onshore or offshore, spouse/partner or tourist?

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onshore or offshore, spouse/partner or tourist?


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Old 02-28-2010, 11:20 PM
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onshore or offshore, spouse/partner or tourist?

Hello! I'm hoping for some advice, suggestions, help?

I live and work in the U.S. and I'm engaged to a wonderful Aussie man whom I met through friends (they've known him for 15 yrs.) and gotten to know via skype & internet & text. He's just gone back to Oz after a nearly three week visit here to finally meet in person and to meet my mom and my family.

We plan to marry this year. My dream is to move to Australia with my daughter and to live there permanently. She is 7, and I have paperwork from her father allowing her to relocate. My fiance is working, has leased a house for us to live in, and I am also to sign the lease with the realty agency once I arrive.

I am wondering about the best way to go about making the move and which visa will best fit our situation.

He is planning to come back in June to help us finish packing and to move. We've talked about possibly marrying here in the States, then applying offshore for the Temporary/Permanent Partner Visa. But we want to travel back to Aus. and begin our life together in June. Can we travel back there while my application is being processed? We've considered applying for an ETA visa so we can travel after school is out abd then we could marry and apply onshore once I've arrived. I believe the ETA visas are valid for 12 months, for 3 month stretches, but I can't find if they have the NFS condition, or if I can apply for another visa while already onshore. I've seen good results for people applying in person, as well. Are we better off lodging our application in person, whether in the U.S. or Oz? I know..so many questions.

I want to get started getting my documentation together and taking care of any medical or other necessary checks processed. Okay, He's more the planner and wants me to make sure we get things moving and that we don't miss anything.

I very much appreciate any feedback.

Thank you!
Sandy


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Old 03-01-2010, 02:40 AM
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Hi Sandy. Congrats on meeting the man of your dreams. You cannot apply for a 'de facto' spouse as you have not lived together as 'man and wife' for at least 12 months. 2 choices either apply under the fiance 300, whereby you must marry within 9 months of arrival in Australia, or marry in US and apply as a 'spouse'. Travelling to AUS on the ETA and marrying is also a posibility but like you say the NFS may be automatic on it and that will scuttle you. I will try to find out if NFS is automatic.

I am aware that some countries do allow visitor visas after an application has been submitted but remember that when an application is lodged off shore you will be required to exit Australia when the application is ready to be granted and visa issued. So you would have to travel to perhaps NZ for a minimum of 5 working days.

If hubby to be is travelling back in June, you can lodge a 300 or a 309 application now and get the process underway. With a 300 application it will be necessary for hubby to be to visit a marriage celebrant and get the 'wedding' booked and forward you the official notification of such with the sponsorship form and all the other relevant info to go in with the application.

I am not sure about the US, but here in SA a 300 or 309 or a 100 application are processed in about 2 - 3 months.

The foundation of the application is the evidence of the relationship so this documentation is very important and the more you can provide the better. US police clearance takes a few days too so you may want to start sorting that out now too.

I hope this helps a little. Regards Mary


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Old 03-01-2010, 03:05 AM
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Originally Posted by sandy View Post
Hello! I'm hoping for some advice, suggestions, help?

I live and work in the U.S. and I'm engaged to a wonderful Aussie man whom I met through friends (they've known him for 15 yrs.) and gotten to know via skype & internet & text. He's just gone back to Oz after a nearly three week visit here to finally meet in person and to meet my mom and my family.

We plan to marry this year. My dream is to move to Australia with my daughter and to live there permanently. She is 7, and I have paperwork from her father allowing her to relocate. My fiance is working, has leased a house for us to live in, and I am also to sign the lease with the realty agency once I arrive.

I am wondering about the best way to go about making the move and which visa will best fit our situation.

He is planning to come back in June to help us finish packing and to move. We've talked about possibly marrying here in the States, then applying offshore for the Temporary/Permanent Partner Visa. But we want to travel back to Aus. and begin our life together in June. Can we travel back there while my application is being processed? We've considered applying for an ETA visa so we can travel after school is out abd then we could marry and apply onshore once I've arrived. I believe the ETA visas are valid for 12 months, for 3 month stretches, but I can't find if they have the NFS condition, or if I can apply for another visa while already onshore. I've seen good results for people applying in person, as well. Are we better off lodging our application in person, whether in the U.S. or Oz? I know..so many questions.

