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Discussion Starter #1
Hi Everyone.

I lodged my partnership visa 820 (paper version) in person this morning (Sydney office).
It was not a good experience. I stood in line for 20 min only to be told to hand the visa application in at the free standing information desk. People were stepping on each others toes to get to speak with the information lady.

When she saw my bit application. She simply removed it from the box, in which it was neatly stacked, put a rubberband around the application and threw it in a "bin looking container" in the corner of the room. Then yelled: "Next" I got no receipt and no bridging visa :confused:.

I then explained to her that my current visa would expire in 4 days and that I needed a bridging visa in order to avoid being here illegally. She just said "don't worry", then started helping the rest of the people in the line.
I then called immigration from within the office, but they only told me to call back in 3 days (on friday) to ask them about the processing of my application and whether or not they could speed up things.

But friday is ONE day before my visa expires!!!!!!!:(

I am very anxious now! Read in this forum that other people got a bridging visa A printet out on the same day that they lodged their 820 in person.

I am not sure what to do. It seems to me that no one is interested in helping me with this issue.

I just want to avoid being here illegally. And since I handed the 820 in before my visa expires, I thought that everything was fine. Now I am not so sure.

I have good reasons choosing paper application in stead of applying online. But now I wish that I would have gone for the online application.

Can anyone tell me if they have been in the same boat and whether or not I in fact already technically have a BVA, since I lodged the application today?

I finally went back and got immigration to stamp a copy of the first page of the application with a stamp saying "received, 24th of March 2015, department of immigration"

I would greatly appreciate your replies. Thank you.
 

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The BVA will be dated from the date a valid application has been made, so as long as it has been officially received, you should be ok.

In the days that we could still lodge paper applications at a DIBP office, I recall watching in horror while the staff pulled my carefully assembled application apart and casually tossed it on top of a pile of other paperwork. Seems like nothing has changed.
 
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You're fortunate that they accepted it, as most offices would tell you to go to a local post office and mail it because they don't accept in-person applications. Unfortunately you do not have a BVA yet until they acknowledge receipt of the application and issue the BVA. I'd suggest calling each day to see if they've done this yet.

This issue came up recently in the Ask Mark thread (I think it was late last week) and the person was issued a BVA in time, but this is definitely the process most people would recommend when you're so close to the expiry of your existing visa. Perhaps speak with a migration agent to see if there's anything that can be done.
 

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Very few people apply in person these days. Immi is actually not supposed to accept partner visa applications in person anymore. Most offices won't - if you go to hand it in in person they'll make you send it via post or courier. Sounds like you got someone who wasn't aware they weren't allowed to accept it that way. You don't have to worry about anything bad happening to your application - once they've accepted it that way, it'll get processed. But you do have to worry about your Bridging Visa, unfortunately. Typically back when people handed them in in person it took 7-10 days to receive a bridging visa. If you were going to have to wait until this close to your current visa expiration, you definitely should have applied online. Hindsight is 20/20, I know. I would definitely keep calling them - maybe not even wait 3 days. I remember reading something about people being able to get Immi to backdate the BVA so they weren't actually in the country illegally at any point - but I'm not sure if that truly works or if it's still something they do. Hopefully an RMA will comment on this as well. You'll need to know for sure once all is done & dusted if you are still able to count your time in the country previously towards citizenship.

EDIT: Good, CCMS commented above and you'll be okay since they'll backdate the BVA. I hope anyone else reading this will choose to apply online, though, if they're this close to the expiry date of their visa. It's too stressful/risky otherwise.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Dear CCMS, Maggie-may24 and CollegeGirl.
I am so greatful that you have taken the time to reply to my post. Thank you so much!
 

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Did you pay for the visa while you were there? I had to file mine in person in Melbourne, I paid while I was there, and by the time I got home I had an email with my bridging visa--I was over my tourist visa by a few days because of passport issues so I'm not sure if that is why it happened so quickly.
 

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Hi Kah86k
No unfortunately they didn't give me an opportunity to pay :(
But it is good to know that they actually can be flexible if needed!
 

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So, basically you just handed in the paperwork? I'm not as knowledgeable as others on this board, but I dont think your application is considered lodged unless you pay--but check. I don't know what you can do other than seek the advice of a migration agent to ensure you don't have issues later on. I don't think I'd say they were flexible with me, it will definitely not be in my favor that I was late to lodge it and I got a bridging visa C and had to apply for work rights. I'm counting on the fact that my husband and I have been married for 8+ years and both he and our 7 year old are citizens. But nothing is guaranteed...
 

