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Hello, All!

I have benefited so much from this forum that I feel like I should give back by talking about my experience.

As the title states, I got my Partner Visa 820 approved in 7 months after being in a long distance relationship, with little financial evidence.

A very brief timeline:
- Met partner in Australia and physically together: 3 months
- I left Australia for Malaysia
- Long distance: 1.5 years (visited each other 3 times)
- I came back to Australia on the ETA visa and we got married!
- Lodged partner visa in May 2017
- Case Officer assigned 5 months later (early October 2017)
- Medicals & PCCs uploaded by 2 months after CO assigned (end of November 2017)
- Granted visa 820 a week after my final upload (early December 2017) :cool:

The main objective here is to convince your CO that you are truly in love and a genuine couple. Please note that I am not a migration agent and am only speaking out of experience.

What to remember:
- BE ORGANISED! Have everything in folders. You are only required to upload documents after you make payment but you really have to prepare a lot beforehand.
- download a PDF merger because you'd be merging some documents together
- 5 MB maximum per upload!
- 30 uploads for applicant and 30 for sponsor so that's 60 in total.
- cross-check your documents and make sure that they are accurate. And of course be truthful. If you are in a truly genuine relationship, you don't have to fake anything anyway. The CO will only become suspicious if you hide something, they are trained and they can pick up real from fake.
- Respond quickly to the CO's emails. My CO was nice to me, thankfully, and gave me an extension when I asked for it.


Here is a list of the documents I provided:

Submitted under Applicant (me):

1. Statutory Declaration from me stating financial aspects, nature of household, social aspect and nature of commitment - 3 pages in total. Be straight forward, it would make it easier for the CO to read as well!

2. Form 888 Statutory declarations x 5 (certified copies)
- from his father, his mother, his sister, my sister and a friend who are all Australian citizens
- they can be either Australian citizen/PR

3. Marriage certificate (not the one that is given to you on the day of your marriage, you have to apply for this "certified" marriage certificate at the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages, which we did in person at the office. It took about 2 weeks to get mine. We got married in Melbourne so I can only speak of what we did.)

4. Personal details:
- Passport (certified copy)
- Birth certificate (certified copy)
- Passport photo, front and back (I wrote my name and signed the back)

5. Police certificates *I had one that had expired by the time the CO got back to me. I explained that the process of getting it was so difficult (about 4 months to obtain) and that I haven't gone back to the country (Qatar) since I applied for the PCC, he waived the requirement to obtain a new one. Phew! Also it is up to you if you want to submit before or after a CO is assigned, personally I would advice you to prepare early.

6. Form 80 Personal particulars for Assessment including character assessment

7. Financial Aspects:
- Flight intineraries
- Room bookings
- Themepark bookings
- Marriage booking receipt
- Bank statements
*we hardly had any financial evidence since we were in a long distance relationship and we didn't upload our receipts because we usually throw them away. But in your bank statements you could put a box and highlight the expenses you made together. This itself took me months to prepare so start early. We didn't even have a joint bank account!

8. Nature of Household:
- Proof of moving in together
- This is where I wrote about "who does the chores" at home in my statutory declaration

9. Social aspect:
- 1 document of compiled photos with families and friends (in mine I put a caption addressing who we were with i.e "my mother, his sister," etc.)
- 1 document of compiled photos of gifts and letters we sent to each other
*I used Microsoft word and saved into PDF
- Emails
- Whatsapp messages (you can extract this into an email from the app. Do this by clicking on the conversation with your partner, click on their name at the top, and there should be the "export chat" option).
*You could make it easier for your CO by cutting it down. I took a snapshot of whatever I thought was important i.e plans together, talking about life etc and compiled them in Microsoft word. I put the dates as the heading so the CO would know that we were in contact for that period of time. I took about 2 months (almost everyday) to do this so I suggest you to start early! Well to be fair we had a lot of "nonsense talk" :p

Submitted under Sponsor:
1. Statutory declaration by him - 3 pages in total

2. Personal details:
- Australian citizenship (certified copy)
- Birth certificate (certified copy)
- Driver's license (certified copy)
- Passport photo (he wrote his name and signed the back)

3. Letter of Employment

4. Payslips (about 3 months worth closer to the date of the application)

5. Australian police certificate


If your CO gets back to you, he/she will send you a letter containing a list of documents they require. My CO only requested for some PCCs and for my medicals.

For PCCs, get them done as soon as possible! A lot of money was spent on DHL...

For Medicals:
1. Print the referral letter AND take note of your HAP ID.
2. Book the appointment ASAP! I did mine at Bupa on Bourke St in Docklands, just walking distance from Southern Cross Station. I highly recommend it because you can make the appointment through the online portal and it was just the best medical experience I had. They even ask you if you'd prefer a female doctor :D
3. After making the appointment, Bupa sent me an email containing details of what I had to bring. Remember to drink plenty of water before going!
4. Your medical report will be sent directly to DIBP a week after, so you don't have to stress about it after your medical checkup is done.

And then you wait... and wait... for a response.

I know that this is probably one of the most stressful things you have to go through, but remember that there are so many in the same boat and it is really worth it in the end. Australia is a beautiful country. All the best to you and I hope you found this helpful!
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