I want to get started getting my documentation together and taking care of any medical or other necessary checks processed. Okay, He's more the planner and wants me to make sure we get things moving and that we don't miss anything.

I very much appreciate any feedback.

Thank you!
Sandy
Hi Sandy and it is good you're starting to get documentation together for some of it can take quite a while, FBI check for instance.
With the Aussie guy a planner he really needs to also be looking at just what can be done and what is involved.

First of all, without being married or having a relationship registration for either ACT, Victoria or Tasmania once in Australia, you'll need to have a 12 months relationship [ virtually sharing a life and largely living together ] and without either you'll only be eligible for the Prospective Marriage Visa.

Even with being married or having a relationship registration you still need to provide substantial support of the relationship and commitment - see eligibility sections and also Booklet #1 referenced in visa info on immi site and on that basis, a relationship registration approach with limited time living together could be questionable.

If you do get married, an offshore application would seem the most appropriate and you do get a bonus of it being about $800 cheaper than the onshore or PMV, though with an offshore visa will also require you to be offshore for it to be granted.
Details @ Partner Visa: Offshore Temporary and Permanent (Subclasses 309 and 100) and you need to become familiar with the eligibility requirements and application process from the applying for this visa section which also has a Checklist that ought to be used.

Though in theory you could submit an application offshore and then after entering on an ETA take a short trip from Australia to nearest outside destination [ NZ for eastcoast] to allow the visa to be granted, there is no guarantee of that working for whilst an ETA is for visiting, according to one of our posters [ Mary C., experience with visas ] , getting a tourist visa whilst a partner one is processed does not always happen though it could also depend on country from where you're applying too.
There is no reason why Immi should not allow someone in if it is their wish to take the ETA in full knowledge that a short trip abroad will be required for granting of their spouse visa and some people have done that.

ETAs do generally not have a NFS condition where tourist visas may [ more often than not I suspect], and as to processing time, there can be so many variables with completeness of your application, location staffing levels and workload all having an effect but one thing for sure, the only way you could really expect to get married in June, get an application in and have a visa approved very quickly would be to have the application fully prepared and complete with all evidence, statements, police check and health examination done and you could still be looking at more than a month if medicals required further examination for instance.

The other aspect that could make for a closer look at your application even if married would be not having had a great ammount of time together.

Edit: 1. Mary has posted while I was typing mine and we basically say the same thing, just in different ways.

2. Another approach you could take to build the 12 months together would be a 12 months tourist visa, and I just posted on another thread on how they can lead to a longer stay, ie.
Quote:
You'll find that a 12 months tourist visa may have a No Further Stay condition on it and so you will need to look at how you do your partner application in conjunction with the need to leave Australia, plenty of recent threads discussing the relationship/offshore/onshore basics.
You could also find that a 12 months tourist visa could also allow you to stay quite a bit longer for if you get one granted it could have a latest entry date 12 months out from grant date with a validity of 12 months from latest entry and so if you travel as soon as you get it and then just before latest entry you duck over to NZ and back, you'll have another 12 months and ample time to develop the relationship and put the evidence together.
You also need to be a bit cagey on how you put the truth when applying for visas and for " jagoncilla " who asked a truth question on a nearby thread, I also posted:
Quote:
It's always better to tell the truth in making an application and getting it will be for Immi to decide.
And in seeking a grant decision it is also best to think about the way you put the truth forward, ie.

If you just come out and say you're after a 12 months tourist visa so as to achieve a 12 months relationship for a defacto visa, someone may decide to not look too kindly on such an application for what you're planning is ot quite in keeping with the visa purpose.

However, there is no harm in stating you want to visit Australia for a lengthy period so as you have plenty of time and you have a friend [ perhaps even more than one] to stay with to keep costs down and would use the friends residence as a means of minimising your travel costs.
No doubt you could have a rough itinerary of places you find of interest and how some travelling could be with your friend as well as being able to have funds for .

