My husband got his ETA for Australia granted. But when he answered have you had any conviction anywhere he answered no. He has a 20 year old wet and reckless which he forgot about that he received probation for no sentence of imprisonment of 12 months or more. Now I am concerned that he has answered the question wrong and should have ticked yes.

Can he be denied entry if he discloses his wet and reckless on the entry card coming in? There does seem to be quite abit of confusion about this but I believe it’s referring to different language that was on older forms.

  • At which age he committed such "crimes"? If he was minor (so <18 year) it may be OK. Commented Oct 19, 2023 at 8:04

1 Answer 1


In practice, if the ETA has already been granted, due diligence is complete and your husband will be allowed to enter Australia. Assuming he is a US citizen, he can use the SmartGates on entry and does not even need to talk to a human immigration officer.

He will, however, have to repeat the lie and tick "No" to criminal convictions on the entry card. If they tick "Yes", this may (or may not) be spotted by the Customs officer who collects them.

Legally speaking, your husband should have disclosed the conviction. This would have led to automatic rejection of the ETA, but if he had applied for a regular tourist visa, it would almost certainly have been granted if his record was otherwise clean. If you want to play it absolutely sure, this is still an avenue you could pursue, although the fact that they've already been granted an ETA under false pretenses may complicate things.

And for others wondering: a "wet and reckless" is a US term for a DUI charge that has been plea bargained down to reckless driving.

  • Although I've never heard "wet and reckless" ever in my life. Must be a regional thing.
    – Jon Custer
    Commented Oct 19, 2023 at 13:41
  • 1
    @JonCuster I, like a lot of others it seems, assumed it was something you might see on a NSFW website
    – MD-Tech
    Commented Oct 19, 2023 at 14:52
  • Does the wording on the entry card question and instructions precisely match that on the earlier form? Would there be any difficulty with someone who checked "yes" on the entry card and, when asked, explained that he interpreted the instructions on the other form as implying the earlier conviction was irrelevant, but the entry card contains no such instructions and he wanted to be as honest as possible?
    – supercat
    Commented Oct 19, 2023 at 16:40

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