Thursday, May 14, 1998

Australia is not for Everyone

Even for "tourism or other recreational activities," a foreigner wishing to go to Australia must apply for a visitor's visa. The conditions set forth are draconian.

Section 10 of form 48, which you must complete in order to request such a visa, is a five-point declaration, to be accompanied by signature; in the last three of the points you declare:

1) That you "have adequate funds to meet all costs associated with [your] visit to and from Australia";

2) That you "have never had tuberculosis or any serious condition likely to endanger or be a cost to Australia";

3) That you "have never been convicted of a crime or offence; been charged with an offence that is waiting [sic] legal action; been deported, refused entry or asked to leave a country; been refused entry to Australia or had a visa to Australia cancelled"; that you "do not have any outstanding debt to any Australian authority."

As for the conditions: "You may NOT undertake work while in Australia. You may NOT undertake study of more than three months duration while in Australia. If you intend to study for longer than four weeks, you may be asked by the Australian mission to provide a chest x-ray."

You are advised to "check that you have health insurance. Medical treatment in Australia can be very expensive. Visitors are not covered by Australia's national health insurance scheme unless they are covered by a reciprocal health care agreement."

You are warned that "you must answer all questions [in the form] honestly and completely. False or misleading information may lead to refusal or cancellation of your visa, or penalties while in Australia."

You are warned as well that "the Australian Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs (DIMA) is authorised to collect information provided on this form under Part 2 of the Migration Act 1958: Control of Arrival and Presence of Non-Citizens. The information will be used for assessing your eligibility for a visitor visa and for other purposes relating to the administration of the Migration Act."


PS: David Irving, a British citizen, cannot be allowed into Australia because he has been found guilty by a German court of making a revisionist remark. All those convicted for revisionism are in the same boat. A holder of British and French citizenship, convicted of revisionism nearly a dozen times, awaiting trial under charges for three more revisionist offences, I obviously cannot go to Australia.

Having said that, I suppose that for any case apart from revisionism the Australian DIMA, for political or other reasons, must be inclined to relax its rules a bit and grant its visas as it pleases.

May 14, 1998