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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I didn't see many of these in my googles. So I figured I'd make one. Hopefully this is ok. I just feel it might help someone

My partner originally came over on a 462 working holiday visa from the USA. After looking into 457, and finding it wasn't feasible for his employer we went down the defacto route.

It was scary, daunting, stressful, overwhelming. We did it ourselves, no agent.

Small things that don't seem to be mentioned.

Registering relationship with the local Births deaths and marriages is a perfectly acceptable means of proof if you cannot meet the 12month living together criteria. It's also just good aditional proof. In Vic I think we paid like $350 or so, including a fancy decorative certificate. There is processing times here, we nearly screwed up, ours didn't arrive until AFTER we had to hit submit, but the receipt that you've applied still counts.

Find a good JP or pharmacist who is accustomed to certifying. You want that to be clear, concise and to the letter
* "I certify this is a true copy of the original"
* Date
* name printed of certifier
*signature of certifier
* position of certifier
* registration number or address of certifier (depending on who's certifying)

I went to a new chemist, their stamp was all shiny and new, I paid $1 a pop, worth it.

Police checks are not fun. They're tedious, make you think way too hard. For an Australian one, you need 10 years of places worked and lived and countries visited. USA is an FBI check by posting in a fingerprint card. Only certain police stations within australia can and will do finger printing for background checks, there's a cost involved and you have to book.

Learn how to print to PDF, and resize your photos. Remember the number of documents is limited, the number of pages in those is not. Condense photos to a smaller size (I recommend fast stone resizer) and then print them into a single PDF document (highlight the JPG files in the folder, right mouse click, print, select pdf)

A trick I used for getting more info in one screen off facebook, hook computer up to wide screen tv, rotato computer screen sideways with ctrl alt left or right and zoom out on the screen and start snapping away with photos. Was great. I categorised our photos into things like "family" "friends" "holiday at xyz" "random ones from visit A to country A" "random ones from visit B to country B"

Check your beneficiaries on your superannuation, change them if neccesary, ask for a confirmation letter.

Word up your mates in advance about the stat decs. Most will be willing though.

Don't forget the form 80 character assessment, it's mandatory for the person from overseas, it's easy to miss.

We finally have a time frame on ours when we log in 20-25months HAHAHAHA. Bridging is auto though, bridging B to leave the country, not so auto. Even more annoying was I had JUST posted paperwork for him to go home for xmas, and the next week, the applying for bridging online button appeared. I despise paperwork.

You WILL get sick of uploading documents, you will yell at the computer because your pdf is 1kb too big for upload. You will cry and wonder is it really bloody worth it. Remember, yes, it is. re trim the photo and go again.

We were long distance for a period, so I exported skype logs, as well as took screen shots of our video chats occasionally. (In case you care between 01/07/2015 and 23/10/2017 we exchanged 23823 messages had 219hours of calls and an average of 49.5 messages per day, that's just skype, not including whatsapp or text.)
 

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Good information! I too did a lot of what you mentioned such as resizing, etc. and actually found a service to compress pdf files to get them under 5MB. Regarding text messages, I compiled a sampling (say a few per week) rather than the whole multi-hundred log. I have heard different opinions on the Form80, but seems like its a good idea to do.
 

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Hope it's smooth sailing from now :)

In terms of the relationship registration, this doesn't have to be done at time of application, it can be done anytime up until the visa is processed and it would still count as a waiver (although the earlier the better as they could technically process it at any time).

Also, I believe Form 80 is the same as Form 888 in terms of that they are not actually mandatory (in terms of legislation) but recommended.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I might have misunderstood the 80. I read it as mandatory. It was easy for us as he had held one job all his life until he moved to Australia.

Yeah I freaked out about the registration as it didn't come in until after, so it was nice to learn it's ok, you don't need the actual certificate.

I didn't pull a thousand page log for skype, I used a program that just condenses the information, time on calls, messages sent, most commonly used words, over a specific date range.

I didn't include whatsapp messages or text messages, they're a bit NSFW due to distance. haha.
 

