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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All, new to the forum so bare with me :)

I am Canadian and married to an Australian (7years married) with 3 kids (All Australians by decent).
We currently live in Toronto, Canada.

My husband was just offered a promotion in Brisbane. We have decided to accept it and are battling the paper work for a spouse visa. However, they want him there for the end of July!

If I apply now in Canada I'm pretty sure there is no hope for me receiving the visa in time. What are the rules for applying in Australia??
Does anyone know if I can apply in Australia on an ETA?

I'm very stressed at the moment! The idea of waiting for my visa and then flying to Australia alone with three kids under 5 is not appealing! LOL.

Any help is appreciated!
 

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Hi All, new to the forum so bare with me :)

I am Canadian and married to an Australian (7years married) with 3 kids (All Australians by decent).
We currently live in Toronto, Canada.

My husband was just offered a promotion in Brisbane. We have decided to accept it and are battling the paper work for a spouse visa. However, they want him there for the end of July!

If I apply now in Canada I'm pretty sure there is no hope for me receiving the visa in time. What are the rules for applying in Australia??
Does anyone know if I can apply in Australia on an ETA?

I'm very stressed at the moment! The idea of waiting for my visa and then flying to Australia alone with three kids under 5 is not appealing! LOL.

Any help is appreciated!
Hi there!

When I applied, I was told that the average processing time is 12 - 16 weeks. If you applied now and under regular circumstances, you application could be approved by the end of July.
The thing with applying in Australia is that you need to make sure you have the appropriate visa that will span your application time. There's a pretty big unknown (at least to me) about 1. What the appropriate visa would be and 2. How long it takes applications to be processed onshore. I've heard varying reports.
Immi doesn't really like people going over on tourist visas then applying for PR visas (because you basically have to lie when you enter about just going for a vacation).

Unless applications are being processed VERY fast onshore my whole thought on the matter is that it might be quicker for you to apply offshore --- there probably aren't that many Canadians (minus me of course ;)) applying to move to Australia. Think of how many people there are in Australia applying to stay there - LOTS. (The same is true for Canada too actually --- it's quicker to apply to move/work in Canada outside of Canada than in).

In our experience it took a lot of concerted effort to get our application compiled and sent in - it was a lot of letters to write, things to certify, etc... No matter where you're going to apply, I'd suggest getting things in order now (long form birth certificates, passports, certified copies of your marriage certificate, stuff from the bank showing joint finances, etc).

(answering the question you left on my profile thing)
When we were filling out all of forms it was kind of my understanding that no matter what, I'd need to send in a criminal records check which is why I sent it in with my initial application. And I also didn't know if I'd need to get the CRC that involved finger prints which would've taken a long time (turns out only non-citizens of Canada need the finger print one). If you've lived anywhere besides Canada for 12 months or more I'd suggest starting to inquire about your CRC because it might take a while and in some countries you have to fight for it. A lot of people "front load" their application with their criminal records check and their medical. I personally think it's risky to do it with your medical because you don't know what you might need (just an x-ray or the whole thing) it cost me $327 to get my medical done (the full one) and it would've cost about $160 less if I didn't need blood work. I unfortunately live really far away from any panel doctors so I had to make a special (expensive) trip out to get mine done.

We found a website that helped us with our application in that they organised everything that we'd need and made a list we could check off and they gave us some advice. They didn't act as a full-on agent they just kind of organised information so it didn't seem like such an overwhelming process.

It might expedite the process if you hired a migration agent.

Anyway! If you have any other questions let me know and I'll try my best to answer them :)

Best of luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks. I finally got a hold of someone from Aus consulate that could answer my questions. They also agreed with you about processing times being much shorter in Canada. It also is half the price in Canada! Go figure!!
We have actually almost finished filling out forms,certifications, etc. It's taken forever it seems!! I was just holding off on sending it until we knew what our best option was. The guy at the consulate told me it would take three months (average) which would take me into August. I may just go to Austrlia with my family on a holiday visa and then come back to get it approved and finalized. It will depend on whomever processes my case.

Keep me posted when you hear anything your end. I'm very curious if the wait times are as stated.

Good luck!
 