Immi are not fools and an application might still be assessed as still not being kosha but I feel you may give yourself a better chance with how you handle the truth.
If you can show funds to support yourself [ and daughter!!!] for a 12 months relationship and having a friend to provide cheap accommodation is OK, then a tourist visa may be possible !!!.................. , but just thinking re the daughter, that could become a bit messy if they question what your daughter is going to do for schooling - though always home schooling/distance education etc.

So something to consider and the longer tourist approach will certainly give you more time if not wanting to rush marriage.


Last edited by Wanderer; 03-02-2010 at 04:45 AM.

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Old 03-01-2010, 07:20 AM
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Hi Sandy,

I was in a similar situation as you, except in reverse, ie. I am the Aust. citizen and my husband the US citizen.

We went through all the options and for us the prospective spouse (subclass 300) visa was the best option.

The evidence we had to present was of the kind we already had, ie relationship evidence. If we had married on one of our trips to each other's countries, we would not have had the 'spouse related' kind of evidence required for the spouse visa (ie joint bank accounts etc) because we had not lived together.

We did not consider him coming here on an ETA and then getting married and applying for the spouse visa onshore. I was aware that some people do this, but for me it meant that he would have had to lie at the point of entry when asked the purpose of his visit, and I just could not live with the stress of worrying about the potential repercussions of that.

Prospective marriage visas for US citizens are processed relatively quickly. Ours took 3 months and that included Christmas, CO resigning, CO going on holidays and them losing some of our forms.

Getting all the paperwork together took about 2 months of intensive effort from both of us though so you need to factor that into your planning. June seems a bit of a tight timeline, but its potentially doable if you have a lot of the paperwork on hand already. The form 888s can take time, because they rely on other people filling them out.

Good luck with the process.


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Old 03-02-2010, 02:56 AM
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Thank you so much for all of the information you've given to us. It sounds like our best bet is to apply offshore. I'm still unsure whether it should be a Prospective Spouse or if it would be Partner. This evening I've been reading through the Booklet.

Wanderer, you mentioned that even if we were to marry here, we'd still need to provide support of relationship and commitment. We have known each other for nearly a year and have emails, FB messages, and of late, some rather large phone bills for going over minutes on Skype to cell calls! Not to mention his visit here to the States.

I'm going to try to plow on through the Booklet and then I'm sure I'll have another question or two.

Again, thank you so much for your time and help!

Sandy


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Old 03-02-2010, 04:01 AM
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Hi Sandy

DIAC always require evidence of the relationship for applications, under the 300 309 applications. Only is 100 applications where the applicant and spouse have been married for quite a considerable time or in applications where they have not been together too long but do have a child or children.

While the DIAC information does mention joint accounts in addition to the other documentation, not many people have 'joint' accounts these days but the other documentation should be sufficient to show the authentisity of the relationship, whether you apply as a spouse of a prospective spouse.

Regards Mary


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Old 03-02-2010, 05:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sandy View Post
Thank you so much for all of the information you've given to us. It sounds like our best bet is to apply offshore. I'm still unsure whether it should be a Prospective Spouse or if it would be Partner. This evening I've been reading through the Booklet.

Wanderer, you mentioned that even if we were to marry here, we'd still need to provide support of relationship and commitment. We have known each other for nearly a year and have emails, FB messages, and of late, some rather large phone bills for going over minutes on Skype to cell calls! Not to mention his visit here to the States.

I'm going to try to plow on through the Booklet and then I'm sure I'll have another question or two.

Again, thank you so much for your time and help!

Sandy
Yes Sandy, you still need to provide your evidence to show you have a genuine relationship, even if married and the Booklet does have a heap of information in it though do not be overwhelmed with the thought that you need something of everything they say for it is also has words indicating the descriptions there to be a guide.

And there are exceptions, people not using a joint account for instance as Mary indicates.

Have a read of the sticky thread by elkitten re what she did for she is one that did not really have a minimal case re longevity of relationship but more that it was a somewhat fragmented situation and at the time she was in the process, I stressed to her the benefit of presenting evidence clearly, using a chronological records approach to index all supporting information you'll have and that in your case being mainly your communications.

