SmartGate Australia: Recently always denied. Advice appreciated.

By *maestro* | Feb 02, 2019, 05:10 AM
Dear All,

Thank you for your time in reading this.

For the past many years, I have always used SmartGate successfully when departing and entering Australia. However, my passport has been flagged for manual processing during all of my past five international trips to/from SYD Airport (both on departure and arrival).

While (on arrival) the passport-reading machine always successfully prints a SmartGate ticket (just to add, I'm never in South America or Africa), once I reach the actual gate, it always tells me that I can't be processed and directs me to their standard line. When the airport is busy, this has been a nightmare for processing times. I am then always processed without question. I have asked the Border Force representative for an explanation, or, how I can rectify this situation and they always just state that it must be an error with the SmartGate... every time (now 10 in a row).

Might any of you have any suggestions of who I can write to or what I can do?

I continue to use smart gates successfully, without issue, with the same Australian passport on arrival and departure from other countries (eg. Italy and Singapore last month) and I have a clean record. I am unsure how to proceed.

With greatest appreciation of your combined wealth of knowledge, thank you.
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By whoppersandwich | Feb 02, 2019, 09:11 PM
I think it’s safe to assume that Border Force aren’t being entirely honest with you. Stuff I’ve heard of that can impact someone with a ‘clean’ record:

-Biometric fail, somewhere along the way a facial read has been accepted that doesn’t match with you currently

-Someone in ABF entered a ‘client of interest’ note on you and it hasn’t been deleted (which can happen for all sorts of trivial reasons but they usually get deleted after you get processed through)

-You or someone you associate with has been electronically recorded as having interacted with a bad guy (the Home Affairs passive detection system is quite thorough and will often log harmless interactions)

-The most common; your name or other details are a partial match with a known offender

Unfortunately with the exception of the biometrics theres not a lot you can do with any of these (even changing your name will just add another name record vice swapping over).
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By StuParr | Feb 02, 2019, 09:19 PM
Usually it is a biometrics issue. It was what was happening to me.
Maybe changing your passport will help that. Then you need to make sure you properly replicate your photo when posing for the smart gate.

If it is one of the others mentioned above, I’m not sure how to deal with it.
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By MRYJDrake | Feb 04, 2019, 08:47 AM
I put on about fifteen kgs, all in the cheeks and chins, and was constantly getting bounced, back when NZ had 5 year passports.
They switched to Ten, I got a new one, and no problem since, until recently when that gain has started to go in the other direction.
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By Warragul | Mar 19, 2019, 07:18 PM
I think it’s safe to assume that Border Force aren’t being entirely honest with you. Stuff I’ve heard of that can impact someone with a ‘clean’ record:

-Biometric fail, somewhere along the way a facial read has been accepted that doesn’t match with you currently

-Someone in ABF entered a ‘client of interest’ note on you and it hasn’t been deleted (which can happen for all sorts of trivial reasons but they usually get deleted after you get processed through)

-You or someone you associate with has been electronically recorded as having interacted with a bad guy (the Home Affairs passive detection system is quite thorough and will often log harmless interactions)

-The most common; your name or other details are a partial match with a known offender

Unfortunately with the exception of the biometrics theres not a lot you can do with any of these (even changing your name will just add another name record vice swapping over).

Points 2 and 3 are urban myths in regard to the traveller processing systems (as opposed to other ICT systems used). What happens on departure from Australia (assuming Smartgate is used for that)?

Biometric fail can also mean bad lighting, someone photo bombing etc, these are unlikely for 10 consective times.
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By Warragul | Mar 19, 2019, 07:34 PM
The ABF people at the airport will not commit to much as they are generally not immediately certain and the time it can take to investigate can delay the traveller some time making them even happier, so a quick 'non answer' is given.

If a question is fired off, via website etc, it should be looked at by a support team in Head Office, who'll find out the real reason, what they advise will depend of course.
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By *maestro* | Jun 15, 2019, 01:42 AM
I think it’s safe to assume that Border Force aren’t being entirely honest with you. Stuff I’ve heard of that can impact someone with a ‘clean’ record:

-Biometric fail, somewhere along the way a facial read has been accepted that doesn’t match with you currently

-Someone in ABF entered a ‘client of interest’ note on you and it hasn’t been deleted (which can happen for all sorts of trivial reasons but they usually get deleted after you get processed through)

-You or someone you associate with has been electronically recorded as having interacted with a bad guy (the Home Affairs passive detection system is quite thorough and will often log harmless interactions)

-The most common; your name or other details are a partial match with a known offender

Unfortunately with the exception of the biometrics theres not a lot you can do with any of these (even changing your name will just add another name record vice swapping over).

Points 2 and 3 are urban myths in regard to the traveller processing systems (as opposed to other ICT systems used). What happens on departure from Australia (assuming Smartgate is used for that)?

Biometric fail can also mean bad lighting, someone photo bombing etc, these are unlikely for 10 consective times.

Thank you to everyone for your input. On departure from Australia, exactly the same thing. I am sent to manual processing (every time) and of course, never a problem. However, going through SmartGates in all other countries I've been to recently have worked perfectly. Only in my home country! Still no answers.
No member give thanks

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