Aus Immigration at the gate

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ajw373

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In the past few months I have flow through both Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok bound for Australia. In both locations I noticed Australian immigration staff checking passports of both foreigners and Australians. In all my years of travelling internationally, including through Bangkok many times that I can remember and never have seen this before.

Anyway know what they are checking for and what other ports they are doing this at?
 

Bushflyer

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Cross training. Heard somewhere that customs, immigration have started cross training in some Asian cities.
 

markis10

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Funny you should mention that, I noticed one of the staffers on the train going back to the main terminal with me and was intrigued to see him looking like he was working, coming off a 3K flight ex Singapore they were not at my gate but it must have been an Australian flight nearby at the same time.
 

ozmille

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I have seen them in BKK when you get down towards the gate for the last 5 years, not every time but often.
 

flyingfan

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They are DIAC Airport Liaison Officers, who are posted at key overseas ports with direct flights into Australia and whose roles include detecting forged passports and preventing people attempting to illegally enter Australia from boarding the aircraft.

They can often be found wandering around the airline desks when an AUS-bound flight checks in as well as at the gate as it is boarding.
 

Mal

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Yep. High risk countries, Government doesn't trust the airlines basically :D
 

ajw373

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Yep. High risk countries, Government doesn't trust the airlines basically :D

Trust the airlines to do what? Especially as they were checking Australian and local passport holders.
 

Mal

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Trust the airlines to do what? Especially as they were checking Australian and local passport holders.

To detect forged passports, to detect invalid use of a passport, to detect forged visas (if applicable) etc etc.
 

richie9x

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Yep. High risk countries, Government doesn't trust the airlines basically :D

If they weren't doing it then the forged passport would most likely get picked up at arrivals in Australia. Then the airline would have to pick up the tab of sending the passenger back from whence they came. So really they are doing the airlines a favour.
 

ajw373

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To detect forged passports, to detect invalid use of a passport, to detect forged visas (if applicable) etc etc.

Bit hard to forge visa's these days when they are electronic. Australia has recently done away with labels and the people checking the passports don't appear to have easy access to computer systems to check either.
 

Mal

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If they weren't doing it then the forged passport would most likely get picked up at arrivals in Australia. Then the airline would have to pick up the tab of sending the passenger back from whence they came. So really they are doing the airlines a favour.

Much easier to deal with that at the gate in High Risk countries... Granted, people are still turned away within Australia and sent back home, but much less hassle to deny them boarding.

Bit hard to forge visa's these days when they are electronic. Australia has recently done away with labels and the people checking the passports don't appear to have easy access to computer systems to check either.

You don't have to have access to computer systems to check a passport. Primarily they would be looking for a) obvious tampering b) checking that person matches the photo and anything else they choose to assess.

As the link referred to above states:

The Airline Liaison Officers (ALO) network is another important part of the strategy in place securing Australia's borders.

The department has located a number of Airline Liaison Officers at international airports that have direct flights to Australia. ALOs are specialist document examiners. They work closely with airlines, immigration and airport staff at major overseas airports to:

prevent travel to Australia of potentially inadmissible passengers
facilitate the travel of genuine passengers.

ALOs assist airline and airport staff in document examination, to check for irregularities in passengers' documents. They also provide training to host nation immigration authorities, and airline and airport security staff on Australia's entry requirements. Although airlines decide whether to allow passengers to board their intended flight, these decisions are often made following ALO advice regarding the authenticity of the passengers' travel documents.

By maintaining a visible presence at international airports, ALOs act as a deterrent to people smugglers and passengers who are inadequately documented. As part of the international cooperation to combat people smuggling and irregular migration, Australian ALOs and their counterparts from other Governments participate in short-duration multi-national exercises held at select airports overseas. Their aim is to stop passengers who have irregularities in their travel documents.
 

Simsy85

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Damn. Beat me to the punch, they are ALO's - every country that has a direct flight to Australia, has an ALO. They aren't just high risk countries.

Pretty sweet gig if you can get it!
 

dajop

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- every country that has a direct flight to Australia, has an ALO. They aren't just high risk countries.

Pretty sweet gig if you can get it!

Mauritius included? With 3 flights a week, that would be a sweet gig!
 

MEL_Traveller

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I also suspect these officers have a role to report any suspicious pax in terms of suspected drug trafficing.
 

Mal

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Damn. Beat me to the punch, they are ALO's - every country that has a direct flight to Australia, has an ALO. They aren't just high risk countries.

But they don't swarm around the gate checking passports in most countries :D
 
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