She had success as others in similar situations have had following the same approach but I've also read of UK based people even having been married and having kids who have had a harder time, perhaps because they submitted applications in the first place thinking that being married ought to have been enough.
It is a key one but also making the effort to show the length and commitment you have will certainly improve the chance of a visa grant.


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Old 03-03-2010, 06:12 AM
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Originally Posted by sandy View Post
Thank you so much for all of the information you've given to us. It sounds like our best bet is to apply offshore. I'm still unsure whether it should be a Prospective Spouse or if it would be Partner.

Sandy
My understanding, and I could be wrong, is that the only partner visa open to you if you are unmarried is the de facto. For that you have had to lived together for the 12 months prior to the relationship, ie be in a spouse-like relationship for that time, and not live in separate countries for most of the time.

The evidence you have, ie emails, skype, phone records and plane tickets etc. is the kind of information that is needed to establish a relationship leading to the fiance visa, ie how have you gotten to know each other and do you have a genuine intent to marry. Its not the evidence you need for the spouse or de-facto visa, which is 'living together in a genuine marrige' kind of evidence.

Having done both, prospective spouse and then spouse, the relationship evidence we provided each time was quite different.


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Old 03-03-2010, 07:43 AM
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Originally Posted by mallory View Post
My understanding, and I could be wrong, is that the only partner visa open to you if you are unmarried is the de facto. For that you have had to lived together for the 12 months prior to the relationship, ie be in a spouse-like relationship for that time, and not live in separate countries for most of the time.

The evidence you have, ie emails, skype, phone records and plane tickets etc. is the kind of information that is needed to establish a relationship leading to the fiance visa, ie how have you gotten to know each other and do you have a genuine intent to marry. Its not the evidence you need for the spouse or de-facto visa, which is 'living together in a genuine marrige' kind of evidence.

Having done both, prospective spouse and then spouse, the relationship evidence we provided each time was quite different.
It's for sure that without being married, it's a defacto visa as far as a partner visa goes and if married it's the married version, they just being sub-sets of the partner visa, about only difference being the birth certificate and no need to have the 12 months relationship if married but for both and the PMV there is a requirement for the relationship to be shown as genuine with a commitment to continuing, a reference to P38 in booklet #1 in sections of all.

That's why Sandy is looking at whether it's a case of getting married, the PMV or she can also consider the come to Australia to get the 12 months relationship together though that is a little trickier.

There is going to be more information that a couple will have if living together but all information showing a relationship development for either a marriage or pre 12 months together should not be excluded, it being part of the history of meeting, ie. on P38.
Quote:
When you apply for a Partner visa, you must provide evidence that supports your claims of a genuine and continuing relationship with your partner.
History of your relationship
You and your partner must each provide a statement regarding the history of your
relationship, including:
how, when and where you first met;
how your relationship developed;
when you decided to marry or commence a de facto partner relationship;
your domestic arrangements how you support each other financially, physically and
emotionally and when this level of commitment began;
any periods of separation when and why the separation occurred, for how long and
how you maintained your relationship during the period of separation; and
your future plans.
The statements written by you and your partner can be on ordinary writing paper or a
statutory declaration form may be used. Each statement or statutory declaration must
be signed and dated by the author. For details on who can witness statutory
declarations, see page 25.


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Old 03-03-2010, 10:37 AM
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Thank you, again. I believe we'll need to apply for the Prospective Spouse visa, our only delay there is that he will not be impediment free until the start of June. That's the point at which we had hoped to at least be able to travel to Oz on the ETA visa and go from there. Or have all of our paperwork and application ready to apply offshore in June and then travel on the ETA visa to be together. The date of us getting married can be whenever, it's the being together that we're aiming for. Can we apply offshore for the prospective spouse and then have me come as tourist. Or can I only have one visa applied/active at a time? That was why we considered marrying here in June, but then .. *sigh* We thought of the 12 month tourist visa, but that required about a thousand dollars per month in savings and we just don't have that much saved.


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