Three British cricket journalists have been sent home due to their Australian visas expiring.
27 January 2014
Australian visa rules see British cricket journalists sent home
Three British journalists have been sent home from Australia before the conclusion of the Twenty20 cricket series due to their Australian visas expiring.
While there are many different Australian visa options for tourists, temporary workers and skilled migrants, a number of them do have a strict 90 day limit attached and extending the visas while still onshore can be difficult. One of the journalists who has been required to leave, John Etheridge of the Sun, spoke on the situation from Perth:
"Myself, Dean Wilson of the Mirror and Paul Newman of the Daily Mail are the only three journalists who have been doing the whole tour.
"The visas we were given, [sub] class 400 I think, last for 90 days, and that leaves us about 10 days short. In fairness Cricket Australia have been very helpful on our behalf, and have tried to sort something out with the immigration authorities. But today we were told finally that all avenues have been exhausted, so myself and Dean have to go home after the fourth ODI, which means we miss the last game in Adelaide and the three Twenty20 games next week. We were hoping we might see England win a game!
"Paul can stay a couple more days because he arrived a couple of days later than us at the start of the tour, also in Perth. It's quite annoying, having done six Ashes tours, and not missed a day's cricket, to be told you can't stay. It just seems extraordinary to me that Cricket Australia arrange a tour that lasts 100 days but you can only get a visa to cover it for 90.
"We have hotels booked, expenses will be paid, so it's not as if we will be taking anything out of the country. It's just the intransigence of the Australian immigration department."
The Australian Visa Bureau is an independent migration consultancy specialising in helping people lodge applications with the Australian Embassy.