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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All!

I'm new to the forum - I have just applied with my partner for a subclass 309 visa through the High Commission in London. We got an email yesterday from our CO advising the application was received and with all the details needed for me to proceed with my health check - we had already frontloaded the police checks.

The thing is, the email also advised the following:

As current processing times for partner migration applications at this office is 8 to 9 months, we ask that you obtain the following health and character checks after 3 months.

I have not heard before of being asked to wait for months after the application is lodged to get health checks, nor have I seen anything about it on this or any other blog. Is this standard? The email assures us that getting medical checks done immediately or getting them done in 3 months will make no difference to the processing time of the application. Still, I would prefer to just have them done, and out of the way - and I know that until recently a lot of people frontloaded their medical checks even though the official line was that they should not. I don't want to go against the express request of our CO, but at the same time I don't want to be the only chump who waits for 3 months to send in medical checks and then find out later people who sent them in right away got processed quicker.

Also, if processing times are 8-9 months and the police / medical checks last for 12 months, that still gives me 3-4 months to enter Australia- why ask me to delay them? We are currently living in Ireland, but my partner will have to go back to uni in Australia in July after deferring for a year and a half, which means we are facing the prospect of a solid 6 months apart - it goes without saying that as soon as that visa comes through I won't be dallying - I'll be on the next plane to Sydney. Is the CO's concern to give me more time to wrap things up here (if it is, he needn't bother - I won't need it), or is there a genuine chance processing will take over 12 months, in which case if I get medical checks done now, I will have to get them done again?

One final question - might be a bit naive, but - what's the general etiquette with contacting your CO? - for example, should we write back or call just to acknowledge his email, or should we wait until we have something concrete to ask him / give him before contacting him.

Any advice or opinions are much appreciated guys,

Thank you. :confused:
 

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Hey TimB
Although i cant offer you any expert advice I Can share my personal experience. We recieved a letter from our case officer advising us to wait 2-3 months before undertaking medicals Because processing time of partner visas was 8-9 months. My husband and I discussed it and decided to go Ahead and do the medicals. Like you we thought even if the processing takes 9 months our medicals Will Not be out dated.
I guess its completely up to you :)
Hope this helps, goodluck and hope for a fast processing time
Clanders
 

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Here's why they suggest that (and why it might be smart to wait): Your initial entry date (i.e., the date by which you HAVE to enter the country in order to validate your visa) is supposedly based on the expiration of your medicals*. (That's what DIAC says, anyway. This hasn't always held true for the members here... but that's what they say.) These are good for a year. So if you get your medicals done April 1, 2013, your initial entry date would be no later than April 1, 2014, because that's when your medicals expire.

So, if they take exactly nine months to grant your visa, this gives you three months to prepare for your initial entry. (For some people, even this might be too short). Even if you're good with three months, though, what if (as happens seemingly relatively often from what I've read here and elsewhere) your medicals get referred? Even if you're healthy now, if you have a history of anything at all (even something small) I've seen them get referred. Current waiting time on referred medicals is an additional 3+ months. So... there goes your three month cushion, and suddenly you have no time at all to get into the country.

As processing times have moved from 5-7 months to 8-9 months, I see why they think it would be smart to wait on the medicals. They won't be ready to process your application until then, and it will give you more time to initially enter the country.

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* - DIAC says it can also be based on the expiration of your police check OR your medicals, whichever you got first - but I've more commonly seen it tied to medical dates.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Bah - sorry guys I replied on this earlier but my post didn't upload for some reason.

Thank you both for the advice - it's good to get different perspectives. We were kind of thinking the same as you Clanders25 - it seems like delaying is just giving them the opportunity to push the approval further if they need to, whereas, at least if we have the medicals in and its coming up to the 10-11 month mark we may be able to put some pressure on - but maybe that is just backwards thinking on my behalf. Anyway the best of luck with your application too - hope it flies through!

