I was booked to renew my visa in Sydney in March, as well as attend my best friend’s wedding. ScoMo made the announcement that anyone returning to Aus from overseas would have to quarantine in 8 hours from the announcement.

My flight was 12 hours later. That means I would have missed my visa appointment (which was cancelled in any case, and the wedding as well). After spending EIGHT hours on the phone to Qantas, they agreed to give me a voucher for my flights to be used before August, but only flights which exceeded this value (flights were about a quarter of the price).

I booked again, for the end of June (only JUST making it in time for my visa to not expire) and had to spend an extra 3 grand on return business class tickets to satisfy visa conditions. This flight (all Qantas flights) from the USA to Aus were then cancelled.

Meanwhile, my visa expired.

My lease is only for the term of my visa, so that also expired. My company were great in retaining good immigration attorneys, so I’m in a 240 day “in-country” visa renewal period, where I can’t sign a new lease or leave the country until I’m either granted or denied a new visa. Next, Qantas took 3 months to refund me for my flights (up to almost $5,000 USD out of pocket), and would only issue to an international bank account I no longer had immediate access to, and then had to pay to transfer back out of.

My Nanna in Australia is not well, and we have always done Christmas BIG, and very traditionally. More than anything, now I’m just trying to get home for her, and have my eyes on flights home to spend Christmas with her, US visa and Australian flight cap dependent, of course.

All I keep thinking is, what if I didn’t have a partner? I would be homeless. What if work wasn’t helping out with immigration attorneys? I would be burning through my savings I may need for business class flights and quarantine expenses paying for them to process my visa (along with being homeless).

What happens if my visa is denied, but I can’t get into Australia because of the flight caps? Will I be held in detention? There are definitely in a better position than alot of people, but I’ve been away from home for 6 years now and am really struggling with the thought that I don’t know when I’ll see my family again more than anything else (on top of the aforementioned practical difficulties in getting home).

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About the Author

America Josh

I had a fantastic life in Adelaide and in Australia but thought in late 2015 that it was time to do something new. I handed over control of my company, sold my house, car, and even gave away my cat (“Aslan”) to start on my journey to New York.

I arrived in New York on January 10, 2017, from Adelaide, South Australia and in March 2017, I started America Josh to help make the transition to the US from wherever you’re from just a little bit easier.

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