19

I have recently received an Australian student visa from Pakistan and now I want to travel through Oman Air. It's a connected flight with two stops, one in Muscat and the next one in Abu Dhabi. I have contacted a few travel agents to book the ticket but they are telling me that there is a possibility that the airline won't let me board the plane in Muscat because I have an electronic visa and not a stamp or sticker on my passport of my student visa. Is there a risk in travelling through this flight on an electronic Australian student visa? Flight Details

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    Airlines are able to check electronic visas. There shouldn't be any difference between a student eVisa and an eVisitor, they will just type your passport details in the system to get confirmation that you are eligible to board (if your visa is valid, of course). – jcaron Jan 7 at 14:06
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    You can check the details of your own visa here: immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/visas/already-have-a-visa/… Airlines have access to a similar system (often directly linked to their booking system). – jcaron Jan 7 at 14:09
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    Every thing checks out. My visa is valid for 3 years, so that means that there won't be any problem for me to board the planes? – Bilawal Bilal Jan 7 at 14:13
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    I don't know what is the story behind what those travel agents told you, but airlines have been checking electronic visas for Australia (original ETAs, now eVisitors and other types of visas) through their systems for something like 20 years now, they should be used to it. – jcaron Jan 7 at 14:19
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    @jcaron perhaps the travel agent is hoping to sell some additional services to the traveler. – phoog Jan 7 at 18:26
38

Your travel agent is very confused.

Australia has not issued physical visas for several years - everything is electronic. Whilst it was previously possible to request a physical visa in your passport at an additional cost, even this option has now been removed by the Australian Government.

The airlines have the ability to check your visa electronically at the time of check-in, and will be able to see that you have a suitable visa, and in particular see that you have a visa that does not require a return ticket.

Edihad (who fly the leg your travel agent is apparently worried about) have been flying to Australia for many years will definitely be able to carry out this check.

As a backup it would be worth carrying a print-out of your Visa details, either from the approval email or from the Australian Governments visa site, although this should not be needed.

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    "Whilst it is possible to request a physical visa in your passport, it is not recommended, and there is an additional cost for doing it": perhaps the travel agent will be willing to handle the paperwork for an additional fee. If that is the case then the travel agent may not be at all confused. – phoog Jan 7 at 18:24
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    "Whilst it is possible to request a physical visa in your passport". This is no longer possible - the law authorising visa labels was repealed in 2016. – k2moo4 Jan 7 at 21:42
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    It should be noted that bringing a paper printout is always a good idea – usr-local-ΕΨΗΕΛΩΝ Jan 8 at 11:09
  • @phoog "Never assume malice when incompetence would do" - It's likely that the travel agent is simply stuck in the 70s and completely uninterested in keeping up to date with legislation – Ant Jan 8 at 17:53
  • @Ant Dunno, seems like it would have to be an unlikely level of incompetence for someone whose job is literally this – Lightness Races in Orbit Jan 8 at 17:59
7

Electronic visas are acceptable for boarding, as long as you check in with the travel document used to issue the Visa.

While some around here insist APIS (APP in Australia's case) is just an elaborate smoke screen, the details you enter are in fact checked, including your visa status.

This is documented by the Australian Border Force: Advance Passenger Processing

1

For anyone who needs the answer for the same thing:

I did not face any kind of trouble through either of the airlines. The trip was smooth and hassle free. Seems like the travel agents in my country don't know much about their stuff.

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    Please consider accepting one of the other answers if you feel they were correct... – Doc Feb 1 at 20:14

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