Monday, 29 November 2010

Validation Trip - Part 2 - Getting in to Australia

So, what happened after I got off the plane? (Which incidentally landed into Brisbane forty minutes early). It was a reasonably short walk to immigration, where without any queue I handed my landing card to the officer - for the first time with the "Yes, I have a criminal record" box ticked.  With no mention of my trip plans or visa, he told me that I would have to be referred because of my character issues.

Here we go! I thought, but the lady that dealt with me was lovely.  She took a photocopy of my landing card and asked for brief details of my criminal record, which she noted on her photocopy.  When she asked about any previous visits to Australia, I decided to come clean and admit that my criminal record was previously not declared.  "I don't want to hear" was her reply and she waved me through to the baggage reclaim.

Baggage reclaim was also painless, my bags were neither first nor last onto the belt.  I did notice that another plane landed whilst I was waiting and I thought I would likely be competing with the new arrivals in the queue for customs.  Luckily, this feeling didn't bear fruit and having ticked the "Items to Declare" box I was directed to have the contents of my suitcases inspected.

Sadly, the Border Security "Nothing to Declare" film crew were nowhere to be seen and my chance for TV was lost.  Again the officer who dealt with me was a really nice guy, he didn't bat and eyelid at the amount of baby clothes, documents and old photos I was carrying.  Happily neither the wooden duck nor the Harrod's Flap Jack tin that I was carrying (as a gift for my mother-in-law) were considered a risk to Australia's flora and forna.  So with everything hastily stuffed back into my suitcases I passed bleary eyed through the sliding doors into Australia proper.

No comments:

Post a Comment