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marco_l

Initial entry date on offshore visa subclass 100 cannot be met due to OZ government flight curtailment

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Hi all,

I have a strange dilemma about my visa subclass 100 myself and my son were granted from offshore. My wife is an OZ citizen.  The initial entry date of our visa is due to expire at the beginning of December 2020. All our flights we had booked this year have been cancelled by the airline due to the ongoing covid situation. I can prove that with cancellation certs issues by the airline. Technically, we still have some time left but when I called the airline to rebook after the last cancellation , they explained to me that the OZ government would only allow people to fly to australia for "emergencies".The airlines are told to enforce that policy and they need to actually engage with the OZ goverment before allowing a passenger on a flight. As "emergency" they have 3 categories that fit into it:

1. OZ citizen going back for medical emergency

2. OZ citizen stuck abroad with no means to support himself/herself

3. Family member stuck abroad with a child to care for in OZ. 

Clearly, (and rightfully so) our partner visa activation doesn't fit into any of that so I have no hope to make it to OZ by the IED. On the same line, it's clear that this is totally out of my hands and it's the australian government that has set this priorities. The Department of Home Affairs have been pretty generic up to now when i enquired. According to them the message is that there is absolutely no leeway in postponing the initial entry date. 

is anyone in the same situation as myself and how did they handle it? I would be interested to know if anyone got an extension to their IED based on the current Covid situation and how they went about getting one.

Thank you very much to all 😀

 

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The airline has fed you crap. You can get a flight, but economy class are often getting bumped due to social distancing and limited numbers on flights. Booking business or first class usually works. 

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thanks for your reply. So based on your reply do you think if I suggested to the airline that I'd upgrade my ticket to first class or business (paying the difference) they let me fly over?

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Yes. We have had members move recently. Do budget though as well for mandatory quarantine which is done at an approved facility at your cost. 

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I wish I could afford 5K per passenger (3 of us) plus 5K quarantine costs. We've established the airline are spreading BS to their customers. Regardless of that it's "nearly impossible" for a normal modest family to make it to australia due to flight curtailments and financial hurdles set by airlines to upgrade to Business class. Now back to my original question has anyone been with a PR granted from offshore being able to extend their Initial Entry Date to Australia?  and if so how did they do it? 

 

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You cannot ‘extend’ the date. The way this works is that the initial entry date is a condition on your visa; if you breach a condition, your visa is liable for cancellation. In the current environment the department is being ‘light touch’ in this respect. The skilled migration division has offered formal guidance on this issue for skilled visa holders saying they will not seek to cancel visas for Covid affected delays but the partner visa area has not provided such formal reassurance. 


____________________________________________________________________

Paul Hand

Registered Migration Agent, MARN 1801974

SunCoast Migration Ltd

All comments are general in nature and do not constitute legal or migration advice. Comments may not be applicable or appropriate to your specific situation. Any comments relate to legislation and policy at date of post. 

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Thanks to Paulhand for linking me to this post.

 

Hi Marco

I'm in the same situation as you - I'm Australian and my partner has been granted a 100 visa, with an entry by date is early Feb21.

When I've called Home Affairs, I was told they can't extend the date BUT if we do end up arriving after the entry by date, we can apply for a waiver (or extension) claiming extenuating/exceptional circumstances.

I would hope that because you've been knocked back by the airlines and had your flights cancelled or rescheduled - they would see that it wasn't through fault of your own.

But just the thought of possibility that the visa grant may be cancelled makes me incredibly anxious.

I'll try calling again this week and see what they say - sometimes i think different people on different days can provide different or more insight/information.

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18 minutes ago, ❤️ Chips said:

When I've called Home Affairs, I was told they can't extend the date BUT if we do end up arriving after the entry by date, we can apply for a waiver (or extension) claiming extenuating/exceptional circumstances.

I don’t think you will get a better answer than this at the moment. 


____________________________________________________________________

Paul Hand

Registered Migration Agent, MARN 1801974

SunCoast Migration Ltd

All comments are general in nature and do not constitute legal or migration advice. Comments may not be applicable or appropriate to your specific situation. Any comments relate to legislation and policy at date of post. 

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11 hours ago, <3 Chips said:

Thanks to Paulhand for linking me to this post.

 

Hi Marco

I'm in the same situation as you - I'm Australian and my partner has been granted a 100 visa, with an entry by date is early Feb21.

When I've called Home Affairs, I was told they can't extend the date BUT if we do end up arriving after the entry by date, we can apply for a waiver (or extension) claiming extenuating/exceptional circumstances.

I would hope that because you've been knocked back by the airlines and had your flights cancelled or rescheduled - they would see that it wasn't through fault of your own.