CollegeGirl - I can understand where they are coming from with regards wanting to ensure people have plenty of time to make the move once the visa is approved. In this case however, it really isn't a worry - the situation we currently find ourselves in means I will be able to fly within days of getting the visa granted, and my partner will already be in Sydney at that point as she has to go back for uni.

I'm not one hundred per cent on what you mean by medicals getting referred - is that where something shows up on your health check and they take longer to be ok'ed than usual? If that was the case, would that not be a reason to get them done as early as possible, since - lets say it takes them three months from now to get the all clear - then the medicals would be valid until July of next year, giving me plenty of time to enter the country? Or have I misunderstood what getting medicals referred means?

The other thing is that we already have all our police checks in, and the earliest one - the Australian one - is dated from 04 March, so if I am not in by then, that will be invalid anyway. To be honest, if I am still waiting for approval by March of next year it would mean my partner and I will have spent 9 months apart - it doesn't bear thinking about that it will take that long!

I think I will bite the bullet, give my CO a call tomorrow, and see if he has any major issues with us going ahead with the medicals sooner rather than later. Thank you so much again for the advice guys - I really appreciate it.

TimB
 

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I understand that in your situation you may not need that long - but I imagine this might be some sort of general policy now (or the start of one) because most people need longer than a few days to fly out. I doubt it's a policy they're applying specifically and only to you.

When you take your medicals, they're sent to DIAC for review. If they're a-ok, your case officer is notified and they can continue looking at your case. However, if there's anything at all wrong, or if there's a HISTORY of anything at all being wrong, depending on what it is, they can refer them to Global Health for further review, and that takes an additional 3-4 months. The date your medicals are valid until is based on the date you originally got them done, NOT on the date they were finalized (cleared). So no, that would not push their validity date out further.

I mean, if you want to go ahead and get them done and you don't have any medical issues to worry about, the absolute worst case scenario is just that you have to get them done again because your visa wasn't approved in time. So it's only a matter of whatever expense and trouble you go to to get them done. If you wouldn't mind doing them again, I don't see that you'd have anything to lose by going ahead and getting them done, especially as in your case you don't need much time to fly out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Oh okay, that makes sense- hmmm. . . definitely something to take on board.

Yeah I think I will give the CO a bell tomorrow just to check in and ask him if he honestly thinks there is any major issue with getting them done sooner rather than later - (I don't think anything should crop up in the medical), and I guess if he is really against it we will leave it off for a few months, but if not we might just go ahead and get them done. As you say, worst case scenario if there were any major issues, it would just mean getting them done again.

Thank you for your thoughful, comprehensive replies CollegeGirl - you have been a great help - its great to hear from somebody who has experience with this stuff - if nothing else just for the reassurance that none of these little things are the end of the world - they can seem to be sometimes when you are starting off - so thank you and all the best.

Tim.
 

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Oh okay, that makes sense- hmmm. . . definitely something to take on board.

Yeah I think I will give the CO a bell tomorrow just to check in and ask him if he honestly thinks there is any major issue with getting them done sooner rather than later - (I don't think anything should crop up in the medical), and I guess if he is really against it we will leave it off for a few months, but if not we might just go ahead and get them done. As you say, worst case scenario if there were any major issues, it would just mean getting them done again.

Thank you for your thoughful, comprehensive replies CollegeGirl - you have been a great help - its great to hear from somebody who has experience with this stuff - if nothing else just for the reassurance that none of these little things are the end of the world - they can seem to be sometimes when you are starting off - so thank you and all the best.

Tim.
You are so welcome! Glad I could help. :)
 

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Hi TimB,

I am just wondering how you got on? My wife and I am in a very similar situation - living in Ireland and have applied for her 309 visa.

the postal office notified me that the application arrived today and so i thought i would check online to see how long people are currently experiencing, i was taken about by everyone talking about an 8-9 month wait - this is a lot longer than we were expecting.

What did your CO end up saying? Did you end up submitting your medical checks? do you have any updates?
 
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