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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everyone!!! Here's my story...if you have any advice please dont hesitate to tell!!!


I am an US citizen and my bf is an AUS citizen. We've been together a month short of 5 yrs and are looking for the best option for us to permanatly be together.

Most of the info I have come across really doesn't help much unless I plan to pay a high amount of $$. Which mind you, I am willng to do but I'm hoping they're may be other options?!?!?!

I have visited AUS on an ETA for 3 months this past year. And plan on going back early 2010. I'm wondering if it is possible for me to apply for a worker's visa while staying in Sydney on an ETA (visitors visa) Or is it even worth my time and energy?

We are willing to get married if it makes things a little easier, i.e. not so much paperwork/$$....and I'm not sure its even possible for us to get married in my 3 months time in AUS....I do know in America it is much easier...But to be completely honest I want to spend as less possible here.

What is your best advice? We've spent most of our 5 years together...apart and are asking for any help!!!! Even if it's something we dont want to hear!!!


Much love and Thanx

Samantha and Tim
 

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Well if you are trying to save money I would highly suggest not going work visa--it costs nearly 6K aussie when all is said and done.

Have you looked into a Defacto Visa? Look here: Partner Visa: Offshore Temporary and Permanent (Subclasses 309 and 100) and check elligibility. If you have been together for 5 years, even if you dont have traditional evidence, there are ways to prove your relationship. It is also cheaper to apply offshore for this Visa (eg in the U.S) and it takes from 2 to 4 months normally. Basically a defacto visa means you live in a Spouse like relationship--you do not have to be married but you might as well be, for lack of a better phrase. The biggest difference between a Spouse and Defacto visa is that you have to prove that you have been together for 12 months precedding your application--normally that means living together. BUT if you can explain why you havent, and show that indeed you have been in a spouse like relationship for 5 years, then you should be fine. Also, and i dont completly understand it, but there is a new law in some Aussie states that allows defacto couples to get a certifcate which is the equivalant of a marriage certificate--you legally declare your union in other words.

All of this to say that yes there are option to get you there--are you under 30? How about a working holiday visa? This allows you to be in Oz for one year and allows you to work for a single employer up to 6 months. If you feel like you are lacking evidence to prove your defacto status, then a WHV (although immi dont like it) could help you to build evidence for your case for a year before applying onshore. If you applied onshore, you would have to do it before your WHV expired, at which point you would receive a bridging visa until your defacto one is approved.

I do not know the ins and outs of your situation of course, but do have a read of the defacto visa. Let us know if there are parts you are worried you cannot prove and we might be able to figure out a way you can--i mean you have been together for 5 years! there has got to be something right?

Note you could also get a prospective marriage visa, but the pitfalls are a) you have to be married within 9 months, b) you have to apply for a marriage visa (esentially the same as defacto especially in cost) after you are married.

Have a search through immi, there may be more options fr you.

Good luck
 

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Samantha,
Though there is the defacto partner visa as elkitten has stated and she knows all about that in having just received one, when I read
We've spent most of our 5 years together...apart and are asking for any help!!!!
and see ....apart
I gather you mat have already read a few reads and have decided it could be a bit hard proving you have had the required relationship.

The relationship registration angle elkitten has mentioned is relatively new legislation and only covers Victoria, Tassie or ACT residents at this stage and seeing I see Sydney mentioned, that seems out and is going to be a longer more complex approach than either of the following.

Certainly, the marriage route is going to be far more positive an approach and you could do it two ways.
. Proposed Marriage Visa that you apply for over in US and then on granting you have nine months from when you enter Australia to marry and then you can apply for a spouse visa which would be a temporary visa for two years prior to getting made permanent.

. Come in on an ETA [ and if you have the time on the same ETA as you used this year, just check you did not get it with a "no further stay" condition - should have been something mentioned in confirmation email if there was one but as far as I know ETA s do not usually get them whereas tourist visas do]
and the marriage laws here are that you have to give a month and a day notice.
Legal Requirements for Weddings in Australia - Marriage Celebrant Sydney gives an indication of full ID requirements and your Bf ought to be able to arrange it all in advance so you could marry a week after arrival if you wanted to.

You then would apply for a married partner [spouse visa].
 

