Hi, I am new to the forum, its a fantastic place to gather info and ask questions. I will be posting shortly with some questions just going to read through some of the posts to see if they have been answered. Just wanted to say hello
Hi JMCD16, I am Australian returning in May to WA. I am applying for my partner to come with me and scanning through all the posts to find info on how long the decision can take also whether to use a Migration Agent. My partner and I have been together for nearly 2 years and planning to get married. He is a stone mason which I have seen is on the skilled list. Any advice would help, I will of course look on the forum plus the timeline to get some more info. Thanks Mich
IMHO, (I am not a migration agent), if your case is pretty simple and you are willing to do all the required reading (the forum, the migration booklet etc), then going on your own is a definite option.
Partner migrations at the moment are taking bloody forever. I just read a DIAC post saying they won't even give you an update unless its been over 13 months since you've applied. Offshore, they are still promising 5 months low risk and 12 months high risk... But I happen to know a bunch of Americans who are at least 7 months in. On a brighter note, I also heard that they removed the working restrictions from the bridging visa A, so that might make the waiting easier.
If I were you, I'd look into other options. A working holiday visa for your partner would be ideal if he is eligible. That way you gain a TON of evidence together in Australia over the next year and then apply for either a partner visa - or you can go skillselect as a stonemason and he will be able to say he has worked in Australia, which gives him extra points.
If you are planning to get married PMV is also an option, although generally I would only suggest it if your evidence is weak. Have you been living together? Sharing finances? It takes just as long as the partner visas, I believe it's even slightly more expensive, and they reserve the right to cap them. However, for a lot of people it becomes the best option because they haven't been able to gather the necessary evidence for DIAC to believe them.
Having now dealt with the partner visa BS, I wish I had tried to get in under the skilled migration route instead... But that may just be a case of the grass being greener if you know what I mean. I don't know that it's any easier or faster. Does your partner speak English very well? What country is he from? These things unfortunately tend to make a difference. I've read a few migration review tribunal cases where language barriers came up. On the other hand, if his English is terrible, you can get a student visa to get him into Oz to take ESL courses.
Anyway, best of luck to you. If you want him with you in May when you move.... Your best options are probably tourist visa, working holiday visa, and then maybe a student visa... Nothing else is likely to be processed in time.
Thankyou we are having a chat with an MO today to get some more advice. He is English, we do have lots of evidence for our relationship, tenancy agreements, joint bank accounts, property in our names etc etc. Just wasn't sure which route to take. Will post later with outcome and any questions on the immigration page. Thanks again.