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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone,

My situation is quite unique as I haven't found too many posts or people applying for 461. I am a US citizen, my partner (same sex relationship) is a NZ citizen who has been here in Australia for 9 months now (Subclass 444). Due to her NZ citizenship, we can only qualify for the 461 Visa to help me stay in Australia on a more permanent capacity.

About us:

We started our relationship in December 2011 where we met in NZ. I was on vacation there from the US for almost 2 months. (Up to today, we have been together for about 11 months but living together for a little more than 2 mths) My holiday ended, I returned to the US (Feb 2012), she moved to Australia the same week and we planned that I would join her as soon as possible to continue our relationship. During our time apart (approx 6 months), she supported me financially sending money into my US account every week. This would be proof of a genuine ongoing relationship and commitment to be together. We have limited email correspondence as she is not internet savvy and our phone bills (proof of logged long-distance conversations) cannot be printed because her cell phone is pre-paid and my cell phone was under my brother's family plan. Both numbers are now disconnected. We do have photos together in NZ, receipts of gifts between us whilst apart, FB messages, texts on our old phones, some receipts of motel/hotels when together in NZ but that's about it.
On a side note, the reason I had to stay in the US 6 months was because I was going through the process of my US naturalization which I started before my vacation.

In researching and scouting the immigration site for the appropriate visa to apply for back in the US, I found nothing that would 1) fit my work qualifications exactly 2) pertain to her NZ citizen status in Australia (her not being an Australian citizen made the visa choices slim) 3) would be easy to process and take the least amount of time. We were desperate to be together!

In my rush to join my partner and get into Australia with the least amount of headache, I decided to apply for a 6 month Tourist Visa as I figured I could always apply for a more permanent visa during this time in Australia as well as extend my visa should I run out of time. Once my US citizenship was complete, I applied for and got my 676 visa in less than 2 weeks. I arrived to Australia (Qld) end of July 2012.

In hind site, I should've gone for the 12 month visa even if it would take longer to process and they ask for more documents.

So the dilemma....

We don't qualify for the 1 year relationship requirement (living together) for Subclass 461 Visa and my 6 month Tourist Visa expires January 29, 2013. Not enough time to process and wait out the 1 year relationship requirement. We are, however, will be looking to "Register" our relationship locally under Queensland Government (Form 15). The only requirement I read was one of us has to be living in Qld for 6 months prior to the application. In doing this, I am hoping that they will see it as more proof to our committed relationship. We have thought about returning to my home (nyc) to get married and returning to Australia as my visa allows multiple entry. Would our "married" status then forsake the 1 year requirement?

I am now going to apply for an extension (another 6 months) to keep me here longer and thus satisfy the relationship requirement so we can apply for the 461 visa (should the registered relationship still not be enough for them). My concern in this is that in extending my Tourist Visa, they might impose a "no further stay" condition on it and I would not be able to apply for anymore visas. Although I would have genuine reasons to stay longer as a tourist...I have family and friends in Townsville, Melbourne and Cairnes to visit. I've contacted them and they can send me registered letters of invitation to visit them in the new year.

We have consulted an immigration agent who advised me to look at some companies under my profession who would be willing to sponsor me for a work visa (457). My profession in retail banking wasn't under the Skilled workers list so I didn't qualify for that visa. She said I may be able to use my 15 year work experience as a licensed banker in NYC to entice a bank to sponsor me but not sure how realistic that would be.

So my questions are...

Is there anyone out there with a similar situation, where they are in Australia under a NZ passport and tried to get their partner over under the 461 visa?
What are your experiences and timeline for the process?
In regards to extending the 676 as an American, are these always issued with a condition on it? I didn't think so as the US is a low risk country but I've read other people's post that contradicts this assumption.
Should I just go ahead and apply for an extension and run the risk of the no-further-stay condition?
In such a scenerio where I get the NFS condition imposed, would I be able to leave Australia and apply for another 676 or ETA to return?
Will the registered relationship be enough to go ahead and apply for the 461 visa instead of extending my tourist visa whereby the registration will waive the 1 year living together requirement?
Would I be able to apply for both 461 and 676 at the same time or does that not make any sense? What about bridging visa?

In conclusion...

I NEED to apply in early November, before the hustle and bustle of the Christmas holiday season and New Year risking offices being closed or inundated with applications and no one will be in the mood to work on visas, never mind that people's lives are dependent on them. My visa expires Jan 29th. I have to make a decision which direction to take and quick but I don't want to make the wrong choice and have it backslap me in the face.

