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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi everyone, I need a little advice - am totally confused. I am an Australian citizen currently living overseas and my wife holds a valid RRV (sub class 155) which is due to expire end of next month (Aug). In the meantime it was recently brought to my attention that she fits the criteria and thus had got her to apply for her citizenship from overseas - 'obviously personal ties' and the fact that she is involved in research at the University overseas and her area of research is Australia linked thereby making it 'of benefit to Australia' too. All relevant documentation has been supplied to the OCU requesting a ministerial discretion for residence requirement waiver.

- Applied Online: 17 Apr 2015
- Auto reply requesting further docs to be sent by courier only (since overseas): 17 Apr 2015
- Docs sent and dept received them: 01 May 2015
- Have not heard back from them since then wrt test/interview date (had even emailed them reminding them my wife's RRV due to expire soon and if they could consider our case and let her travel to take the oath within the RRV validity - so we may not be required to apply for yet another RRV).

Now we are in the process of eventually moving back to Australia as we want our son (who is also an Australian by birth) to grow up there. However this BIG move takes time and we are anticipating a couple of years before we can finally move back (due to various factors).

Although I understand that the OCU is not bound by the normal timelines in place had one applied on shore for the citizenship, however its been 2 months an 10 days since they have received all required documents physically but they havent yet even got back wrt the test/interview date/place, let alone the ceremony date.

So what happens if they dont reply back by say even mid August? Then should we apply for another RRV for her? I have been keenly reading the forums here and the general consensus is that DIBP dont take too kindly to people applying for RRVs but who continue to live overseas - however the intention here is to eventually move back but still need the flexibility to travel unrestricted to and from Australia with other Australian family members when required until we move back.

Further with the recent changes in RRV guidelines would she get just 1 year travel validity (since she doesnt fulfill the 2 out of 5 yrs residence criteria) or just like in the case of the citizenship application if my wife has been living overseas because of Me (her Australian spouse) and her Australian child then is that residence requirement waived and she is given again a RRV with 5 yrs validity (also considering that she is working in an activity which is of benefit to Australia in addition to strong personal ties)? Because it would be a bugger if we have to keep applying for RRVs every year - considering it'll take us a few years of to and fro movement before we finally move back.

Now the further dilemma: Should she apply for the RRV while we are overseas? Or should we plan a short holiday to Australia (assuming we could still afford to - but thats a different story altogether) and get her RRV stamped on shore (considering it takes only 1 day for them - however am not aware if they would still do it as per normal course since we are not resident there and don't want to mislead them in any way)?

Also do you think if we should apply for her RRV then should we also draw reference to her Citizenship application (which is still in limbo) - will that help or further confuse them?

Sorry too many questions in one thread - but I guess you can understand the utter state of confusion! Any help/advice would be greatly appreciated.

Warm regards.
 

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You should contact a RMA in the first case. Your citizenship application is in limbo ....the usual exemptions are if you are working for the defence force or in an australian embassy...working for a university on a research project that has ties with an australian team is a minor relationship unless her salary is from an Australian grant. You are not asking for a 1-2 month exemption but over a year (since she does not make the 2 out of 5 year requirement for a RRV...best case scenario woul be she is missing 1 year of residence). Contact a RMa for advice
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
You should contact a RMA in the first case. Your citizenship application is in limbo ....the usual exemptions are if you are working for the defence force or in an australian embassy...working for a university on a research project that has ties with an australian team is a minor relationship unless her salary is from an Australian grant. You are not asking for a 1-2 month exemption but over a year (since she does not make the 2 out of 5 year requirement for a RRV...best case scenario woul be she is missing 1 year of residence). Contact a RMa for advice
Thanks for your reply. Just to clarify:

The strongest ties are her personal ties - the fact that she is married to me (an Australian citizen) and the fact that her (our) child is also Australian. Also she is living overseas because of me since I have to live overseas.

The second strong connection is that she is involved in an activity which is of benefit to Australia.

So taking these two factors into account I am assuming that she should be eligible for the ministerial discretion.

However we were not aware earlier that she would be eligible for such waivers else we would have filed the citizenship application long ago instead of taking an RRV few years back.

When we filed her citizenship application in April this year I was confident that she wouldnt need to apply for another RRV and that would be granted citizenship by ending August, however its slowly becoming clear that the citizenship unit are probably flooded with applications and hence are taking longer than expected in processing her application. That leaves us with no choice but to apply for another RRV in the meantime (as the current one is about to expire next month).

My only confusion is limited to the following two points for which I would be grateful if someone can provide any advice as such:

1) Taking the above into consideration will she still get an RRV with just 1 year validity or do you think she should get the 5 year validity stamp. (As it would seem a little inconvenient to be paying high RRV fees every year - considering her strong ties).

2) When applying for the RRV next month - should she bring to the department's notice that she has applied for citizenship too? Or will this lead to un-necessary confusion? Or it doesnt matter either way if one brings to their attention or not as its two separate things (although its the same department)?

3) Should we consider getting the RRV stamped on shore (if we happen to travel back home next month for some work - but that would seriously impact us financially considering we'll have to provide for multiple trips back and forth since we havent yet finalised the final move back) or it doesnt matter and we should apply while we are overseas? I just dont want the department to take unkindly to us that she is applying for multiple RRVs etc etc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
My only confusion is limited to the following two points for which I would be grateful if someone can provide any advice as such:

1) Taking the above into consideration will she still get an RRV with just 1 year validity or do you think she should get the 5 year validity stamp. (As it would seem a little inconvenient to be paying high RRV fees every year - considering her strong ties).

2) When applying for the RRV next month - should she bring to the department's notice that she has applied for citizenship too? Or will this lead to un-necessary confusion? Or it doesnt matter either way if one brings to their attention or not as its two separate things (although its the same department)?

3) Should we consider getting the RRV stamped on shore (if we happen to travel back home next month for some work - but that would seriously impact us financially considering we'll have to provide for multiple trips back and forth since we havent yet finalised the final move back) or it doesnt matter and we should apply while we are overseas? I just dont want the department to take unkindly to us that she is applying for multiple RRVs etc etc.
Anyone? please?
 

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I don't think anyone really has an answer for this, as we don't have all elements. Maybe ask a migration agent about the best strategy for the RRV stamp and when to apply?

Also one of the only reason as to why citizenship might be approved even though she doesn't fit criteria is if she lives overseas because you are in the defence force. I think many people in defence force have foreign spouses due to the nature of the work; so someone there (human resources? colleagues?) might be of more help for this particular case
 
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