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Hi Samantha,
I agree with the above but wish to make the following comments:
If you come to Au on eta and you don't have condition 8503 (no further visa) you can apply within Australia and stay in Australia until the decision is made.
If you do not want to register your relationship or get married then you do have to prove your relationship, i.e. living together, pooling financial resources, being committed to each other for at least 12 months. If you register your relationship or get married you do not have to prove the 12 months of living together, but you still have to prove that your relationship is genuine.
I understand that the Relationships Act (which allows registration of relationships) was introduced primarily for gay couples, who cannot get legally married in Australia and felt discriminated against, especially in immigration law where they had to prove 12 month relationship. To avoid introducing further discrimination the Act refers to couples of 'any gender', so technically you can register your relationship being a couple of opposite genders, but doing so might raise suspicion within DIAC as to why you wouldn't want to get married.
So my advice is this: if it's not against your religion, come to Australia and get married. Then lodge a Partner application.
Normally, Parter visas are two staged, you first get a temporary for two years and after two years, if you're still together, you get PR. In your case it is possible to get PR straight away, if you can prove that you have been together for 5 years. Just make sure when you apply you remind and keep reminding DIAC of your long term relationship and that you qualify for PR straight away.
Good luck
Dorota
 

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Hi again Samantha [&Dorota]
Re:
In your case it is possible to get PR straight away, if you can prove that you have been together for 5 years. Just make sure when you apply you remind and keep reminding DIAC of your long term relationship and that you qualify for PR straight away.
In regard to attempting to get PR as advised by Dorota, I'm sure the advice was meant to emphasise if you can prove that you have been together for 5 years. If that was the case I doubt you may have been asking about the situation in the first place.

However, if not, I'd not suggest you follow Dorota's advice re PR and particularly not remind and keep reminding DIAC for
1. It'll not likely get you any success.
2. It could well bring attention to the fact that you've returned on an ETA for a purpose the ETA is not really designed for.
DIAC do look the other way a certain ammount, but they do not really want their nose rubbed in it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you so much!

You all are amazing and I appreciate the help from the bottom of both of our hearts..You have given me so much more info than I have come across in hours of searching.....needless to say you're our life savers, and have given us both hope! :) I will review these options with Tim and if I have any further questions I'll know where to go straight away.

Thanks again and much love

Samantha
 

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I disagree with not reminding DIAC. I did not mean to rub their noses in it but do it nicely, eg. are you also considering PR visa, do you think you need more documents to satisfy yourself with the length of the relationship, I have two more friends who can provide Stat Decs, do you think it might assist you with your decision if I give you phone records from five years ago? DIAC's don't often deal with long term relationships and often forget to look into this option. Usually people meet, marry and apply. Also, to avoid any breaches or suspicion, do not book your marriage ceremony whilst overseas. You decide to marry after you come (perhaps a nice gift in a form of an engagement ring might trigger the decision).
The hardest part is to convince them you are genuine. Once they decide you are genuine and are likely to last, they easily believe you as to how long. After all, if they give you PR straight away, it is less work for them in the future.
Good luck
dorota
 

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Just throwing this out there but, while getting a PR straight away is definitly a good thing and gives less headaches in the future... isn't it easier just to apply for prospective marriage, spouse or defacto on its traditional grounds? As in get the visa, then two years later be considered for a PR? It's not like there is a risk you won't get it if you are still in the relationship and haven't committed any offence etc...

Anyway, Samantha I hope your research is going well and that you are getting closer to figuring out what you are eligible for. If you choose to go Spouse or Defacto, I wrote up a page of tips you can look at if you need some alternatives to proving your relationship (eg if you dont have joint bills or lease agreements that sort of stuff) that is currently on the second page of the visa forum. A lot of the stuff on there worked not only for myself but others in a similar situation. I know you said that you have been together AND apart for 5 years, but im just thinking you might still be ok (depending on your evidence) as I myself had been apart from my BF for 4 of the 7 months prior to our application but it was fine because we could explain why and because we had lived together previous to any "separation". We are international couples--of course we are going to be apart for a few months here and there because we are visiting family, work, and plenty of other valid reasons.

Anyhoo, do let us know what you decide!

Good luck!
 

