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Anyone who has married someone from overseas (or any of the Americans that have married an aussie)
Immigration confusion


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#1 me-and-my-girls

Posted 12 January 2013 - 06:24 PM

Hi

So I wanted to pick the brains of anyone that has married someone from overseas and had to organise for them to live here, or one of the Americans out there that have married an aussie and come here to live (I know there are a few of you out there).

My fiance lives in the USA and we have finally decided that the place for us to live (at least for the foreseeable future) is here in Australia.  I am looking at all the immigration stuff and I am sooooo confused.  There are several options, which confuses me even more.

Firstly there is a fiancee visa, which from what I understand, he will need to be outside of the country for the entire duration of the visa application - only God knows how long that could be.  But once it is granted he can come and live here and work.

Then there is a partner visa, which I think we could apply for if we just got married and he would be able to live here for the duration of the application process - again, who knows how long that could be.  I think the problem with that one is that he won't be able to work while he is here, and correct me if I am wrong but I'm not sure if it gives automatic work rights when it is granted anyway.

Problem is, we really need him to be working.  He has his own business which will not be a problem to continue from over here, so finding a job is not an issue, but we still need permission for him to do that.  Also, he/we want him to come now.  I don't want to wait for an eternity to be able to see him again.  He has travelled here quite a few times and is still using his ETA visa, and the plan is for him to come again at the end of the month but we can't afford to have him keep going back and forth indefinately.  We just want him to stay.......and work.

Has anyone gone through this process and might be able to shed a bit of light on it for me.  I am confused............and lonely  ddown.gif




#2 Lausii

Posted 12 January 2013 - 06:32 PM

I went through immigration joy about ten years ago with my ex husband. We went the partner visa route as we were married. He had to go back to his home country for about two months and apply from there. We had all the medicals, police checks etc done before he went back and all he had to do was lodge. However ours may have been quicker as I was expecting our third child and I did get an MP involved to hurry it up so my ex husband was back in time for the birth. I have heard of it taking up to 6 months to a  year in some cases.

Good luck, I'm sure others will come in with more up to date information.

#3 Great Dame

Posted 12 January 2013 - 06:33 PM

We have but it was over 15 years ago so it might have changed.  We met overseas, and he came here on a tourist visa, which I think was six months.  Once that was due to expire we applied for a spousal visa.  While the visa was being considered, he applied for a bridging visa which allowed him to work until the application had been accessed.  

We started off by contacting Immigration and going in for an interview.  We told them our story, and they told us what to apply for and what to do (lots of documented evidence of our relationship).  As it was a de facto relationship, we had to prove it had been going for a minimum of 12 months.

As I said, it's been 15 odd years but we found the process quite easy and straight forward.  Good luck.

#4 RobotFerretOfDoom

Posted 12 January 2013 - 06:35 PM

If you have sufficient evidence to prove a committed relationship, the application process can be quite fast. I think it only took us about a month once we pulled all our information together.

It's a number of years since we did it, but my memory is that he doesn't have to be outside the country to apply, it's more that you have to apply and be accepted in the one place. So if you apply from OS, you have to stay there until accepted; if you apply in Aus, you stay here until accepted. And would not be able to work until the appropriate visa is granted.

Pretty sure you also need to show that as a fiance you would be able to support him if he can't work - basically you're going guarantor for him as the govt won't be prepared to pay him benefits or anything if something goes wrong.

#5 B.3

Posted 12 January 2013 - 06:36 PM

This is my experience and it was 8 years ago now.

I met and married my DH in the UK. After we got married we applied to come to Australia. (I am Australian, born and bred.) The paperwork set us back about 3k. DH had to undergo medical checks, criminal checks etc. It was then about 14 months after all paperwork had been submitted before we were approved and I was able to bring him home with me to live.

For me to become a permanent resident of the UK though took me all of a whole afternoon sitting in the Croydon immigration office in London with marriage certificate and ID and passport in hand!!

#6 FiveAus

Posted 12 January 2013 - 06:38 PM

Mine was a while ago....1999....... So it may have changed. We weren't marred because his divorce wasn't final so he came on a tourist visa from the US and extended it out to a year then we applied for a spouse visa. He didn't work for a year but once we applied for his visa, he got permission to work while on the bridging visa. By the time hs visa was granted, his divorce was sorted and we got married shortly after.

