Border patrol areas in busy airports are often very very busy. Before you get to the Immigration point you have to deal with check-in points, luggage control and frequently jostling crowds.
We have a racially complex family. I was overseas in a country where my adopted son, daughter in law and grand daughter had all been born. My son was now an Australian citizen. His wife had never left her home country but had a visitor’s visa to go to Australia, while they awaited a resident one. Their young baby had an Australian passport granted because of her father’s citizenship. It was just before Christmas and we were to travel home together.
Tickets were all in order and, as we thought, all our documentation was in place. We expected maybe a little trouble at the ticket counter as Australia puts visas online but not in passports, which doesn’t always work in developing countries because of internet issues. We had no trouble there and our luggage was through. So expecting no trouble we went through to Immigration.
As the leader of the pack I went first and having done a bit of explaining passed through expecting no trouble for the others. The wife with a foreign passport but a correct visa came through – surely every thing was OK. The husband with his Australian passport came through. Their daughter, my granddaughter, with her Australian passport was not allowed to come! Having been born in Ethiopia there was no stamp in her passport authorising her to have ever been in her country of birth. No arguments prevailed and we decided that I would go on and they would back track through the procedure. It seemed unreasonable to leave the baby alone on an Immigration desk.
The troubles hadn’t ended. They got their tickets back and were permitted to use them at a later date when all had been sorted. Getting their luggage back was not as simple, however. They were on one side of the Immigration line and their luggage was on the other. It took a lot of negotiating by my son to get permission to cross that line.
Then he had to pass through customs luggage control to get back into the country of departure. He had some Australian things which had been taken in with him when he had entered about two years previously and they demanded duty on them. Sometimes officials are short on common sense.
i had Christmas at home with family. With some difficulties sorted out, they joined us about a month later. There is more to this story to be added later.