Visitors to Australia may be at risk of breaching visa restrictions due to the grounding of QANTAS aircraft.
31 October 2011
QANTAS dispute may affect Australia visa holders.
Current and soon-to-be visitors to Australia have been urged to contact Australian immigration authorities regarding possible visa problems arising from the grounding of QANTAS aircraft.
The Department of Immigration and Citizenship issued a statement on Saturday expressing concern over the implications of the industrial dispute at QANTAS for Australia visa holders.
The statement warns that any visitors to Australia whose visa is due to expire in coming days should seek advice from the department immediately to avoid a breach of visa regulations and Australian immigration law.
Visa holders may "require assistance to allow them to remain lawfully in the country until alternative arrangements could be made for them to depart," the statement said.
In particular, the department indicated that delegates to the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Perth, Western Australia, may be at risk.
"This (warning) is especially relevant for people attending CHOGM," a departmental spokesperson said.
"While the vast majority of visitors to CHOGM will be unaffected, there could be a small number of people who will need to contact the department for visa assistance".
The departmental warning follows the unprecedented grounding of all QANTAS aircraft due to an escalation in the dispute between the airline's management and various unions representing QANTAS staff.
In August this year the airline announced substantial job cuts following a review of its operations.
Australian Visa Bureau is an independent migration consultancy that specialises in helping people lodge applications with the Australian High Commission.