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I'm a Canadian, and supposed to attend a work conference in Sydney, Australia in less than one month. I was denied an ETA because I declared that I have a criminal record (a DUI from 1999). I filled out an application for subclass 600 visa. The only document I unable to get in time is my Certified Criminal Record Check, as the processing times are around 8 weeks. I work in the securities industry which requires an RCMP background check, have character references, everything but...

I've been going back and forth with an Immigration Officer in Ottawa who insists that if they don't receive the criminal record check prior to me leaving, they will not allow me entry, no exceptions, no additional or alternative documents will suffice.

Can I even get on an airplane destined for Australia without the visa? Is there any way or suggestions on how to deal with this?

  • You're not going to be allowed to board without authorization so forget it. You can cancel your trip to Sydney. With your criminal record you should know to start travel plans way ahead of time. – cHiEf Immigration vIoLaTer May 6 '17 at 19:36
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    Thanks for sharing wise Sheik. I've travelled across Europe, Asia, USA, etc. many times over and have never had an issue. Cleary I've become lazy as a result. – bergec1 May 7 '17 at 3:48
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    Have you considered going through one of the companies accredited and cer­ti­fied by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) such as this from a quick google. The turnaround time drops to days, according to the RCMP. – Giorgio May 15 '17 at 17:16
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Can I even get on an airplane destined for Australia without the visa?

No, the airline won't let you board without a visa. And even if they do, you'd be denied entry on arrival to Australia. There are no exceptions for cases such as yours.

Is there any way or suggestions on how to deal with this?

Obtain the Criminal Record Check and wait for the visa to be processed. The official RCMP website mentions that it's possible to receive the document in 3 days if submitting an electronic application, so perhaps do that instead of waiting for the slow option.

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