If there is any information that you can provide to any of the points I have referenced above, I would appreciate your input. Alternatively, if someone out there has any other suggestions or recommendations, I am open to anything at this point. I really appreciate your help. Thanks in advance!

Cheers,
Honey
 

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honeyt said:
Hello everyone,

My situation is quite unique as I haven't found too many posts or people applying for 461. I am a US citizen, my partner (same sex relationship) is a NZ citizen who has been here in Australia for 9 months now (Subclass 444). Due to her NZ citizenship, we can only qualify for the 461 Visa to help me stay in Australia on a more permanent capacity.

About us:

We started our relationship in December 2011 where we met in NZ. I was on vacation there from the US for almost 2 months. (Up to today, we have been together for about 11 months but living together for a little more than 2 mths) My holiday ended, I returned to the US (Feb 2012), she moved to Australia the same week and we planned that I would join her as soon as possible to continue our relationship. During our time apart (approx 6 months), she supported me financially sending money into my US account every week. This would be proof of a genuine ongoing relationship and commitment to be together. We have limited email correspondence as she is not internet savvy and our phone bills (proof of logged long-distance conversations) cannot be printed because her cell phone is pre-paid and my cell phone was under my brother's family plan. Both numbers are now disconnected. We do have photos together in NZ, receipts of gifts between us whilst apart, FB messages, texts on our old phones, some receipts of motel/hotels when together in NZ but that's about it.
On a side note, the reason I had to stay in the US 6 months was because I was going through the process of my US naturalization which I started before my vacation.

In researching and scouting the immigration site for the appropriate visa to apply for back in the US, I found nothing that would 1) fit my work qualifications exactly 2) pertain to her NZ citizen status in Australia (her not being an Australian citizen made the visa choices slim) 3) would be easy to process and take the least amount of time. We were desperate to be together!

In my rush to join my partner and get into Australia with the least amount of headache, I decided to apply for a 6 month Tourist Visa as I figured I could always apply for a more permanent visa during this time in Australia as well as extend my visa should I run out of time. Once my US citizenship was complete, I applied for and got my 676 visa in less than 2 weeks. I arrived to Australia (Qld) end of July 2012.

In hind site, I should've gone for the 12 month visa even if it would take longer to process and they ask for more documents.

So the dilemma....

We don't qualify for the 1 year relationship requirement (living together) for Subclass 461 Visa and my 6 month Tourist Visa expires January 29, 2013. Not enough time to process and wait out the 1 year relationship requirement. We are, however, will be looking to "Register" our relationship locally under Queensland Government (Form 15). The only requirement I read was one of us has to be living in Qld for 6 months prior to the application. In doing this, I am hoping that they will see it as more proof to our committed relationship. We have thought about returning to my home (nyc) to get married and returning to Australia as my visa allows multiple entry. Would our "married" status then forsake the 1 year requirement?

I am now going to apply for an extension (another 6 months) to keep me here longer and thus satisfy the relationship requirement so we can apply for the 461 visa (should the registered relationship still not be enough for them). My concern in this is that in extending my Tourist Visa, they might impose a "no further stay" condition on it and I would not be able to apply for anymore visas. Although I would have genuine reasons to stay longer as a tourist...I have family and friends in Townsville, Melbourne and Cairnes to visit. I've contacted them and they can send me registered letters of invitation to visit them in the new year.

We have consulted an immigration agent who advised me to look at some companies under my profession who would be willing to sponsor me for a work visa (457). My profession in retail banking wasn't under the Skilled workers list so I didn't qualify for that visa. She said I may be able to use my 15 year work experience as a licensed banker in NYC to entice a bank to sponsor me but not sure how realistic that would be.

So my questions are...

Is there anyone out there with a similar situation, where they are in Australia under a NZ passport and tried to get their partner over under the 461 visa?
What are your experiences and timeline for the process?
In regards to extending the 676 as an American, are these always issued with a condition on it? I didn't think so as the US is a low risk country but I've read other people's post that contradicts this assumption.
Should I just go ahead and apply for an extension and run the risk of the no-further-stay condition?
In such a scenerio where I get the NFS condition imposed, would I be able to leave Australia and apply for another 676 or ETA to return?
Will the registered relationship be enough to go ahead and apply for the 461 visa instead of extending my tourist visa whereby the registration will waive the 1 year living together requirement?
Would I be able to apply for both 461 and 676 at the same time or does that not make any sense? What about bridging visa?

