility, when means your relative can come and go as they please within that time. After 5 years, they need to become a citizen OR apply for a resident return visa before travelling overseas. I think the airline might have stuffed up, but wait for one of our clued in members to come along, hopefully it won't be long.

Last edited by spouse of scouse; Mar 2nd 2018 at 2:20 pm.
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Old Mar 2nd 2018, 1:36 pm
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Default Re: Stuck, can't go back! - permanent resident visa problem

Thanks very much Spouse, that's great! Fingers crossed the othe rposter willl reply.

I am due to call the airline back in a couple of hours. They said they'll investigate. They also said (via FB, which I also messaged them through) if we wanted to 'open a case' to fill in a feedback for on the website. I didn't before I had any other info, but it does sound to me like it is the airline's cockup.

Thanks again!
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Old Mar 2nd 2018, 2:31 pm
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Default Re: Stuck, can't go back! - permanent resident visa problem

Has the person concerned changed his passport since his visa was granted?

I would ring the Border Operations Centre directly to check what exactly is going on before applying for a RRV which may not be the correct answer. They are open 24/7.

+61 1300 368 126 or +61 (02) 6264 1301
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Old Mar 2nd 2018, 2:52 pm
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Default Re: Stuck, can't go back! - permanent resident visa problem

Thanks very much for your reply Brit.

No, he hasn't changed his passport as far as I know. Plus, he was allowed out three weeks ago, it's just that he is not allowed back in AUS.

I've just passed on your message so he can ring. I guess it will be closed until Monday now, won't it?
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Old Mar 2nd 2018, 3:03 pm
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Default Re: Stuck, can't go back! - permanent resident visa problem

Doh, ignore me please. I've just seen that it's 24/7!
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Old Mar 2nd 2018, 9:26 pm
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Default Re: Stuck, can't go back! - permanent resident visa problem

The airline should have contacted the 24 hour service before now.
Either there is an issue with the electronic system or his visa was granted more than 5 years ago.
Has he checked on VEVO online to see what that says?

http://www.homeaffairs.gov.au/busi/visas-and-migration/visa-entitlement-verification-online-(vevo)
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Old Mar 3rd 2018, 1:19 am
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Default Re: Stuck, can't go back! - permanent resident visa problem

Either the airline stuffed up, or your relative stuffed up and did not fully understand the visa conditions.

A permanent visa never expires. There is a "travel facility" on it which means the visa holder can enter Australia as many times as he or she wants for a period of five years.

That five year period begins the day the visa is granted - not the day your relative physically moved to Australia. You don't get a five-year travel facility and the just keep those five years in your back pocket until you're ready to use them.

I highlight this because of your wording that the visa has been "in use" for two years. Does that mean your relative was granted a visa in 2013 or 2014, but moved here in 2016? Or does it mean the visa was granted in 2016 and he/she moved here immediately?

If the visa was granted in 2013 but your relative did not move here until 2016 - the five-year period started in 2013 and ends this year, not in 2021. If the visa was granted in 2016 and your relative moved immediately, the travel facility will end in 2021.

When the five year period ends the relative can apply for a Resident Return Visa (RRV) which grants another five-year period for the travel facility - provided they have been in Australia for at least two years. I would expect that, if this is a case of the relative stuffing up and not understanding five years began with the day of visa issue, but the visa has been in use for longer than a year, an RRV will be sorted. Those, actually, don't take very long but can if the person is not in Australia at time of application or there are extenuating circumstances.

I would contact one of the agents who frequent this board, such as George Lombard, ASAP to make sure the relative understands what is going on and his/her rights and obligations.

Last edited by carcajou; Mar 3rd 2018 at 1:22 am.
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Old Mar 3rd 2018, 6:32 am
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Default Re: Stuck, can't go back! - permanent resident visa problem

Originally Posted by rammygirl View Post
The airline should have contacted the 24 hour service before now.
Either there is an issue with the electronic system or his visa was granted more than 5 years ago.
Has he checked on VEVO online to see what that says?

http://www.homeaffairs.gov.au/busi/visas-and-migration/visa-entitlement-verification-online-(vevo)
Thank you, Rammy.
Yes, I think he knows about Vevo, but I'll pass on the link about the visa entitlement to double check.

I haven't been able to get through to the airline, and he gets a recording of when trying to call the 24 service. Is it not available to private individuals?

The website should be up shortly to apply for the temporary visa, but still not sure that's the best thing to do.
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Old Mar 3rd 2018, 6:45 am
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Default Re: Stuck, can't go back! - permanent resident visa problem

Originally Posted by carcajou View Post
Either the airline stuffed up, or your relative stuffed up and did not fully understand the visa conditions.

A permanent visa never expires. There is a "travel facility" on it which means the visa holder can enter Australia as many times as he or she wants for a period of five years.

That five year period begins the day the visa is granted - not the day your relative physically moved to Australia. You don't get a five-year travel facility and the just keep those five years in your back pocket until you're ready to use them.

I highlight this because of your wording that the visa has been "in use" for two years. Does that mean your relative was granted a visa in 2013 or 2014, but moved here in 2016? Or does it mean the visa was granted in 2016 and he/she moved here immediately?

If the visa was granted in 2013 but your relative did not move here until 2016 - the five-year period started in 2013 and ends this year, not in 2021. If the visa was granted in 2016 and your relative moved immediately, the travel facility will end in 2021.

When the five year period ends the relative can apply for a Resident Return Visa (RRV) which grants another five-year period for the travel facility - provided they have been in Australia for at least two years. I would expect that, if this is a case of the relative stuffing up and not understanding five years began with the day of visa issue, but the visa has been in use for longer than a year, an RRV will be sorted. Those, actually, don't take very long but can if the person is not in Australia at time of application or there are extenuating circumstances.

I would contact one of the agents who frequent this board, such as George Lombard, ASAP to make sure the relative understands what is going on and his/her rights and obligations.
Thanks very much, cacajou.

I am not sure what has happened (I have never had to apply for a visa, I am just the person with the WiFi and the phones) but when I said "in use" I just meant "current" he was granted it two years ago and he moved to Australia two years ago (roughly).

I don't know how to contact a specific user, I'll take a look thanks.

He has emailed the 24 hour service, assuming that that can tell him exactly what is going on, then he can apply for the reentry visa if that's what he needs to do.

I'll send him this link now, so he can look into all the possible issues.
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Old Mar 3rd 2018, 9:52 am
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Default Re: Stuck, can't go back! - permanent resident visa problem

Originally Posted by JustAsking2 View Post
Thanks very much, cacajou.

I am not sure what has happened (I have never had to apply for a visa, I am just the person with the WiFi and the phones) but when I said "in use" I just meant "current" he was granted it two years ago and he moved to Australia two years ago (roughly).

I don't know how to contact a specific user, I'll take a look thanks.

He has emailed the 24 hour service, assuming that that can tell him exactly what is going on, then he can apply for the reentry visa if that's what he needs to do.

I'll send him this link now, so he can look into all the possible issues.
If the visa was definitely only granted two years ago, then the airline has made a mistake. Happened to us one time in Manchester and one time in New Zealand when the airline just couldn’t see the visa. Also I never showed up on VEVO, it isn’t that reliable.

I would not be applying for a RRV as this will then replace existing visa and he might only get a one year visa.
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Old Mar 3rd 2018, 10:36 am
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Default Re: Stuck, can't go back! - permanent resident visa problem

If the situation is as you've described then the airline has definitely stuffed up. Hope he gets home soon.
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