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Clare,
Seems as though it could be a bit of a squeeze getting approval by end of July, there only being 11 weeks to go.

I'm not too sure where you got your cheaper pricing for doing it Off Shore from, for it shows other way on Partner Visa Charges

And to try and save any messing around with applying from Canada, coming in here on another visa and then returning for approval/granting I'd give thought to getting all your documentation finalised and a good checklist is usually in the "applying for this visa" section of any visa and if you're guided by that, shouldn't be a problem.

At the same time, if you enter on an ETA I wouldn't think you would be refused if asked at entry why here [with husband and three kids] if you say you didn't have time to process visa in Canada and are doing it in Oz.

Just for insurance, I'd use the email provision on the immi site to ask the question directly of immigration [and not the consulate, though you could] and be specific in outlining the circumstances, ie.
Husband and Aussie, three kids , move to Oz in July.


And re having it done in Oz within the three months of an ETA, one of our posters here rang for an interview appointment and more or less got her spouse visa the same day. - scroll down a bit, could have been mimster, a German woman I think. - I've linked the thread in next post.

If it looks like it would take longer, I'd think you'd be granted a bridging visa and again, ask that as a second specific question to immi.
Are you able to get the children Aussie passports while in Canada for if not they'll also need a visa to enter regardless of whether they are considered Australian by descent or not.
 

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Ours took forever to fill out too! We worked on it every day for 3 months before we got everything done. We had planned to send everything in January and didn't manage to get everything ready until March. We almost didn't believe things were ready to go in the end! I was so nervous putting it in the mail since it took us SO long!

The thing with going out on a holiday visa is that the closer it takes for your case to be approved they will be wanting your passport which if you are on vacation, you won't be able to give them (and you aren't allowed to be in Australia when the visa is granted anyway).
2½ weeks after I applied they requested my passport so there wasn't even a chance that I could've travelled overseas.

I'll definitely keep everyone updated :)


Wanderer: When I looked to apply I saw that applying in Canada was less than half the price (but maybe I'm reading the chart wrong). There are a lot of little fees that add up (mind you my visa has cost me A LOT of money with having to fly out for my medical).
 

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Yes, I've mis-read that Chart Megera/Clare for they charge $1420 for an offshore spouse/partner, prospective marriage visa

And then though they show a second ammount for a prospective marriage visa holder to go the next step - $685 , and the other situations which include $2105 for an onshore visa if you are holding anything else other than say a 309 for your case.

It seems at face value they're prepared to forego $685 if you apply for the 309 which turns over to a 100 after two years [and I've read a clause somewhere that if you've been together for X years you do not have to wait the two years to get your PR 100 visa].
It does seem a bit odd and I'm just wondering whether immi have a hit somewhere else for that $685.

Anyways, if you do pay $685 more onshore, you'll save more than that in not needing to return to Canada if applying from there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Wow, so much to think about. I will try and call Immi today, although I had a hard time when I tried before. Actually with time differnece I guess on Monday...

When I talked to the consulate they told me it takes 6 month minimum to get visa in Australia. It also says this on their website. It definitly seems worth it though if its that quick.

Thanks everyone for your help. I'll wait to see what the people in Australia say.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Clare,

Are you able to get the children Aussie passports while in Canada for if not they'll also need a visa to enter regardless of whether they are considered Australian by descent or not.
Wanderer: I am actually applying for the children to have Australian citizenship by descent. I presume they get a certificate or something. Do I still need a visa? I will try and get passport once the decent thingy arrives but again time is running out...
 

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I imagine once you get citizenship declared for the children you'll then be able to get them passports - Citizenship by descent
Looks like about 12 weeks to process that too.

I think it would have to be exceptional circumstances, something like a natural disaster, war or terrorism attack for some sort of travel document alternate to a passport to be available.

On a separate situation, I do know that the government will not issue an alternate travel document to someone who has their passport lodged with another country re getting a visa to there - actually happened with another Canadian [dual citizenship] here in Australia and wanting to depart Australia for a trip back to Canada while her Australian passport was with the British embassy in Australia - as an Australian citizen you're obliged to use your Australian passport to both depart and arrive here and soit was hoped an alternate document could be issued - Nope, no way!