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You're fortunate that they accepted it, as most offices would tell you to go to a local post office and mail it because they don't accept in-person applications. Unfortunately you do not have a BVA yet until they acknowledge receipt of the application and issue the BVA. I'd suggest calling each day to see if they've done this yet.
I 2nd what Maggie has said here,I would be calling every day to see what is going on. While I don't want to scare you,I lodged my BVB application in person last year and they managed to lose it between the main counter and the 3rd floor where it gets processed!!!! so don't assume that because it went into the paperwork bin that all is ok...

Definitely lucky that you were able to lodge in person - during my many visits to the delightful Lee St office I have overheard a number of people being turned away who were trying to lodge partner visa applications in person....they removed this option quite some time ago!!

Hopefully the stamp you got about submitting yesterday will be of help if things are delayed.
 

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You can also do a simple VEVO check to check your visa status.
 

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Hi Kah86k
No unfortunately they didn't give me an opportunity to pay :(
But it is good to know that they actually can be flexible if needed!
I think you should return to the DIBP office today - if you haven't paid, they won't accept the application as lodged.
 

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Very few people apply in person these days. Immi is actually not supposed to accept partner visa applications in person anymore. Most offices won't - if you go to hand it in in person they'll make you send it via post or courier. Sounds like you got someone who wasn't aware they weren't allowed to accept it that way. You don't have to worry about anything bad happening to your application - once they've accepted it that way, it'll get processed. But you do have to worry about your Bridging Visa, unfortunately. Typically back when people handed them in in person it took 7-10 days to receive a bridging visa. If you were going to have to wait until this close to your current visa expiration, you definitely should have applied online. Hindsight is 20/20, I know. I would definitely keep calling them - maybe not even wait 3 days. I remember reading something about people being able to get Immi to backdate the BVA so they weren't actually in the country illegally at any point - but I'm not sure if that truly works or if it's still something they do. Hopefully an RMA will comment on this as well. You'll need to know for sure once all is done & dusted if you are still able to count your time in the country previously towards citizenship.

EDIT: Good, CCMS commented above and you'll be okay since they'll backdate the BVA. I hope anyone else reading this will choose to apply online, though, if they're this close to the expiry date of their visa. It's too stressful/risky otherwise.
(ca) An application (not being an Internet application) must be made:
(i) by posting the application (with the correct pre-paid postage) to the post office box address or other address specified by the Minister in an instrument in writing for this subparagraph; or
(ii) by having the application delivered by a courier service to the address specified by the Minister in an instrument in writing for this subparagraph; or
(iii) if no address has been specified for subparagraphs (i) and (ii) - by lodging the application at an office of Immigration.
 

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Hi Kah86k
No unfortunately they didn't give me an opportunity to pay :(
But it is good to know that they actually can be flexible if needed!
21 How the application may be lodged
21.1 Relevant legislation
The Regulations can prescribe the method by which an application can (or must) be lodged with (or delivered to) an office - for example see:

the regulation 2.10AA requirement for how certain applications must be lodged (made)
the Schedule 1 item 1205(3)(ba) relating to how certain Class TE applications are made.
Applications can also be lodged electronically - see section 22.2 Effect of the ET Act on valid application requirements.

21.2 As a valid application requirement
In regard to s46(4)(b), in establishing, for valid application purposes, whether an application has been made in the correct way, officers should consider (in order):

first, regulation 2.10AA - which can specify (by legislative instrument) where certain applications by certain persons must be made.
then, Schedule 1 - which can prescribe how an application for a particular visa class must be made - see as examples Schedule 1 items 1104AA(3)(a) and 1205(3)(ba).
If nothing is prescribed:

a visa application may be made in any manner, for example, in person or sent (for example, mailed) to the relevant office prescribed in regulation 2.10(2)(b) or 2.10(2A)(b) and
in accordance with s47 of the Act, a valid application (for example, a paper application) must be accepted and staff, including staff at posts, are not permitted to require that it be lodged in a preferred format (for example, staff should not insist it be lodged electronically).
As far as practicable, clients are to have broadly equitable access to visa application processes throughout the service delivery network; government decisions, arrangements negotiated with foreign governments and security requirements are examples of practical reasons why some variation may be required.
 

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Hi Kah86k
No unfortunately they didn't give me an opportunity to pay :(
But it is good to know that they actually can be flexible if needed!
Did you put your credit card details on the form? If so they will charge the card when they do the acknowledgement of it.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Hi guys
Just wanted to let you know that everything is fine. Got my BVA granted in time and was asked to go and get my health check sorted, the mail was signed by: "Decision support unit officer".
Does that mean that I already have a case manager?
 
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