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Note for other readers, you do not need to certify copies of your documents. Just upload original color scans. Only documents that state they need certification (like F888s) need to be certified, and even that is certifying the signature of the person who wrote the statement.

Also US applicants would also need a state check for any US state lived in for 3 months in the last 12 months. Obviously that doesn't always apply, especially if someone has spent the 12 months before applying in Australia on another visa but this is often overlooked by US applicants.

You are better off having done the F80. It is now listed on the website as a requirement so best to just get it done.
 

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A trick I used for getting more info in one screen off facebook, hook computer up to wide screen tv, rotato computer screen sideways with ctrl alt left or right and zoom out on the screen and start snapping away with photos. Was great. I categorised our photos into things like "family" "friends" "holiday at xyz" "random ones from visit A to country A" "random ones from visit B to country B"
Man, you are making this way to complicated for yourself! ha ha SNIPPING TOOL. SNIPPING TOOL. SNIPPING TOOL. If your computer didn't come with the app downloaded just google those two words I repeated, and get it. It's much easier than what you just wrote. OR if you have a PC, use shift + F12...but snipping tool is much easier. Just select the app, crop what you want from the screen, and save as a photo :)
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Man, you are making this way to complicated for yourself! ha ha SNIPPING TOOL. SNIPPING TOOL. SNIPPING TOOL. If your computer didn't come with the app downloaded just google those two words I repeated, and get it. It's much easier than what you just wrote. OR if you have a PC, use shift + F12...but snipping tool is much easier. Just select the app, crop what you want from the screen, and save as a photo :)
Snipping tool was way to hard to try and work with the screen sideways and zoomed out. :p plus it being zoomed out meant that on the normal computer screen it is smaller, taking a photo of my widescreen tv, even when it's zoomed out it was still larger. If I snipped it woulda taken from the computer screen yeah? not the tv? That's what I thought would happen. (keep in mind I only learnt in the past like 5 years you can hook up a computer via hdmi and watch computer on the tv. I also spent hours yelling at skyperious about my export until I realised it's cause I'd changed his name on skype as a nickname for me)

It has it, it's pinned to my task bar!
 

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Hm, guess it depends on the size of your computer screen, Fluff (which I realised after I typed that reply out). Mine is 27", never had a problem with the photos coming out in bad quality...they even come out okay on my 9" laptop.

All I do is select snipping tool, and capture the screen as is (or what I need from it such as messages, photos etc.)

Also, reading through your post again I saw that you noted you paid "$1 a pop" after explaining about getting your items certified. I thought getting items certified was supposed to be free of charge? Or was it more costly due to the stamp? My partner and I didn't have to pay anyone, and we had three separate people certify over the course of my 820 being processed and putting in for my 801.
 

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the 12 month is well known and documented on many forums and threads here.
regarding the case officer requesting anything missing part of the changes are that they can and will reject applications without asking for more evidence. so best to upload all you can first up. hold off on medicals and police checks for at least 6 months or until you are asked.
 

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Also, reading through your post again I saw that you noted you paid "$1 a pop" after explaining about getting your items certified. I thought getting items certified was supposed to be free of charge? Or was it more costly due to the stamp? My partner and I didn't have to pay anyone, and we had three separate people certify over the course of my 820 being processed and putting in for my 801.
I have never paid anyone to get documents certified or witnessed. I never got any documents certified as I did colour scan of the original. I did however get the stat dec witnessed by a JP but that was it as the 888 people do theirs themselves.
 