#7 girltribe4

Posted 12 January 2013 - 06:38 PM

I am the Aussie and my husband is the one who married me and came over here to live . Our case was very simple though and we had our spouse visa in about 2 weeks as we had been married for 4yrs and had 2 children with one on the way .
We still had to prove it was a ''true'' relationship with statements from friends & family , also any joint bank statements even photographs !!
Even though it was a easy application we still went through a migration agent to make sure the mounds of paperwork were correct and we had everything we needed first time round.

Once we were here it was much easier for him to apply for medicare benefits ect than for me as a returning Aussie rolleyes.gif ( I hadn't lived here for 15yrs)

#8 Amellyne

Posted 12 January 2013 - 06:43 PM

I married an American and he came over here to live with me, we had a complicated time originally trying to get into the US so decided to bite the bullet, get married and move to Aus.

The paperwork itself was fairly easy and we submitted it in the US at the embassy over there (As we got married over there) cost us about $1400US to do it, it took him about nine months for this visa to be approved, 11 to get here after he tied up loose strings in the states, I was back in Aus at this point as I had to prove I had a job to support him, however he did come and visit part of the way through the process which they didn't mind.

If in doubt contact immigration here (or an Australian embassy over there) they are more than happy to help and we found the process, although long, not particularly painful.

Edit: just to state my story is 3 and a half years old, so it is likely that they have altered the system since we went through it.

Edited by Amellyne, 12 January 2013 - 06:47 PM.


#9 fun_fairz

Posted 12 January 2013 - 06:44 PM

I also applied from outside Australia. Partner is from UK and i am australian,. We applied for a defacto visa and the paperwork was a pain but the whole process was pretty straightforward. We were approved within a week of submitting the application.

#10 sarkazm76

Posted 12 January 2013 - 07:07 PM

My ex moved to Australia to be with me at end of 2004.  He came on a working holiday visa for 12 months - only allowed him to have each job for 12 weeks though so was massive pain in the ass.  We applied as defacto (I'd already lived with him in Canada for 12 months previous) and it was no problem.  I don't remember costs - I'm sure if was only a few hundred.  We needed evidence of our relationship and had to go to an interview.  Was stressful for nothing really as in the end it was pretty easy.  They allowed him to stay here on his current visa terms while the apllication was pending.  From memory we broke up and he left in May 2007 so I guess... he was here 2004-2005 on his visa then for 18 months waiting after that perhaps.  As soon as we let them know our relationship was ending he had a limited amount of time to leave the country.... so we jsut waited until he was ready, lol.  If we had become engaged or got married in the meantime we would have had to start our application all over again - I do rememebr that bit!


#11 baddmammajamma

Posted 12 January 2013 - 07:07 PM

Hi there:

I am an American married to an Aussie -- I am on a permanent (spousal) visa and am in the process of getting my citizenship. I applied for my visa while living outside of Australia (Singapore, to be exact). I used a (professional) migration agent to assist with my application because we needed to resolve things very quickly.

The biggest PITA was gathering all of the paperwork -- FBI fingerprints, getting health check, writing up all of our statements, getting support statements. It took me 6 weeks (pushing hard) to get all of that gathered, and then my visa was approved 25 days later.

You & your DF might be interested in Yanks Down Under, which is an online community for Americans in Oz/Americans wanting to come to Oz. They have a section re people's various visa experiences -- some of the regulars are QUITE knowledgeable (though not licensed migration agents).

http://yanksdownunder.net/forum/16665/

At the top of that home page, you will see a section called "VISA PROCESSING TIMES." People who have been through the process -- be it for a spousal or intent to marry or work visa -- share how long each step took for them. Very interesting stuff.

Good luck!

#12 la di dah

Posted 12 January 2013 - 07:17 PM

I am an American who married an Australian.

I came over on the Prospective Spousal Visa. We had never lived together for more than two months at a atime so I could not come over on de facto or partner visa.

It took awhile to process (a few months) during which time I lived in the States. We filed in about March 2010 (can't remember the filing date exactly) Then I came out in July 2010, about a week after I got approved. We got married here in January 2011.

We were told would have taken longer if we had gotten married in the States as they seem to be more comfortable handling the marriage details in-house in Australia.

