Saturday 12 November 2011

How to migrate

Many people are shocked when I tell them just how long the application is to migrate to Australia. They assume since I am Australian, and that bel bambino is now Australian that bel marito should be able to walk straight on in. No such thing. For those who have never visited Australia perhaps you didn't know that even a tourist requires a visa. A tourist visa is easy to get via the Internet and free too, but our application cannot be done online and is far, oh so far from free.

We are applying for the Partner Visa (subclass 309/100) which is for married and de facto couples. I am bel marito's sponsor and we are applying off-shore which means that when the visa is accepted (we are hopeful) we must be outside of Australia for it to be granted. If bel marito is granted the 309 visa this is a temporary visa which entitles him to live in Australia for 2 years. During this time anyone on the 309 visa can find work as this visa will allow it but they cannot claim social service benefits. When the 2 years are up each case is looked at again and if the couple is still together then a permanent 100 visa is granted which means the applicant can stay in Australia for ever and work and live as one of us, with access to benefits.  Sometimes a couple can be lucky and be granted the 100 visa immediately if they have been together long enough. Maybe since we have been together for 5 years and have a bel bambino we will be lucky.

We are not using an immigration agent since we don't think it's necessary. Perhaps if you come from a high risk country or have a criminal record then it would be advisable...I am no expert, but I think we can do it ourselves. Our application is about 2cm thick at the moment, and hopefully it will be finished this week so we can send it to be assessed. We need to show that we have a ' commitment to a shared life as husband and wife to the exclusion of all others. Show that we have a genuine and continuing relationship. Show that we are living together and that bel marito meets health and character requirements...'

Now how do we prove that our relationship is genuine? Well, the Australian Immigration websites provides a  lot of information thankfully which goes a little something like this:

  • History of relationship (statutory declarations from applicant and sponsor) - how we met, when the relationship developed, when we decided to marry or become de facto, how we support each other financially, physically and emotionally and when this level of commitment began, any periods of separation - when and why etc... and future plans. We have nearly finished these, mine is a whopping 5 pages since I can't seem to condense 5 years into less pages.

  • Evidence of relationship FINANCAL aspects: evidence of joint ownership real estate, cars etc... joint loans, joint bank accounts, sharing of household bills and expenses. This is our problem area. We have a joint bank account and we both used my British bank account so I've printed off loads of bank statements. That's all we have for this section though...

  • The nature of the household: we have to provide evidence of our living arrangements, joint ownership or rental of the place we live, joint responsibility of children, correspondence addressed to us both at the same address. We have some from this section. In the statutory declaration we've written how we look after the baby. We have residency certificates which show us as a nuclear family at the same address and we have letters and postcards addressed to us both.

  • Social context of the relationship: How friends and family view the relationship. Joint invitations, statutory declarations from people saying they know us both as a couple, evidence of joint travel, joint participation in sporting, cultural and social activities.  This section is ok, we have heaps of joint travel evidence, photos of us with each others family, stat decs from family and joint invitations.

  • The nature of our commitment to one another: Knowledge of each others personal circumstances, long term intentions, evidence of how relationship was maintained when we were apart. This section should be ok. We have bel bambino which is pretty good proof that we have long term intentions! Also we have emails from when we were apart.
On top of this we have printed off our facebook pages which shows our relationship status and comments from friends and family who make reference to us both. I've printed my mobile phone plan which shows bel marito and his parent's phone numbers as my deal. We have emails, health care forms, I've printed pages off this blog. To be bel marito's sponsor have to prove that I can support him financially in Australia. A little hard when I have worked a lot cash in hand and now get poor pay, but we have old and new payslips, contracts, bank statements and if this is not good enough for them then my parents will be our support.

Once our case has been opened, criminal checks and medical checks will be requested. So, I hope this answers some of your questions. All I can say is that if you are Australian and have even the smallest thought of migrating one day then please, keep anything and everything you can to prove you are a couple. I used to throw everything away until my twin sister told me not to a few years ago. We had no plans to migrate then, but agreed to keep plane ticket stubs, emails etc... and now how thankful am I!


Anonymous said...

I have no doubt that once your application is lodged, it will be a breeze (all you have to do,is point to your blog to authenticate the nature of your relationship).

I had meant to ask you last year, whether you and your hubby would ever contemplate returning to Australia to live...i guess we know the answer now...

It was prescient of you to make the decision to return to Oz, as i'm afraid the euro zone, and especially places like Italy are in for hard economic times over the next decade or two....

Mrs D. said...

Hi there! It is nice to read about y, I would like to send you greetings : saluti FROM iTALY TO AUSTALIA ;))

Rosa said...

Hi Leanne,
It's a long time since I've dropped by here and so have had an interesting read regarding your decision to move back down-under. I can fully understand your motives. I have four kids and chose to bring them up out of Italy in a European School in Luxembourg rather than the small town class in Positano for obvious reasons. But I had the choice. I would not have lasted long in Positano otherwise. What I regret is that they grew up without the entourage of cousins, grand-parents etc. But you can't have everything. I wish you all the best. I'm sure you are doing the right thing for your new family.

Gil said...

Wishing the three of you the best of luck for a smooth process.

Giulia to Julia - Italy to Australia said...

Don't worry Leanne,
The DIAC is very fast, we applied for a permanent residency visa and it took only 14 days to be finalised and granted.

We had to send all the documents you listed above, don't forget to send them photographs and, why not, also some screenshots from this blog!

Giulia to Julia - Italy to Australia said... glad that you come back to Australia, and if you come to Perth, where we recently moved, send me an email and we can have a nice dinner together!

LindyLouMac said...

I hope all goes well for you in the new adventure you are planning Leanne.

Sonia said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Mum2Two said...

Hi, i accidentally bumped into your blog and just want to put your thought at ease and say that things will be ok especially in regards to your situation ... been in your shoes and after putting all the requirement, I was asked to appear for an interview and a week later my passport came with the visa label on it ... just stay positive and it will all happen quicker than you think ... im sure bel marito and bel bambino will enjoy aus ... will follow your journey if you dont mind...

Leanne was in Italy now in Australia said...

hi anon,
thanks for the positive message!

saluti anche a te teacher online

hi Scintilla
thankyou, you living here a lot of the time know that to live here full time is notso nice!

hi Gil
thank you

hi Giulia,
14 days so fast! we are looking at at least 2 months for them to open our file. we have to go via berlin and they are slow...
i'll let you know if we make it to perth!

hi LindyLouMac.

hi Mrs K.
thanks so much for stopping by the blog.