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Hi! I am an australian citizen living in the US. Yesterday I was offered a job in Canberra to start June 13th -- only 10 weeks away! My husband is a US citizen, we have been married 8 years and have a 2 year old. Should we lodge his partner residency application offshore here right away or have him travel to australia under a tourist visa and apply from there? what are the risks and penalties of doing that?
If we lodge here before we go, can he come visit us on a tourist visa and leave the country when his residency is granted? Any idea how long its likely to take for a straight-forward application?

This has all happened so quickly! I'm super stressed about the idea of having to spend a long time apart so any help or advice would be much appreciated!
 

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Congratulations on the job offer Julia and I hope the often unkindly references to another of that name in Canberra do not impact on you.

As for the visa, your husband might be better off to get the ball rolling on two accounts:
Firstly, there can always be potential complications with someone attempting to come in on a tourist visa with another intent and I've put some thoughts forward @ http://www.australiaforum.com/visas...re-offshore-partner-visas-visiting-visas.html

Secondly, offshore visas do seem to be granted a lot quicker than onshore visas and that is possibly tied up with a lot of Immi resources being sucked into the asylum seeker situation and so not likely to change for quite some time.
That could have the effect of your husband getting here and not being able to work unless he was able to get special permission to do so, and first he has to be able to enter on a visa that does not the No Further Stay condition so he can apply and have a bridging visa put in place.

A bonus on applying from the US is that it is cheaper and he could look at travelling out on a tourist visa once the partner visa is lodged and as you say, then take a trip over to New Zealand to have the partner visa granted.
He will find that the time to get his FBI check could be about 10 -12 weeks so he ought to get that and his state police check underway and they can be submitted after making the application.

If he decides to come with or follow you to Australia once having made the partner visa application, he may want to have an address in Australia that he has the FBI check sent to or alternately someone reliable in the US who can receive it, get a couple of certified copies for him and forward the original into the US Immi office for him, otherwise if he gets it sent to Australia and has applied in the US, he'll need to send the original back to the US himself.

He probably ought to look at getting himself a six month tourist visa rather than just an ETA, depending on how long after submitting his partner visa application he leaves for if the first three months is approaching and no word on the visa being granted, he may be up for an interim trip to NZ and back and then another come grant time, though he could seek to apply for an onshore tourist visa and would likely be granted one to wait out any further period.
 
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