So could be another reason for you all to initially come over using Canadian passports and getting a visa - at least you could get their citizenship application underway while still in Canada so they would have that prior to ETA expiring.

Re phoning immigration, it can be a real pain getting through, as per usual with government departments you get various options to hit numbers for and then likely will be on a waiting list - try and work out your time difference, about nine hours you're ahead I think on eastcoast [without daylight saving adjustment if you have it] but a day behind and so to ring right on 9am Monday, best chance of no queue, it would be 6pm Sunday in Canada east coast if I've worked it out right.

You could still try ringing the immi office in Canada - Contact Us - Department of Immigration and Citizenship and the application time they'll tell you for onshore application will be whatever they have listed on the immi site/in their procedures manual etc. - usedto be some tables retimes on the site but can't find them at moment.
The times they will refer to are their standard service times and looking back at an older annual report, 78% of applications were processed within what was their standard service time of 6.3 months.

I suggested emailing as that way you can have what you want to ask down in black and white and hopefully get an answer that way too and so there should be no chance of mis-interpreting with a phone call.
 

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What if you called the Australian High Commission in Ottawa? They will most likely be able to answer your questions.

Home - Australian High Commission toll free: 1-888-990-8888

To figure out the time you can use worldtimeserver.com. That's what I used before I got a thing in my firefox that displays the time in Australia in the bottom right corner of my browser window (right above my start button).
 

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Yes, the contact link I posted takes you through to the HC as office for immigration in Canada - Canada - Contacts

The reason I suggested contacting immigration in Australia is twofold though.

1. As I said, you will be able to have got your thoughts together and down on paper, assessing what your options are.

2. Even having done that, you'll already know what it's like conducting what could be a lengthy telephone conversation with three little ones about, and so unless you can get that Aussie husband doing it or have Grandma take the kids to the park for an hour or so, still best to do something via email.

3. And there's a third for contacting immi in Australia, for though Embassies/Consulates/HCs can have staff who can be extremely helpful, you can often end up talking in your case to a Canadian employed by DFAT and they'll possibly not have ready access to more experienced immigration people in Australia and it's over here that'll you really need to have a ruling.

And with doing a phone call, you still need to have some concept of what you'll likely be facing and that can be best done by having it on paper.

Your options would seem to be as follows: [and immi do not deviate easily and very very rarely from what their regulations are]
1 . You and kids all stay in Canada to get it all sorted.
[Actually some advantages in that as your hub can at least have some accommodation organised though I'd suspect his company in wanting him back will arrange for some temporary digs anyway.]
And not your desired choice.

So if he/the company has not enough flexibility to wait an extra couple of months possibly and you want to all go together, you have:
2. a. Go over on ETA or a six months tourist visa.
[ the main concern that immi have is that people come on a holiday and then want to work]
Theres no dishonesty in that you're coming on a holiday with the kids while your husband is checking out his new promotion offer and then you decide it'll be good and put in your spouse visa and kids stuff.

2. b. You start the application while in Canada, head to Oz and then have to go back to Canada and hopefully the kids will have their citizenship before you need to return [ and Aussie grandma looks after the kids while you're going back to Canada to finalise your spouse visa!], probably not too desirable either.

So the crunch question is would a bridging visa be issued for you after applying in Australia, having come in on an ETA ?

If the answer is No!, then same question for a tourist visa ....but if you have the application all bundled up ready to lodge on arrival, I'd be very surprised if it was not done inside six months and actually I would not mind betting you'll be pleasantly surprised just how quick it will be.

Once you know the appropriate path to be followed, just get some quiet time [courtesy of grandma or whomever] and using the immi Checklist [and a dummy application form] go through step by step, putting documents that need copying and certifying in a folder and so when you've got to end of the dummy application you'll have all documents together.

If you have to get documents from government departments, make a note on the dummy checklist and get that organised - then on with next step - the stress will fade away and by time you have the dummy checklist all ticked off you'll have your folder of documents to go and copy and get certified in one hit.

Then just put it all together with your real application forms filled in.

And keep yourself a separate file for the kids citizenship and just do the same with their applications, a dummy and a real one.

