As tennis superstar Novak Djokovic busied himself with preparations for the forthcoming Australian Open, I think we can all assume he was not expecting the frosty welcome he received from the country’s border force.
Arriving at Melbourne airport earlier this month with a air of the conquering hero, Mr Djokovic was abruptly stopped in his tracks by officers who denied him entry into Australia. It ’s possible his papers were not in order, and that his management team misjudged the strict Covid restrictions currently in place Down Under.
In order to obtain a visa to travel to Australia, you must prove that you have completed a course of a vaccine approved or recognised by the country’s Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA). Novak Djokovic has chosen not to be vaccinated but apparently claimed he was exempt because he was infected with the virus during December.
Whether true or not, the Australian government was not prepared to accept this declaration and, pending appeal, denied Mr Djokovic his visa – unceremoniously shipping him off to a quarantine hotel until his appeal could be heard.
Although the decision was eventually overturned on appeal and he was released from detention, the whole saga is not yet over. At the time of writing this, there is still a chance the Australian immigration minister could re-cancel Novak Djokovic’s visa. If this transpires, not being able to play in the Australian Open would be the least of his worries. The tennis star will likely be deported and could be banned from re-entering Australia for three years.
This whole sorry tale has been the focus of media attention all over the world for the last week or so – but it is not an isolated incident. Everyday, visitors arrive in Australia and other countries, only to be turned away because their paperwork is not in order.
The issue highlights the need for extensive preparations, whether you plan to visit, work in, or move to another corner of the globe. Fortunately for those who wish to relocate, experts are standing by to ensure the whole process is smooth and straightforward.
At John Mason International, our specialists are on hand to handle everything – from packing up your belongings and booking a shipping container, to organising pet transport, moving you into your new pad, and helping you learn about – and prepare for – the nuances of your adopted country. And that includes visas and Covid restrictions.
There are a whole host of logistical processes and personal wellbeing measures to consider – and a host of chances for things to go wrong. Although Novak Djokovic was merely visiting Australia to work temporarily, his current plight could be experienced by anyone wishing to up sticks and move to the country – particularly those who don’t have everything meticulously planned out.
If you’ve decided to move overseas, have a chat with one of our team to see how we can help. Whether you have a tennis racket or not, we could save you a whole lot of bother further down the line – and ensure nothing overshadows the excitement and joy of this new chapter in your life.