But just the thought of possibility that the visa grant may be cancelled makes me incredibly anxious.

I'll try calling again this week and see what they say - sometimes i think different people on different days can provide different or more insight/information.

Thank you for your answer 3 chip and to paulhand for connecting me to you.

i guess my strategy based on your reply is to continue pushing the airline until a few days before my visa initial entry date is due to expire. Other than that i believe we may have a good case for extenuating circumstances.

Randomly,i have just thought that should a waiver be granted to us in future by the Department , our medicals and police certificates may also be affected as they are valid for a set length of time. What im suggesting is that the Department may be looking for a new Medical and new police certificate. I hope i'm wrong on that one.

Marco

 

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Hi, I’m in a similar situation .. 100 visa with entry date early Jan 2021. There is no way I’ll be getting to Oz to activate before then, due to flight availability and cost but also I have 3 young children who I can not be away from for over two weeks (even taking the risk and getting a transit exemption to fly and in fly out again would be too risky).  We have contacted Home Affairs who stated that we would have to get in touch once the visa entry date had passed and we may be able to get a letter of facilitation to allow travel. 

I’d prefer it if there was some official guidance for home affairs on applying leniency given the global travel situation and I wouldn’t mind having to pay for medical and police check cost again to do this. It’s all very stressful. 

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11 hours ago, Elizabetty said:

Hi, I’m in a similar situation .. 100 visa with entry date early Jan 2021. There is no way I’ll be getting to Oz to activate before then, due to flight availability and cost but also I have 3 young children who I can not be away from for over two weeks (even taking the risk and getting a transit exemption to fly and in fly out again would be too risky).  We have contacted Home Affairs who stated that we would have to get in touch once the visa entry date had passed and we may be able to get a letter of facilitation to allow travel. 

I’d prefer it if there was some official guidance for home affairs on applying leniency given the global travel situation and I wouldn’t mind having to pay for medical and police check cost again to do this. It’s all very stressful. 

Thank you so much for sharing your experience Elizabetty. I totally see your point with 3 young children flying to Oz just to activate a visa in the middle of a pandemic is the last thing you need in your life.It kinds of reassure me to know im not alone facing this and that the guideline given by the Department is the same to all of us who are in this situation.

i may be pushing it a bit with my new request and i dont mean to upset the moderators.


The last piece of info that would somehow give me piece of mind is if someone who has already missed their initial entry date on a subclass 100 visa managed to successfully get a waiver. 
 

if there is a person in this forum who could share their experience on this,i would be forever grateful 

Thank you

marco

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I am in the same situation as Elizabetty - I have 3 young children who I can't be away from, so flying in and out (even if that was allowed) is not really an option for us. My IED is early March. With the latest news that the government is upping the 'cap' of Australians flying home our hope is that by Christmas the backlog of people trying to fly home may have eased a little?! Maybe I'm being a bit naive there... 

When I called the DHA for the first time they said pretty much the same thing to me that I would have to let the visa lapse and then apply on 'compelling compassionate grounds' as to why I couldn't enter Australia before my IED. I called a second time and the guy told a similar thing.

It's such a stressful time. We are in the process of selling our home, which we need to do before we can (try and) fly over... 

Good luck to everyone. 

Edited by megan987
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This article is relevant:

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2020/sep/19/raised-flight-caps-welcome-but-much-more-needed-to-help-stranded-australians-airlines-warn

Note they mention there are charter flights happening as well as the cap increase, so that will all help.  

To quote: "Abrams estimated that based on booking data of cancelled passengers, it would still take four months to return everyone to Australia with an increase of 2,000 a week to the caps."

 

Edited by Marisawright
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Scot by birth, emigrated 1985 | Aussie husband applied UK spouse visa Jan 2015, granted March 2015, moved to UK May 2015 | Returned to Oz June 2016

"The stranger who comes home does not make himself at home but makes home itself strange." -- Rainer Maria Rilke

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Hiya,

In a similar boat here. My partners 100 visa needs to be activated by early Feb. Our initial plans were to head to Perth in September but we postponed due to everything going on with the pandemic – after all priority should be going to those with more compassionate reasons.

However we still need to get there! Naively hoping that flight caps etc will ease by the end of the year and intend to book flights for January 2021. Now I am panicking though at the thought of booking for Jan and our flight being cancelled and missing the Initial Entry Date. I have been trying to find out if the date can be extended and this forum post has been the most helpful of what I have found - albeit it looks like we cannot get any 100% clarification. I also worry that if we miss the date they wont be lenient because technically we could try and get a flight this year. Gahh so stressful!

