An immigration glitch has left many of the Diamond Princess’s 2,600 guests recorded as still being overseas – despite the ship arriving in Sydney on March 27.
Although the immigration officers met the Diamond Princess at the Overseas Passenger Terminal, the cruise passengers’ information was not electronically filed.
Lyn Anderson, a cruise passenger from NSW’s Central Coast told news.com.au the she did not realise she was still technically ‘overseas’ until she received a letter from Centrelink advising that her carer’s allowance had been suspended.
“I went into a Centrelink office to sort it out and they told me “you’re overseas”,” she said.
“I said “no I’m not, I’m right here in front of you”.”
The Department of Immigration and Border Protection eventually corrected the problem but Ms Anderson said that many passengers may not be aware of the issue.
Despite this, Ms Anderson said she had a marvelous time.
“We had a fantastic time – we sailed for 28-days. It was only three weeks after we returned and I got a letter (from Centrelink) that the nightmare started,” she said.
“But it won’t stop us from cruising again.”