I am flying from Bangalore to Auckland with two stopovers. The first one in Kuala Lumpur and the second one in Melbourne. I want to confirm that I don't need an Australian transit visa because of the stop in Melbourne.
I've already checked with the official Australian Immigration website, and at first glance it seems that I don't need to apply for any visa because (correct me if I am wrong):
- I am a citizen of one of the countries listed as eligible to transit through Australia without applying for a visa (Argentina).
- My stopover is only for 3 and a half hours (maximum allowed is 8 hours).
- I have all the required documentation for entering New Zealand.
The only things that worry me are:
- I have booked the entire trip with Malaysian Airlines as one flight with three legs (so it is all under the same booking number). As part of that package I have to change planes in Melbourne, but (here comes the tricky part) to a different airline, Qantas. I understand that Qantas and Malaysian Airlines are partners and that is why they sold me that as part of the same trip. The official Australian Immigration website specifies that "If passengers are required to pass through Immigration clearance and check-in to their onward flight, including managing their luggage, they will require a visa to enter Australia. An appropriate visa for this purpose will need to be applied for and granted before travelling to Australia". Considering this, what worries me is, will I be able to check-in the three legs (so the entire trip) and get the three boarding passes in Bangalore at the beginning of my trip? If that is the case I won't need to leave the transit zone (I don't care about the luggage because I am not dispatching anything) so everything is fine. In the opposite case, I need a transit visa because I will have to leave the transit zone to the check-in to the flight final leg. Will Malaysian Airlines give me the three boarding passes (check-in the entire flight) at Bangalore?
- The official Australian Immigration site (link posted above) specifies that I can stay in transit only for 8 hours (maximum). Of course that doesn't seem to affect me because my stop only lasts 3 and a half hours. The thing is, what would happen if for some reason my flight gets delayed more than the allowed 8-hour time limit?