Also Banned!

Several Sun Microsystems Inc employees, especially related to the Database Group, have been denied short stay business visas to Australia, over the last few months, as they have been seen to be competing with local Australian businesses unfairly.

I regret to share that this will adversely affect MySQL presence at linux.conf.au in Hobart, Tasmania 19-24.1.2009.
.

There goes the conference business in Australia.

Found by Edin Kadribasic.




  1. bill says:

    WOW! What is ‘unfair’ about these folks? Doesn’t Sun own MySQL now?
    Does anyone know what the real story about this is?

    Is there really a MySQL presence in Tasmania? Are there even any computers in Tasmania? Electricity?

  2. sargasso says:

    Nobody in Australia seems to have heard about it. BS until proven otherwise.

  3. daveg says:

    Hey, at least Australia is thinking about the well being of its citizens (if true).

    The US is thinking of INCREASING visas in the biggest recession in 20 years and after 30 years of stagnant wages. They are also thinking of spending one trillion to create some 3 million jobs while importing foreign labor to take those jobs.

    Seems highly counter productive.

  4. Opus says:

    I would question the nationality of the SUN employees. The US, Japan, South Korea and Canada get preferentail treatment for the ETA Visa.

    India is not on the list of those who can apply online or through a travel agent.

  5. Cap'nKangaroo says:

    Canada can also be a pain in the rear if they think you might displace one person for one day. I was involved in moving a large conveyor system from the manufacturer in Utah to a power plant near Sarnia, Ontario, Canada. I had the chance to talk with the engineer from the manufacturer. They would normally use their own crew to install the equipment, but Canada refused the entire crew entry to do the job. The engineer said he was allowed in only as an advisor on the installation, and that was after much effort by his employer. He half-joked that if a Canadian installer dropped a tool or bolt, he could be run out of the country if he picked it up to hand back to the installer.

  6. BigBoyBC says:

    The linked article seem to be absent any specific details. I think there has to be more to this story than what is being reported.

  7. Uncle Patso says:

    Unfair competition to local business, eh? Well I bet they kept Mother Teresa out — look at all the business she took away from local caterers, restaurants and the health care industry in the poorer sections of Calcutta…

  8. d00d says:

    Something smells about this story. I suspect there is something Kaj isn’t telling us. Mainly I doubt he was down there just for a conference – more so he was there to make some $$$. Immigration isn’t that bone headed, and Kaj didn’t post any correspondence with them. Just an open ended BAAAWWW. Me. Rat. Smell.

  9. d00d says:

    Kai posted this one on Kaj’s site: Informative

    “I’m sorry for the guys who can’t go, but can I make a few points here?(I’m not an Australian neither I’m living there btw – but go there regularly for business myself).

    You said in your post:
    “Several Sun Microsystems Inc employees, especially related to the Database Group, have been denied short stay business visas to Australia, over the last few months, as they have been seen to be competing with local Australian businesses unfairly.”

    In comment #28, you stated:
    “The official information is limited to”SHORT TERM BUSINESS ETA APPLICATION WAS NOT APPROVED NO AUTHORITY TO TRAVEL TO AUSTRALIA HELD BY PASSENGER.”

    Something doesn’t match up here imho. If the latter statement is the information those individuals got when they applied for the ETA, that doesn’t imply at all that the Australian government sees those individuals as an economic threat, i.e. competing with domestic businesses. It’s basically the result of an electronic system designed to make the visa application process as easy as possible for the vast majority of visitors.

    I’m sorry to say that, but the ETA visas might have been denied for a variety of -personal- reasons, including, but not limited to simple stuff such as unpaid traffic fines in AU, not sticking to visitor/business visa conditions during former trips to AU, having been sentenced for an offence anywhere else on the world etc. etc. etc. Depending on the nationality of those people the AU government might even have considered the risk that they would not leave the country when due but become illegal immigrants (and yes, that would be obviously a very nasty assumption, but that’s how governments work, like it or not).

    Also when one applies for a short term business ETA, the system doesn’t ask you for the purpose of the particular trip (because it’s usually multiple entries, 3 months each and valid for 1 year). Not sure therefore how the Australian government would even know about the fact that those people intended to attend linux.conf.au.

    Denial of the short term business ETAs btw doesn’t mean those people couldn’t get a visa, they would just have to apply for a visa with the AU embassy for further checks – that’s btw why you wouldn’t wait with a business ETA application until 5 days before a conference, particularly because when approved it’d be valid for 1 year anyway.

    I feel strongly you just want to stir the pot with your post here – some facts you present just don’t match up for me and you can’t blame a foreign government for denying electronic visa to people, it’s their right to do so. You’re trying to suggest that the Australian government is intending to stop the open source movement by not approving the online ETA visa. You should get over it and present all the facts here instead of suggesting an Australian-anti-open-source conspiracy.

    Again, I have sympathy for the people who couldn’t travel as well as for the organsisers of the conference, but there is at least one lesson to be learnt here: Get visa approval early and before you book and pay non-refundable flights.”

  10. Mister Mustard says:

    Love the heaving bosom.

  11. Daniel Dacey says:

    I agree with dood there is much more to this story then the over simplified and no doubt inaccurate post from the conference organisers.

    Besides Linux people are prone to exaggerating, that’s why they always claim this year will be the year of the Linux desktop.


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