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Here is an outline of our visa application and the process for people who want to compare before they submit their applications:

A bit of background first - application made 27th November 2009 in Canada for a de facto partner temporary visa (offshore 309). Visa granted on 19th March 2010 - overall processing time - 16 weeks. We had been in a de facto relationship (in the eyes of immigration anyway) for 1.5 years and together for 2.5 years at time of application.

We did a lot of research before we lodged our applications and we had two main concerns - not enough evidence in the "social" catagory (we've been pretty tight on money here in Canada and going out/holidays were not a huge priority) - all we had were photos and some one way tickets for flights from Ottawa to Toronto. Our other concern was my partner's medical as he is overweight (BMI 40+) and has a previous history of depression.


Evidence we provided

  • Application forms
  • Joint bank account statements
  • Joint electricity bills
  • Cable bills in sponsor's name
  • Letter from landlord detailing rental agreement
  • Personal statements
  • Plane tickets for a flight together
  • Photos with friends and family in Australia and Canada
  • Statements from 2 friends and 8 family members
  • Letter from sponsor's employer
  • Sponsor's tax returns from Canada and Australia
  • Sponsor's bank account statements from Australia
  • Police check from Canada (local not RCMP)
  • Police check from Australia (AFP)

The worst bit of the application is definitely getting all the evidence together, we started collecting ours in August 09 with an aim to have it all ready for submission by early October 09. We had everything that we could do from Canada ready by that date, but it took another 6 weeks for all the Australian pieces to filter in (statements delayed by post, aus police check application got lost in the post). Id definitely recommend to anyone applying offshore that they should allow an extra 1-2 months for evidence collecting.

Our concerns about the medical were unfounded, the doctor was very positive when my partner had his medical done and told him he was as fit as a fiddle in spite of his weight. We did wait for the medical to be requested and looking back now, I think front loading the medical is definitely a better way to go if you're confident about the rest of your evidence (we were worried about the social bit, so wanted to pass our relationship evidence section first.)

We also learnt that the application is assessed in stages - 1. relationship requirement, if you pass this then 2. police/security checks and 3. medical checks. So if your application is ready apart from police checks or medical, you can submit and it won't delay the processing because these won't be reviewing until you satisfy all the relationship criteria.

Our visa was granted in exactly sixteen weeks - our CO estimated 12-16 weeks in her initial allocation email. Every timeline on here I saw for Canada was 8-10 weeks, so I presumed that the CO was overestimating to be safe and we would have ours in 8-10 weeks too. So we spent the last two months stressing that something was wrong with our application. Timelines are great to get an idea of what to expect, but listen to your CO, they're the ones who know best (even if it doesn't feel like that at the time).

Hope this helps some other people whilst they're preparing and waiting and best of luck.
 

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Offshore de facto or fiance sponsorship or?

Hello All,
First of all, thanks for this website as I have found valuable info  Sorry I was like 'hijacking' your thread as I am new member and have no idea how to create new thread, but would need advice immediately.
Please let me try to explain our condition:
I have a partner, Indonesian that holds Australian PR. He is now located in Indonesia and work in Indonesia as he also want to take care his father that have health problem. He was study in Sydney and stay there for almost 2 years and last year just extended his PR visa. We were met in June 2010 through a mutual friend, and start the relationship in Sept 2010. I am Indonesian and work in Singapore, there are times in between that we visit each other, but usually I am the one who will visit him as I would like to visit my mum and sister as well . The frequency is about once a month but there are times that I was so busy at work that took 3 months to meet each other. There are also times when I am not working in Singapore (my contract expired), I will go back to Indonesia for 2 to 3 months to know him better (happen twice). Now we are planning to move further, we plan to engage in near future (perhaps in April or May 2012). However we would like to try to live together in Australia for few months to see whether we can survive there , so that we can see how each of us can fit each other when both working and so on before we decide to get married this year. Btw I work as Oracle Financial Consultant.
Please help to advice on which way is the fastest and best for our case so that we can stay, and work together in Australia as soon as possible. What I can think of will be the de facto sponsorship or fiancé (prospective marriage) sponsorship. However for de facto sponsorship we don't live together even when I go back to Indonesia. For fiancé also we haven't choose the church as we would like to see how we can fit each other during 'real' life in Australia, however perhaps we can look for help to this part 
Please help to advise if there is any better way than those 2 options above , what would be the best way for us and how long is the time required for the process so that we could stay together in Australia, and how much is the cost.
Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks in advance all…God bless!

Cheers,
Shirley
 
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