I did not qualify for Medicare right away, either.

#13 maeby

Posted 12 January 2013 - 07:20 PM

Me and my (Swiss) husband applied for his visa about 18 months ago, from overseas.  We were already married and had a baby and another one on the way, but it still took us about 8 months (?) to actually get the visa (after lodging the application.  It also took quite a while to get all the paperwork together), and it cost about $3000 all up.  Straightforward but loooooong.  I think there are definitely advantages to going through a migration agent if you don't feel your case is straightforward and clearly legit (not suggesting your relationship isn't legitimate, but if you don't have the paperwork and history to prove it all then it might be handy to have professional assistance)


#14 me-and-my-girls

Posted 12 January 2013 - 07:31 PM

Thanks so much ladies.

So, with regards to paperwork to prove the legitimacy of your relationship, what kind of things are they after.  I can probably provide Skype history, telephone and text history showing about 10 calls a day for the last year LOL.  We also have emails etc, but they could be a bit  ohmy.gif   Not sure if I want randoms reading them!!!  We can also provide flight tickets and hotel receipts from times when we have vacationed together and travelled between the US and Aus to spend time together.  We could get family and friends to provide stat decs saying that we are together.  Don't have many photos though, I hate photos of myself so rarely take any.

Would this stuff be enough do you think?



#15 la di dah

Posted 12 January 2013 - 07:33 PM

QUOTE (me-and-my-girls @ 12/01/2013, 08:31 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Thanks so much ladies.

So, with regards to paperwork to prove the legitimacy of your relationship, what kind of things are they after.  I can probably provide Skype history, telephone and text history showing about 10 calls a day for the last year LOL.  We also have emails etc, but they could be a bit  ohmy.gif   Not sure if I want randoms reading them!!!  We can also provide flight tickets and hotel receipts from times when we have vacationed together and travelled between the US and Aus to spend time together.  We could get family and friends to provide stat decs saying that we are together.  Don't have many photos though, I hate photos of myself so rarely take any.

Would this stuff be enough do you think?


We provided Skype history, some emails, some IM logs, snail mail letters he sent me while I was in the military, and showed passport stamp scans of when we visited each other and pictures of us at various landmarks (Australian and American) together. And we got stat decs from his family/friends. And that was enough.



#16 Coffeegirl

Posted 12 January 2013 - 07:38 PM

My story is abit older than the rest.  I arrived in 1991.

I met DH in the USA (although I'm Canadian). I came out here on a tourist visa as I'd only known him 6 mths and we had no intention of marrying.  But as my visit came closer to ending DH decided he didn't want me to go and asked me to marry him

We went to immigration and they said we had to get married before my 3mth tourist visa ended, and apply for spousal visa (found out after we could have gone defacto, but they didn't tell us this).  We were married in early Feb, my spousal visa came through in March and I got Medicare benefits, but couldn't work until May.  Still need to have full medicals including chest x-rays, prove an ongoing relationship and have references.

I became a permanent resisdent after 2years and 2 mths.  Got my citizenship in 2001.

The rules have changed a lot since then though.  I spent endless hours on the phone though and hours waiting in queues at the Rockdale office.

#17 kuhla

Posted 12 January 2013 - 07:47 PM

My DP is American.  We are going through all this at the moment.  We met online and he decided to move over.  

He moved here 3 years ago on a temp work-holiday visa.  That allowed him to work here.  It's also quite a fast visa to get approved (I think it was only 6 weeks) He had that for 12 months.  

After that, we had been together for 1 year so was able to apply for a Partner Visa.  We had to prove that our relationship was genuine and ongoing - through bank statement, letters, emails and stat dec from 2 other people.  That took 12 months to be granted (in the meantime, he wasn't able to leave the country but he couldn't get removed either)

Now he's on a Partner Temp Visa which is indefinite and lasts until the other application is decided - the Partner Permanent Visa.  Apparently to be accept for that, we just have to still be together 2 years after applying for the Partner Temp.  He will then be offered citizenship.  

I am now pregnant with his baby so he better he granted the visa!!

If you need more info, feel free to msg me.  It's all quite difficult to get your head around but once you understand it's not too bad - the waiting is the worst part.

Edited by kuhla, 12 January 2013 - 07:48 PM.


