29 July 2008

Department of Immigration chasing Sonny Bill Williams

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Australian rugby league superstar Sonny Bill Williams absconded to France yesterday, leaving behind a trail of trouble in Australia and New Zealand, reports the Times.

Being one of the most skilful players in the league, Williams was offered a £1.5 million two-year contract by a club in the south of France, but is also being summoned to court for breaching his brand new contract with the Canterbury Bulldogs.

Williams will have to appear in court on Tuesday for breaching his "watertight" contract, reports the Times, while the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) has been subpoenaed to track him down in France.  The rugby player is only one year through his five-year contract with the Australian club, and has left behind a sour taste in the mouths of many Australians.

The New Zealand forward is currently stranded in London without a French visa, reports the ABC News.  According to the news provider, he arrived in London with his Samoan passport rather than using his New Zealand passport.  As New Zealand has cemented a visa-free agreement with all countries in the European Union, travellers with a New Zealand passport are allowed to visit any EU country for 90 days without requiring a visa.  Conversely, visitors to New Zealand from countries participating in the visa-free agreement do not require a New Zealand visa to visit the country for a short period of time.  Without his New Zealand passport, Williams will now have to wait at the French Embassy in London to obtain a visa to enter France.

The Australian Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people apply for an Australia visa.

Article by Jessica Bird, Australian Visa Bureau.

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