By James K. Attaglo Wilson

The toilsome nature of acquiring an Australian visa has earned a lot of currency at the ongoing Chef de Mission Conference at the Mantra View in Surfers Paradise [Gold Coast], Queensland.

In fact, visa rules has been the most topical discussion due to the current visa procedure in place.

The current format reveals that applications need to be made separately for accreditation and visas, which is in sharp contrast to previous editions of multi-sport event, where visas formed part of the accreditation process.

This current development has made some participants questioned whether they are indeed welcome to the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Australia.

Commonwealth Games Federation President [Louise Martin] has acknowledged the situation as the biggest risk ahead of the Games as it could lead to people missing out.

Chef de Mission seminar [Gold Coast 2018]
Chef de Mission seminar [Gold Coast 2018]
“This is the one stumbling block that we reckon is the biggest risk to these games,” she said.

Meanwhile, Chief Executive of GOLDOC [Mark Peters] explained that the tightening of visa conditions was justified by health and national security issues.

“It was a lot simpler in Melbourne in 2006 but so was the world,” Peters said.

In all, 130 team chef de mission and delegates from the 69 Commonwealth nations and territories have arrived for the week long familiarization and workshops ahead of the Games [Commonwealth] in April 2018.

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