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Hi, new member here and I'm sure this has been done to death before. However I'd really appreciate some informed comment before I give someone near and dear to me the wrong advice:

Our son has been in a relationship with a lovely Japanese girl for some years (both early 30's) and they lived together here in Brisbane for near enough two years. When her WHV ran out they went off to Japan and got legally married there, our son staying with her and her family in Japan for a few months. She's completely bilingual and qualified in children's ed'.

Moving on one year, she is now here on a tourist visa and of course they'd like to make this arrangement permanent. We also relish the idea of some gorgeous "halfu" grandchildren running around. Turns out getting a spouse visa is many thousands of dollars (applying in Japan) and even a MORE ridculous amount if applying in Australia. If worse comes to worse we'll probably cough up the money for them to regularise her status here or see an immigration lawyer to find a solution.

Seems to me, getting a 457 visa might be a good interim measure. I'd guess any Ramen shop would be able to help out with that and we're happy for them to (continue) living with us indefinitely. As her tourist visa runs out shortly I'd like to offer this suggestion - but at the same time don't wish to interfere in their deliberations. She's certainly a more legitimate 457 applicant than so many "engineers" driving trucks for mining companies now.

Any informed suggestions gratefully received, thanks Felix.
 

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The offshore application charge for partner visas is to be increased on 1 July to match the onshore charge, so by the time an offshore visa application could be lodged there would probably be no saving.

Upon a valid onshore partner visa application the applicant/s are automatically granted a bridging visa with work rights that is activated once the visitor visa expires and they are eligible to apply for Medicare.

The are significant costs and procedures in applying for a 457 visa.

May I suggest that you consult a registered migration agent to develop a visa strategy?
 

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Many thanks for your prompt reply.

If they decide to consult an agent that may well be the best course of action. We're happy to help them with whatever avenue they pursue, just don't want to interfere.

Please correct me if I'm wrong, but using an agent doesn't change the way the rules are applied does it?
 

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Using an agent won't change the rules, but they'll certainly help you navigate through them.

I'm not sure what occupation "any Ramen shop" may be able to offer her. Then there's the issue of whether they'd be eligible or interested in jumping through the hoops of a 457 visa (which is only temporary) or the costs of doing so as much of this cannot be passed on to the visa applicant.
 

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Seems to me, getting a 457 visa might be a good interim measure. I'd guess any Ramen shop would be able to help out with that and we're happy for them to (continue) living with us indefinitely. As her tourist visa runs out shortly I'd like to offer this suggestion - but at the same time don't wish to interfere in their deliberations. She's certainly a more legitimate 457 applicant than so many "engineers" driving trucks for mining companies now.

Any informed suggestions gratefully received, thanks Felix.
If the ultimate goal is being able to live in Australia permanently, then I really can't see the point of applying for a sc. 457 visa first.

There is no guarantee that it will be granted, even if she has the right qualifications and an eligible sponsor. A sc. 457 also requires (expensive) health insurance and comes with work restrictions which could carry over to any future bridging visas.

As Wesley suggested, get them to seek some professional advice, so a proper strategy can be developed. With the current cost of the Visa Application Charges, a refusal doesn't bear thinking about.
 
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