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Hi there,
getting a PR earlier is not just less headache in the future, it has a lot of advantages. Without the PR you are excuded from many benefits, including: you can't buy property in your name unless you seek approval from a Foreign Investment Board, you do not qualify for first home owners grants and bonuses or any government subsidies, you can't access education at government subsidised rates and/or free like most PRs can, you can't get a government job and you have to wait 2.5 years longer to qualify for your citizenship. It also helps to negotiate the ground rules within your relationship on equal footing. if you can get all that through a couple of phone calls or e-mails I think it is worth it.
Personally, I think eta, marriage in Australia, applying in Au and asking for PR straight away is the easiest and safest option, and only one application and one interview!!! Also, whilst your visa is processed you can apply for a bridging visa which allows you to travel in and out of Au. If you apply for Prospective Spouse overseas and soemthing goes wrong and your visa is refused (and believe me I've seen that happen), you don't have review rights (only your partner does) and you will most likely not be able to enter Au until the review is completed, which could take years.
Good luck
dorota
 

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Oh right, well i didn't know that it was as easy as asking for it through a couple of calls and that, but i guess if you qualify why not? Of course getting the govt help stuff straight away is great! I'm just happy i get medicare =)

One thing though, perhaps not all, but you can work in Victorian Government without being a PR or citizen--they even hire WHV people for 6 month appointments.

Anyhoo, were all giving a lot of info to think about--forums at their best!!!
 

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Getting a PR straight away requires special circumstances to be met elkitten and from what Samantha has expressed re their five years being apart , it is not likely to be met, otherwise as I've said she and her partner would not be in the situation they are ie,
DIAC PR requirement:
However, you may be granted a permanent visa without having to wait if you can demonstrate one of the following:

•at the time you apply for the visa, you have been in a married or de facto relationship with your partner for five (5) years or more
•at the time you apply, you have been in a married or de facto relationship with your partner for two (2) years or more, and there are dependent children of your relationship
•your partner was granted a Protection visa or a permanent visa under the humanitarian program and you were in the relationship before the visa was granted and this had been declared to the department at the time.
Note: Generally, you should be living with your partner in a married or de facto relationship at the time you apply.
If any of the above had been met, there'd be no need to be considering marriage or PMV

Sure there are advantages in PR but proposing to seek it be considered when there are no grounds is a bit of a red herring.
 

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hmmmm.... o.k well i understand it better now..for a while there i was all thinking "why the heck didn't I ask for PR????"

Then i remember the whole five year thing.... and now i remember seeing what you have posted above but it didnt register because i didnt fit the requirement.....

I thought samantha said her and her BF have been together for the main part of 5 years....hmmmm

a-n-y-w-a-y-s, we'll see what happens right? it's all a good learning experience =)
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
International joint bank account...possible?!?!?

Hey all 'tis Samantha again :D

I've been doing some brainstorming and have thought about a joint bank account between Tim and myself. So we have a bit of a better paper trail. But I'm wondering if it's possible?? This is my first stop for info. I'll do some of my own research soon. I just believe this is a better place for quick info!!! :D

Thanx again
Samantha

P.S. For those of you wondering what our decision is. We're seriously looking into a Spouse Visa.
 

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Hey there!

What you might want to do is get an account that has offices oversease, for example Citibank (although they aren't doing too well at the moment from what I hear). Personally, I would either call or go into the offce of the bank and talk to them about the best account to get etc.

The issue is that many banks, for example, M&T in the U.S do not allow you to transfer money internationaly (or even to Canada for that matter) without a fee. The other option is to put a check in, but the check could take over a month to clear and they do take out a percentage to process it...so you end up loosing money. What I'm saying is, if you get a U.S or Aussie bank account, then one of you may not be able to transfer money into it from your base account...does that make sense? Unless you set it up so your pay goes into it automatically, but even then im not sure that is possible (or practical) if the account is overseas.

Citibank and HSBC come to mind as "international" banks so they may be a good option and one that would make it possible for both of you to easily access it without loosing cash and having to wait for ages for money to clear. Keep in mind though that in some countries, Citi do require a very substantial start up deposit which must not be touched in order to keep your account.

Hope that helped a little bit--i could be wrong though some U.S banks may let you do the international account thingie, but im just not sure. I've had problems in the past trying to transfer money in australia from a U.S account and vice versa (BSB numbers aren't the same etc etc) so i just thought id give my two cents =) good luck!!!

--Here is an add on i just thought of: one of you could get an account with two cards in each of your names, send the card to the other, and both use the account to pay for stuff from time to time. that might be simpler if one of you is willing to keep the account full or put money in to begin with. My boyfriend did that for us--he made me an additional card holder to his account so I could use his account in the U.S to show we are sharing funds.
 
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