But get an email of to immi first, that can be done right now and you can still ring the HC too and it will not do any harm to the email.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Magera- thanks, I have called the high commission daily for the last 2 weeks it seems!!! Surprised they dont know me by name! LOL. Yes, I have a function on my iphone that tells me the time in Australia. Hubbie travels there a lot.

Wanderer- thanks again for all you thoughts and help. Especially thank you for the info about Australians having to travel to Australia on Australian passports!!!!I had no idea and would have turned up with Canadian passports and Australian citizenship certificates!
I called Ottawa again yesterday and they told me citizenship is only taking 10 days to process and AUS passports are only taking 10 days to process in Canada. So all is good on that front.

As for me. After many calls to Ottawa, discussions with hubbie and scouring the internet for past experiences, we have decided to apply from Canada. All the Australian Visa workers I have spoken to say it is not ideal to apply for a visa on a ETA. Main reason being you have to basically lie at immigration when you arrive. We are having all our belongings shipped over as well as our dog and cat! So too many things we can get caught on.

We have also finished the application here with Canadian lawyers etc. Doing in Australia we'd have to start from scratch with Australians.
The last person(at Consulate) I talked to told me to include a letter with my application stating our time constraints and they would do there best to accommodate us. She said given our circumstances and length of time we have been together, it may not be an issue.
If I do go to Aus and have to come back for visa, one consulate employee actually told me I may be able to get my passport stamped with the final documentation at the New Zealand Consulate. But I would have to discuss it with my case officer.

anyhow, we will decide in July what our case looks like and if I stay or if I go.

I'll keep you posted!

thanks for all your help guys!
 

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Clare,
Just to clarify re
Wanderer- thanks again for all you thoughts and help. Especially thank you for the info about Australians having to travel to Australia on Australian passports!!!!I had no idea and would have turned up with Canadian passports and Australian citizenship certificates!
I called Ottawa again yesterday and they told me citizenship is only taking 10 days to process and AUS passports are only taking 10 days to process in Canada. So all is good on that front.
You could still use Canadian passports and visas if the kids weren't able to get the Oz citizenship and passport in time but sounds like the Canadians/Aussies there are helping out and if it is that quick, certainly makes sense if you haven't already got them Canadian passports.
If you haven't, I'll be interested to know [just out of interest] whether the Canadians have a similar reg., ie. Canadians having to use a Canadian passport to leave/enter Canada - will make for an interesting situation but then with Aussie citizenship, these Canadian sounding kids in Canada can just be Aussies already!, and poor mum!

Also, re
All the Australian Visa workers I have spoken to say it is not ideal to apply for a visa on a ETA. Main reason being you have to basically lie at immigration when you arrive. We are having all our belongings shipped over as well as our dog and cat! So too many things we can get caught on.
That's the reason for emailing immi in Australia and I think you'd find that you can enter on an ETA or Tourist Visa [they even have a family sponsored tourist visa - hub is family sponsor] and will not have to lie and your decision but with whatever work you're paying lawyers for - what goes on/in to the application will essentially be the same on/off shore and so nothing to lose really.
And it will not be a case of getting caught for your husband is an Aussie and he'll be returning to Australia [with Aussie kids by sounds of things and their mum, his wife ]

What you do need to do though is also look at the dog and cat requirements, no passport required!, but just as much paperwork to kind of get a visa [or import approval]
You and hub probably ought to get familiar with Customs home page re what you can bring etc., concessions and prohibited items and if you follow a few links [it's a bit tricky] you'll get to Bringing Cats and Dogs and other pets to Australia - DAFF re what all the checks are and quarantine requirements/costs - could be more expensive than people costs!

And yes, certainly help if they can give your application quick process for with marriage and kids it certainly ought to be a no doubt case and if you have all the documents in order, getting a couple of stamps and signatures etc. shouldn't take all that long.

Anyway, good luck with all the aranging/packing/offloading etc. you have ahead.
 

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If you haven't, I'll be interested to know [just out of interest] whether the Canadians have a similar reg., ie. Canadians having to use a Canadian passport to leave/enter Canada - will make for an interesting situation but then with Aussie citizenship, these Canadian sounding kids in Canada can just be Aussies already!, and poor mum!

