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Public Service: On Shore Partner Visa for Australia

Firstly, I got a letter from immigration today to say that my permanent partner visa has been granted. WOO. HOO! It’s such a weight off the shoulders not having to think about that anymore.

I get lots of hits from people searching for info on migrating to Australia, so I thought I’d post my time-line to help give an idea. Keep in mind that every situation is different, and this is just my personal experience. Dates are what was on the correspondence unless otherwise noted. I don’t know if I have all the dates either, but this will give the general idea.

Wife: American in Australia
Husband: New Zealand citizen, Australian resident
Visa: Partner (Temporary Residence) Visa (Class UK) (Subclass 820) and Partner (Residence) (Class BS) (Subclass 801)

06 JUL 06: Made appointments for full health check. (AU$296)

14 JUL 06: Had blood test for health check.

18 JUL 06: Had chest x-ray for health check.

23 JUL 06: Had fingerprints done (FBI Form FD-258: PDF) at Roma Street Station to send with FBI Clearance form. (I was not charged by the super-nice policeman, but the website said it was AU$21.)

24 JUL 06: Had medical exam done for front-loaded visa application.

31 JUL 06: Mailed FBI check to America. (FBI Cover Letter PDF and instructions.) Saved copy of request to submit with front-loaded visa application. (Request: US $18 / Postage: AU$16.50)

11 AUG 06: Hand-delivered front-loaded visa application to Brisbane Department of Immigration, which included the following:
• Spouse Visa Application Document Checklist (PDF);
• Big fat cheque for AU$1990;
• Completed Form 47SP (PDF);
• Completed Form 40SP (PDF);
• Certified copies of our passports;
• Copy of sponsor’s Australian tax assessments for two years;
• Certified copy of my driver’s license;
• Two passport photos for each of us (AU$24);
• Certified copy of marriage certificate (AU$25);
• Evidence of genuine relationship including phone records, instant message logs, emails, wedding cards, copy of wedding ceremony and announcement, photos;
• Two statutory declarations Form 888 (PDF) from people who know us (we used a couple we used to live with and husband’s boss);
• A statutory declaration from each of us describing the history of our relationship;
• Results of my health check; and
• Photocopy of my Character Clearance Check from the FBI.

16 AUG 06: Received letter from DIMA noting that they were waiting on the requested FBI clearance. I was also advised that we needed full medicals (AU$296), Form 80 (PDF), Australian Federal Police clearance (Form 1101: PDF), and NZ Police Clearance (instructions) for my husband as the sponsor being a NZ citizen.

13 SEP 06: Letter from Australian Federal Police clearing husband (AU$37).

13 NOV 06: Email from immigration officer saying my Temporary Partner Visa has been granted. (Time passed: 3 months, 4 days)

02 JUL 08: Letter from DIMA with checklist for Stage 2, Permanent Partner Visa.

01 SEP 08: Hand-delivered Stage Two application, including:
• Partner Visa Checklist;
• Statement on Partner Relationship;
• Two statutory declarations Form 888 (PDF) from people who know the ongoing nature of our relationship. (This time we used sister-in-law and our boss.);
• Form 80 (PDF) for me;
• Certified copies of our personal details pages in our passports;
• Evidence of our relationship, such as mail in both names at same address, bills, text messages to each other, proof of name change to married name, boarding passes showing joint travel, evidence of events we attended together, photos, evidence of joint purchases and financial obligations; and
• Photocopy of request for Federal Police clearance (Form 1101: PDF) (AU$43).

03 SEP 08: Received Federal Police Clearance in the mail.

05 SEP 08: Mailed police clearance to DIMA.

08 SEP 08: Letter from Department of Immigration requesting Australian Federal Police Clearance (Form 1101: PDF) and Form 80 (PDF) for my husband as a sponsor who is a NZ Citizen.

04 OCT 08: Sent off Police Clearance request for husband. (AU$43) (The reason for the delay in getting this done was due to my parents being here for two weeks, so I waited until after they had left to get back into all this.)

06 OCT 08: Mailed Form 80 and copy of Police Clearance request to immigration officer.

20 OCT 08: Letter dated from Australian Federal Police as clearance for husband.

26 OCT 08: Sent AFP Clearance for husband to immigration officer.

31 OCT 08: Permanent Partner Visa granted, unbeknownst to me until…

04 NOV 08: Received letter from immigration officer informing me that my application had been approved! (Time passed: 2 months, 3 days)

Yay!

For anyone going through this process, if you have any questions, I’m happy to try answer them via the email address above. I can only speak from my experience and am no expert by any means.

Some people, like we did, might wonder, “Do I need an immigration attorney or migration agent?” The answer for us was a big, fat NO. We got all our forms off the internet. DIMA will send a request for anything you miss. All an attorney can do is hound you to get things done, because you’re still going to have to fill out all the forms yourself. Save the $2000 and do it yourself.

And finally, my biggest piece of advice is to SAVE EVERYTHING. I was blessed with a certain packrat gene, but if you don’t have it, start getting into the habit of sticking anything do to with your relationship into a file. Anything with both of your names on it. Anything that shows you live together, travel together, socialize together. SAVE IT!

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5 Responses

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  1. tash says

    Nov 05 2008, 03:36 pm

    oh gosh.. it just makes me shudder to think of it. why couldn’t they make these things easier?

  2. Eric Vanman says

    Nov 05 2008, 04:19 am

    Congratulations! Wow…the hoops you have had to jump through!!

  3. Florida Girl In Sydney says

    Nov 08 2008, 08:50 pm

    Makes me realize I had it easy on the 457 visa– and so glad that’s all done with!

  4. Sally says

    Hi.. that was a really informative post. Was able to relate to it in lot of ways because am applying for my spouse visa now.

    Just a quick clarification- if you do not mind. when you applied for the FBI clearance: did you have to send out a self addressed envelope or just send in the money order for USD 18 as provided on the website.

    Thanks in advance
    cheers
    Sally

  5. saritha says

    Hi
    I am unable to open the FBI Cover letter, do you have a copy of that. If so could you email it to me at saritha2010@gmail.com
    Thank for your help
    Saritha



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