Australian immigration denies delaying Sea Shepherd's visa

October 19 2009 by Liam Clifford

Whale saviour and sea shepherd skipper/conservationist Paul Watson continues to await his Australian visa.

The Australian immigration department has officially rejected reports that it has delayed the processing of a visa application from conservationist Paul Watson, a Sea Shepherd captain.

Paul Watson is an outspoken anti-whaling campaigner and founded the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. He has recently hit out at Australian immigration officials, accusing them of denying his Australian visa application.

He claimed that the delay in processing his visa was an attempt to appease Japan, which continues to whale.

In response, Australian immigration has stated, “our standard procedure is to follow-up certain matters disclosed to the department in a visa application, and that’s what is occurring.”

The department went on to state that the delay may be linked to the fact that Watson is applying to enter Australia on a short-term business visa, rather than a tourist visa, with which he previously entered the country.

The statement continued, “this is a matter being handled by the department in a manner no different to the standard procedures in place for the processing of millions of visa applications each year.”

Australian immigration then concluded that the matter will be resolved in the “coming days.”

Watson hopes to attain his Australian visa and enter Australia in order to launch a mission to Antarctica to hinder Japanese whaling vessels.

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