What you do need to do though is also look at the dog and cat requirements, no passport required!, but just as much paperwork to kind of get a visa [or import approval]
You and hub probably ought to get familiar with Customs home page re what you can bring etc., concessions and prohibited items and if you follow a few links [it's a bit tricky] you'll get to Bringing Cats and Dogs and other pets to Australia - DAFF re what all the checks are and quarantine requirements/costs - could be more expensive than people costs!
I think we do. If you're a Canadian citizen and you enter Canada under a different passport then you are entering as a visitor/tourist and therefore cannot do things a regular citizen is entitled to.
So basically for an Australian/Canadian situation (being citizens of both countries) this is how you'd do it:

Leave Canada on your Canadian passport,
Arrive in Australia on your Australian passport.

Leave Australia on your Australian passport,
Arrive in Canada on your Canadian passport.

So if you're a dual citizen then you will be making use of both passports when travelling between the two countries. It at least makes going through those dreaded customs lines a lot quicker :p

As for pets, we looked into taking our two cats but it was going to be prohibitively expensive. On top of thinking the flight would be traumatising, I also thought that any sort of quarantine period would be even more traumatising (one cat especially was very clingy and I knew that he wouldn't be the same cat on the other side of it all...).
Unfortunately one cat passed away in January after getting sick and so we're hoping to find a family member to take the other one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Yes, we are well underway with animal paperwork. We actually had to have their blood tested for rabies antibodies. They are not aloud into Australian society until 6 months after the blood was drawn. Luckily we knew this and did quite a while back. So they will be in quarantine for 4-6 weeks, tops. There is a minimum 4 weeks quarantine.
Because my husband is being transferred with work, we worked the shipment of dog and cat into the contract. Thank god! Because it is VERY costly. I think his company was in shock when they heard ho much it was going to cost!!!! We also have a relocation specialist who is helping us with what we can and cannot bring...so all good.

The endless paper work continues....

It will all be worth it once we're there!


As for the passports I believe Canada may have something similar. I was actually born in the UK so have dual citizenship already. When I first became a Canadian citizen I once traveled with my British passport and just showed my citizenship card to reenter Canada. They were not impressed and told me I needed to get a Canadian passport. They didn't not let me in though. Probably depends on the customs/immigration officer you get. Not sure why that had never occurred to me before though.

Interestingly enough, I once traveled to Australia for a holiday and must have given my Canadian on the way there and my British on the way back. I was told you had to use the same passport for the entire trip, both ways! Which doesn't really work with theses other laws... I guess I'll just travel with all passports all the time.

My kids all have Canadian passports as of now. But since we have enough time I am going to go ahead with their citizenship and then passports.

Wanderer: Looking back on the Imm website I couldn't find an e-mail address anywhere. Just keeps giving me a phone number that you can only call while in Australia. Do you have the e-mail address?

Thanks again all!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Clare,

your decision but with whatever work you're paying lawyers for - what goes on/in to the application will essentially be the same on/off shore and so nothing to lose really.
.
Sorry meant to clarify this:
The Canadian Lawyer we have (a friend) has certified all the copies of documents we need. If applying in Australia the person certifying needs to be Australian. Hence, we'd have to re do everything.
The same goes for Stat Dec's. Here our Canadian friends have done them. In OZ we would need Australians.
 

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I've been looking at enquiries re general skilled visas too much for with those they have a pre-posting and posted visas separate email contact formats.

Shame they do not have a general one though if you made contact initially by phone and asked them if they have a help desk with an email contact you may be able to get one for I know from previous experience with WHV they had one.

Re documents copies certifications, that's as wasy as walking into a police station, a post office or a bank here, flash the originals and some will ask for ID and I know at Police Stations a senior Officer usually has a stamp he uses and signs.

With statutory declarations they can be from anywhere and having marriage, kids birth certificates etc. you'd only need the bare minimum and it makes sense to have them from people/parents in both Canada/Australia if Hub has parents here or just use people here in Australia that know of your marriage etc., but being married 7 years they'd be pretty much superfluous.
 
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