#18 charlottesmum04

Posted 12 January 2013 - 07:54 PM

My sister and her DF have just put in the paperwork for his visa within the last 2 weeks and aparently it has recently changed so will tell her story..

For proof of relationship along with everything else she got all those nearest and dearest to them to do stat dec's.  

When he was here on a tourist visa he couldnt work but now that they have lodged the paperwork he gets a different visa which does allow him to work ( which is good as they want to start a family and dont mind how long the visa takes but if she has to take time off and he cant work...)

The bad news is the cost of the visa went up by $1000 as of Jan 1..

Oh and it doesnt matter if you get married before or after you apply for the visa as its just a partner visa.  As you said to get the married one he would have to live out of the country while its processed and thats no good.

As a previous poster she said the biggest pain in the butt was having to get police clearance from every country he had lived in.  As he was a bit of a jet setter he practically had to get clearance from every major region in the world.  They also wanted dates of every country he had ever entered/exited from.

#19 minimae

Posted 12 January 2013 - 07:58 PM

Hmm not sure if my story is relavent or not, as my partner came over on a partner visa (where there was a 12month living together requirement). I take it you guys have never lived together?

For us it took about 6 weeks to get all the paper work together, medicals and police checks, and then it took 3 months once submitted. We did this all whilst living in the UK together.

From what I understand, processing times aren't really related to how 'straightforward' your case is, but more the amount of people they are currently dealing with. Once they are happy they have all the required info, you get placed in a queue for visa approval. I know that in the UK at the moment, spouse/partner visas are taking about 9 months, whereas they where taking 3/4 months when we applied. So it depends where you apply, and how busy they are.

Evidence wise, our case worker wasn't really interested in photos/emails etc, but wanted evidence of shared finances, rental agreements, mutual holidays, purchases, insurance etc. As well as all the epic forms, stat decs and police clearances!

How long have you guys been together? Have you ever lived together? If you've not been together a long time and don't have a lot of evidence it might be worth getting the advise of a migration agent.

Like the website BMJ linked to earlier, another good one is www.pomsinoz.com (despite the name it deals with more than just english people!) it also has a couple of visa processing times threads, one for both onshore and ofshore applications.

If you post your question on either of those forums, you will get a lot of helpful and relevant replies.

EB is pretty awesome for a lot of things, but when dealing with the complicated Australian immigration system you might be better off asking elsewhere!!

Good luck, it's such a pain but once it's done you'll be able to look back and laugh.

#20 baddmammajamma

Posted 12 January 2013 - 08:00 PM

QUOTE (me-and-my-girls @ 12/01/2013, 08:31 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Thanks so much ladies.

So, with regards to paperwork to prove the legitimacy of your relationship, what kind of things are they after.  I can probably provide Skype history, telephone and text history showing about 10 calls a day for the last year LOL.  We also have emails etc, but they could be a bit  ohmy.gif   Not sure if I want randoms reading them!!!  We can also provide flight tickets and hotel receipts from times when we have vacationed together and travelled between the US and Aus to spend time together.  We could get family and friends to provide stat decs saying that we are together.  Don't have many photos though, I hate photos of myself so rarely take any.

Would this stuff be enough do you think?


Start gathering everything now.

Take a look at the actual paperwork forms (go to the DIAC site and start download):
http://www.immi.gov.au/migrants/partners/p...ow-to-apply.htm

You will see precisely what will be expected of you and your partner. You will see that his form alone is 30 pages long. Download each one and look through it so you know exactly what to expect. The requirements for the spousal/de facto partner visa will be very similar, with a key differences.

re your question about proof of your relationship -- for emails, I provided a "representative sample." Also, if you have any cards or emails from friends saying things like "It was so wonderful spending time with you & Chad. You are such a lovely couple," that's good stuff as well.

Your DF is going to have to do a lot of of the heavy lifting on this in terms of gathering paper.

I would really encourage you to check out the Yanks Down Under site because there are so many people on that site who are going through similar circumstances or who have very recently been through the process. It is a great place to ask questions, vent, trade ideas.

Good luck!

PS: It is a royal pain in the ass to collect some of the documentation from the U.S if you are living overseas. The FBI fingerprint clearance is a perfect example. The sooner you & your DF really get cracking on the paperwork, the sooner you can get him here.