In conclusion...

I NEED to apply in early November, before the hustle and bustle of the Christmas holiday season and New Year risking offices being closed or inundated with applications and no one will be in the mood to work on visas, never mind that people's lives are dependent on them. My visa expires Jan 29th. I have to make a decision which direction to take and quick but I don't want to make the wrong choice and have it backslap me in the face.

If there is any information that you can provide to any of the points I have referenced above, I would appreciate your input. Alternatively, if someone out there has any other suggestions or recommendations, I am open to anything at this point. I really appreciate your help. Thanks in advance!

Cheers,
Honey
Her not being Australian makes only slightly more difficult, NZers are treated pretty much on par with permanent resident. She still can add you to her visa as a spouse. That she supported you for a while is already a very strong proof of a genuine relationship. I would explore this as first option. Especially if the relationship is registered.

Substituting registration for the living together condition is more of a hit and a miss. VIC and NSW are usually ok, but that is because they have similar requirements to DIACs. I'm not sure about QLD.

I would personally apply for extension and if a NFS condition is imposed travel to NZ for a week while another visa is processed. :). Good luck
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Boboa,

Thank you for your reply. I was hoping you'd be one of the responders as I've read several of your posts and you seem very knowledgable in the immigration system and you make excellent points in all of them.

I had not known that I can be added to her 444 as it's an automatic visa and there's no application process or forms to fill out. Although I am still only a partner, not a spouse. I will explore this a little further as it seems a lot easier than the 461. Should I still extend my 676 while exploring this option to be added to her 444?

I am forever grateful, thanks again :)

Cheers
 

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There are certain eligibility restriction on adding to 444 so you definitely need to check if you are eligible for that. If, due to your country of origin, you cant be added than you might want to

Regarding no further stay. Condition 8503 can be imposed on many Visitor and Temporary Residence visas. However, condition 8503 is a mandatory condition of the following visas:

Sponsored Family Visitor visa (subclass 679)
Tourist visa (subclass 676) granted under the Approved Destination Status scheme operating out of the People's Republic of China
Sponsored Business Visitor visa (subclass 459) if the application was made before 1 July 2006
Professional Development visa (subclass 470)
Work and Holiday visa (subclass 462) if you have previously held two subclass 462 visas.

It doesn't seem to me you fall into any of above categories (obviously you would need to answer that question yourself :) ) . It looks to me as unlikely to get this condition, but even if it is so there is always an option to request this waiver:

If you are in Australia holding a visa with condition 8503 imposed on it and your circumstances change, there is provision to waive the condition in limited circumstances that are set out at Regulation 2.05(4) of Australia's migration legislation.

This regulation states:

The circumstances in which the Minister may waive [condition 8503] are:
(a) since the person was granted the visa that was subject to the condition, compelling and compassionate circumstances have developed:

(i) over which the person had no control; and

(ii) that resulted in a major change to the person's circumstances; and

(b) if the Minister has previously refused to waive the condition, the Minister is satisfied that the circumstances mentioned in paragraph (a) are substantially different from those considered previously; and

(c) if the person asks the Minister to waive the condition, the request is in writing'.

If you do request a waiver of condition 8503, the departmental officer who considers your request must be satisfied that all the above requirements apply in your case, namely that:

the circumstances that have developed since you were granted the visa are both compassionate and compelling
you had no control over these circumstances
these circumstances have resulted in a major change to your personal circumstances.
Waiver is not automatic - each request is decided by assessing your particular situation against the above legal requirements.

There are a range of GLBTI community organisations that could assist you with an advice for free (i.e. actually sit with you and go through your paperwork). I know Sydney has a lot of them, but I'm sure Brisbane would have some as well. You might consider giving them a ring, asking for information is always a smart move :D
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
You're right. I don't fall under the categories you mentioned above and I may be over thinking the situation.
I'll just bite the bullet and extend my 676 soon to get it out of the way and at least I'll know where I stand. More time to celebrate or make other arrangements pending the outcome.

I found the GLITF link from one of the posts on here and they meet every second Thursday of the month (this week coincidentally) in Brisbane city. I will try to make their meetings and get some much needed consultation.

I can't begin to express my thanks. You are truly a heaven sent.
 
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