On 30 January, Australia issued a warning to athletes considering competing in the Commonwealth Games in April 2018 that if they are found overstaying their visa duration after the event, strict action would be taken against them.
Being issued two months ahead of athletes and support staff coming from across the world to the Gold Coast, the venue for the Games, the warning comes after many athletes violated their visa terms or took the opportunity to apply for asylum at major sporting events that were earlier held in Australia.
Peter Dutton, Home Affairs Minister, was quoted by Agence France Presse as saying that the reputation of Australia of being strict on border security and revoking visas of people who don’t observe their country’s laws will not be compromised.
Speaking to Brisbane’s Courier Mail newspaper, he said that he was certain that the city, as well as the state and the nation, would put in all of their efforts to ensure that athletes have a fabulous time.
At the same time, they expected visitors to follow Australia’s visa conditions and added that people not doing so would be penalized.
Earlier, the Land Down Under had played the host to the 2000 Olympics in Sydney and Melbourne Commonwealth Games in 2006. It observed athletes overstaying in their country after both the events.
Around 45 athletes at the Melbourne Commonwealth Games in 2006 from countries such as Bangladesh, Cameroon, Ghana, Nigeria and Sierra Leone violated the terms of their visas or applied for protection visas, said Courier Mail.
In 2000, about 145 people were said to have overstayed their visa after the Sydney Olympics, added the newspaper, and 35 of them had applied for asylum.
Oz has stern immigration policies with an intention to dissuade refugees inflow into the country.
Australia would be holding the 2018 Commonwealth Games in the Gold Coast from 4 April to 15 April. This event will witness participation of thousands of participants and support staff.
If you are looking to visit Australia during Commonwealth Games, talk to Y-Axis, the world’s no.1 immigration and visa consultancy, to apply for a tourist visa.