I have tried to contact Home Affairs on +61 2 6196  0196 which is the number on this link https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/help-support/contact-us/telephone/outside-australia but just get a dial tone – this could be to do with my phone and not the number though. Just to check though @<3 Chips,  @Elizabetty and @megan987 is this the same number you called or if not what number did you contact? I doubt I will get a different answer if I do get through to someone but who knows!!

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11 minutes ago, PerthLondonGirl89 said:

I doubt I will get a different answer if I do get through to someone but who knows!!

Even if you do get the answer you want then it won't really do much good as the call centre is notoriously inconsistent and often incorrect. They are not delegated Departmental officials and have no decision making powers. 

As you have read elsewhere, the only 'official' advice for 100 visa holders is to request an exemption when your initial entry date has passed and you are able to travel. As there are, apparently, 27,000 Australians outside Australia who wish to return but can't, then I doubt that you will have an issue with "technically could have" if some form of proper travel has not resumed by your return date.

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____________________________________________________________________

Paul Hand

Registered Migration Agent, MARN 1801974

SunCoast Migration Ltd

All comments are general in nature and do not constitute legal or migration advice. Comments may not be applicable or appropriate to your specific situation. Any comments relate to legislation and policy at date of post. 

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1 hour ago, PerthLondonGirl89 said:

I have tried to contact Home Affairs on +61 2 6196  0196 which is the number on this link https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/help-support/contact-us/telephone/outside-australia but just get a dial tone – this could be to do with my phone and not the number though. Just to check though @<3 Chips,  @Elizabetty and @megan987 is this the same number you called or if not what number did you contact? I doubt I will get a different answer if I do get through to someone but who knows!!

Hi PerthLondonGirl89

 

That's the same number i used.

 

Careful if calling from a mobile though - a 9 minute call costed £17, and ended up having to call twice as i was hung up on when they tried to transfer me to a different department).

 

But definitely agree with what PaulHand said - along the lines of take it with a grain of salt, the first guy I spoke to ummed and ahhed a lot, the second guy i spoke to was a bit better but did get the feeling the poor guys are just used to answer/field phone calls.

 

If you do end up calling - let us know how it goes! 🙂

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16 hours ago, PerthLondonGirl89 said:

Hiya,

In a similar boat here. My partners 100 visa needs to be activated by early Feb. ...

I have tried to contact Home Affairs on +61 2 6196  0196

As others have said - don't even bother phoning them.  Think about it - what are you hoping to achieve?  Whoever you speak to, they have NO authority to grant you any kind of exemption over the phone. The people manning the phones are just clerks reading off screens and what they tell you cannot be relied on.   

What Paul Hand says above is what the current situation is. No amount of phone calls is going to change that.

Edited by Marisawright
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Scot by birth, emigrated 1985 | Aussie husband applied UK spouse visa Jan 2015, granted March 2015, moved to UK May 2015 | Returned to Oz June 2016

"The stranger who comes home does not make himself at home but makes home itself strange." -- Rainer Maria Rilke

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Thanks @<3 Chips! The logical and realistic part of me 100% knows that you are both correct @paulhand and @Marisawright. It just sucks to feel so powerless and I feel by calling I will have the teeniest bit of control even though I know that is not the case at all because as you say whatever they tell me wont be official anyway!  I will listen to your advice and just ride it out, and deal with getting an exemption after the fact if it comes to it. My partner is constantly telling me to chill and relax and it will be fine, I should probably listen to him too 🙂This visa process has honestly driven me mad, the things we do for love eh!! 

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I don’t think all hope is lost... I know of one 309 holder with a first entry date this November who has already been granted a letter of facilitation (an extension in all but name) until next November . They wrote to home affairs and obtained this in response , so it is worth contacting via email, the complaints form on the website etc. I’m drafting something now, hoping they will be lenient given the ongoing situation. 

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On 10/10/2020 at 08:19, PerthLondonGirl89 said:

My partner is constantly telling me to chill and relax and it will be fine, I should probably listen to him too 🙂This visa process has honestly driven me mad, the things we do for love eh!! 

Don't worry, I was (still am) the same - stressing about it all and clinging to any bit of positive news or hope!

 

That being said - Elizabetty's news is fab! Took me a while to try and work out where/how to contact them - but then i re-read what Elizabetty said again.

They don't make it easy to contact them, do they?!

Fingers crossed for all!

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According to them the message is that there is absolutely no leeway in postponing the initial entry date. 

Yes there is! It is at the discretion of the delegatge (case officer) and depends on the circumstanes of the case.

If you find yourself with nothing better to do, you could phone  the immgration 'help' line repeatedly over a few days and ask the same question and see how many different answers you get.

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Westly Russell Registered Migration Agent 0316072 www.pinoyau.com

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