This resulted in one major issue - i forgot to renew my student visa. It is a breach of my visa requirements, and a very serious breach too - as i found out. the visa expired on 2nd of December, i only realised that on the 9th and brought it down to renew on the 10th of January, and this is what happened, as cliff note as i can get -
- Told Officer visa expired because i forgot. was told i exceeded the 28 days grace period, and needed to go home to be able to rectify this problem, they can't do anything else there, and neither do they know anything about the application process. was told too that i should be able to come back as a tourist, but where temporary visas like business and student visas are concerned, i might be banned from Australia for 3 years. was told the only things that need to be done was the application forms and an interview with someone over in Singapore (where i am from). was given a bridging visa for which i had up till end of January to leave, but had to report to them every week for attendance.
- Called my embassy for help, was a little short on cash, worried about having deportation on my records - said they would call back, but i got nothing even till the day i eventually found a way to leave.
- Reach Singapore, first chance i got, went to embassy. Was told i can't have an interview, that i need to write a letter to him instead, and it all hinges on the letter.
- Wrote a letter, went back, and was told that i need a recent Certificate of Enrolment (proof that a school wants me in) as computers will not accept one from last year, despite me saying that i have already attended classes, that this is just an extension of my visa, and i am not getting a new visa. was unable to process due to the lack of the Certificate.
- emailed uni who told me they can't give me a new one, to remind embassy i am extending, not getting new one.
- printed out email for embassy, who proceeded to suggest that: my reasons for forgetting was not good enough. While they can see the compassionate reasons behind letting me back into Australia, they can not see a compelling reason since i forgot as i was working so much. Also, because of the way uni responded, they suggested that uni was just thinking up an excuse because they don't welcome me back. this is because, according to the 2 embassy women, the uni KNOWS i need a new Certificate for every application of anything.
- another bombshell was dropped: according to computer systems, i was already banned for 3 years from the time i told them that i forgot to renew my visa, that the little consultation i had with the "i don't know, i can't do anything" girl was THE interview. furthermore, i can NOT go back to Australia, even as a tourist or prospective spouse, for 3 years.
- was suggested by the 2 girls to give up. and dont waste my money on applying (money will not be refunded) as my chances are slim. or if i was going to try, at least get a recent Certificate.
- Emailed an emotional one to uni. called the next day because i couldn't wait for a reply. was told it was ILLEGAL to make a new Certificate for me, and was told to wait while she discusses about this case with her superior and they will find out what's happening with the local immigration department.
by now, i am utterly confused, upset, horrified, terrified and everything in a heap of mess. i am still waiting for some sort of response from someone who can tell me the story, STRAIGHT. someone who can give me an answer to EVERYTHING that can verify everyone's version. school starts on the 19th, i WANT to be there.
i forgot for a total of a month and a week, just a week if you consider the grace period. i am not sure that justifies a 3 year ban, or every one treating me like a pin ball machine. i understand security concerns, i understand that breach of laws are bad. in my 2 times of renewing visa, i have not once forgotten. it's unfortunate and stupid that i should for my third time, but seriously, 3 years bannage for my first time in forgetting in my 4 years there? does that sound right? i am still fighting for it, but i am emotionally drained at the moment. They said my letter was not convincing enough - am i supposed to say someone died and i forgot or something?
so for everyone here - don't forget to renew your visa.