Edited by baddmammajamma, 12 January 2013 - 08:12 PM.


#21 FiveAus

Posted 12 January 2013 - 08:22 PM

We provided emails, letters and cards we'd written to each other, stat decs from friends, a few photos, hotel reciepts from a trip we did together, his plane tickets from a previous visit. We also had to write a statement each. I wrote 8 pages, single spaced, 10pt Times New Roman font. Very detailed. I figured I might as well tell them everything so they could see we were serious, so I did. I have no idea if anyone read it though.

It was fairly expensive to apply for the visa at the time.......around $1500 I think (1999) and it's gone up considerably since then.

If you're outside of Australia when the visa is applied for, you need to be outside of Australia when the visa is granted. If you're in Australia for the application, you need to be in the country when it's granted. I don't think that's changed at all.

As someone else said, there are better forums than EB, and immigration agents often provide general advice on them.

#22 BobTony

Posted 12 January 2013 - 08:32 PM

QUOTE (girltribe4 @ 12/01/2013, 07:38 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Once we were here it was much easier for him to apply for medicare benefits ect than for me as a returning Aussie rolleyes.gif ( I hadn't lived here for 15yrs)

Yep, I found that too, lol!

OP get anything and everything that you can to show that you are a couple, we had photos, of just us, and also us with each others family to show that we were accepted as a couple by our families and friends, wedding invites, bills, hotel receipts anything we could think of. If it shows you have a relationship, nothing is too small! We applied for DH from Ireland and posted a half kg of paper to London to get his visa  ohmy.gif

#23 BrookeAry

Posted 12 January 2013 - 08:32 PM

My husband (from the US) came out on a holiday visa. We got married fairly quickly and then applied for the spouse visa. He couldn't work until we applied for the spousal visa. I called the immigration department A LOT. Most of them were really helpful. If not, I would just call back and talk to someone else. Temporary residency comes through pretty quickly once you get married.

#24 BobTony

Posted 12 January 2013 - 08:33 PM

DP

Edited by HappyNewBob!, 12 January 2013 - 08:34 PM.


#25 Amellyne

Posted 12 January 2013 - 08:34 PM

QUOTE (baddmammajamma @ 12/01/2013, 08:00 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Start gathering everything now.

Take a look at the actual paperwork forms (go to the DIAC site and start download):
http://www.immi.gov.au/migrants/partners/p...ow-to-apply.htm

You will see precisely what will be expected of you and your partner. You will see that his form alone is 30 pages long. Download each one and look through it so you know exactly what to expect. The requirements for the spousal/de facto partner visa will be very similar, with a key differences.

re your question about proof of your relationship -- for emails, I provided a "representative sample." Also, if you have any cards or emails from friends saying things like "It was so wonderful spending time with you & Chad. You are such a lovely couple," that's good stuff as well.

Your DF is going to have to do a lot of of the heavy lifting on this in terms of gathering paper.

I would really encourage you to check out the Yanks Down Under site because there are so many people on that site who are going through similar circumstances or who have very recently been through the process. It is a great place to ask questions, vent, trade ideas.

Good luck!

PS: It is a royal pain in the ass to collect some of the documentation from the U.S if you are living overseas. The FBI fingerprint clearance is a perfect example. The sooner you & your DF really get cracking on the paperwork, the sooner you can get him here.



I completely agree with the above, especially the fingerprint stuff, this was what we had huge amounts of issues with. DH had special clearance so there were issues with them running them, then they lost them, then they got re-done and he had to wait in a new queue, it was heartbreaking. I think they are only valid for like 3 months too, so as soon as you have made the decision to start I would recommend your DF go and get them done.

As for your concern about pictures, we had a hard time scraping them together as well, even though we had been together for about 3 years before we got married most of the places we went were together, not with friends and family so pictures together were a challenge (I hate the idea of giving my camera to a stranger and asking them to take a picture of me). I actually remember taking some specific "family" trips in order to get some pictures of us together in front of some American landmarks for our applications.

At the end of the day I think we had about 10 photos (including our wedding day) so don't stress to much about that, the plane tickets, passport stamps seemed to be more popular. The other thing you might want to consider is a joint bank account (if you can swing it) or maybe some rental receipts or bills with both of your names on them, they seem to look very favourably upon shared finances.




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