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Good post :)

Just regarding the US police check as I need to get this done. Is there a way you can find out which police stations will do the finger prints? Can you book online? Or is it just a case of trecking around from police station to police station? Finding one that will do it and then booking a time and returning? It seems like a lot of work, I did my UK police check online in 2 minutes and had it a few days later..
Most people call in, and book to get their prints done. If you go to your local police station's website, the process should be listed (or you can just ask when you call them.) In the case of my police station, prints were only taken once a week and the wait was over a month long at that time. I ended up just buying a pad of ink from the newsagents and printing out the finger print card on high quality printing paper which can be downloaded from the FBI website. This of course isn't 100% advisable as if your prints aren't accepted, you'll have to do the whole process all over again. When all was said and done, I thought my prints looked horrible, but after only a week and a half they were accepted by my FBI approved channeller!
So, call around and see how long the wait will be to get prints done. You can do them yourself based on what channeller you chose, but it's a "swim at your own risk" scenerio. :)
 

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Whether you do it yourself or get it done by a professional, it's best and recommended by the FBI to send in multiple sets of prints in case one or some are unreadable. Helps you avoid the issue of having to start all over again with the 3-4 month wait time and you'll have to pay again.

Only PRs or citizens can use an approved channeler. I definitely recommend using one if you are, you pay a bit more but the results are quick. I used Accurate Biometrics and for 50 USD you csn get results emailed to you.
 

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I have never paid anyone to get documents certified or witnessed. I never got any documents certified as I did colour scan of the original. I did however get the stat dec witnessed by a JP but that was it as the 888 people do theirs themselves.
Same. For other readers, the DIBP website clearly states to upload original color scans of documents and not to upload certified copies.

The certified copies thing was for paper applications only (which no longer exist as you can only apply online now) and the only reason you sent in certified copies was because they kept everything. So obviously you wouldn't give them your ID, passport, and birth certificate originals.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
For the certifications, only a Justice of the Peace CANNOT charge, anyone else who can legally certify can choose to if they so wish, most chemists charge a fee but ask you to put it into a charity donation tin of their choosing.

I had to get stuff certified for the defacto application and just feel safer uploading fully certified documents.

My laptop screen is pretty small hence the putting it onto my tv and photographing the entire screen that way.

For the fingerprints. Apparently NSW no longer does fingerprints for ink, however they apparently do have access to the scanning thingy for FBI check. If you need a state check though with fingerprints you can't use the scanner thingy.

We chose to also use Accurate Biometrics for the FBI check as it was quick, well priced and pretty easy to do.
In Victoria you have to make an appointment, there's a number on the vicpol website for it. It's actually easier to get in to a country police station than the CBD head office in Docklands. We had 3 sets done and sent all off because of the state of his fingers from work.

The FD528 fingerprint card which is what needs to be used needs to be signed by the person taking the prints, including them putting down their role. We printed the FD528 out ourselves and he took those with him.

With the defacto, yeah we have proof of that as well, evidence from when I lived with him in the USA for the 3 months prior including evidence I had items posted to their and evidence he owns the property, in Australia; bank account confirmation letter, Beneficiary confirmation letters from our superannuation funds, rental receipts and leases, water bills.

I've obviously missed the medical and police check stuff when going through here but hey it happens. I actually need a police check for a new job anyway so no biggie.
 

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I can not recall all I learnt and in fact have forgotten, but it was a shyt load of both.

But I will try point form a few (as that is the best way to get answers if you ask them).

* Many apprentices get sent to the store to "ask for a long weight" - I learnt DIBP designed this test and used often till destruction limits on some/many applicants.

* Should you call and ask DIBP for advice and you get a favourable reply verbally or in writing - panic!
a) because they answered the call or email.
b) or it was fast.

* On a more serious note fees can jump at any time by lots 10 years ago it was around $1300 kids included, a few years ago there were 2 massive increases and an alignment increase in around 8 months.

* If anything is not straight forward and over the requirements - consult a RMA after asking a few questions on the forum/s.

* RMA's are not over paid and most seem to have personal experience/s

* 1 RMA seems to have published a book, I doubt it is in the fiction section of a GOOD library.

* I learnt that while I had a shyt time with DIBP during the processes to apply the 820 - I cried over what others went through (That's one tough Chicken!).

* I learnt that Case Officers only get a allocated amount of hours to process an application ( it is around 5 hours) and now it is many case officers - when each new person jumps on hrs are used, so to justify extra gets asked for like form 80, that adds hours a CO can book.

* I learnt there are some bloody good forum members that give lots of time and research lots just to help others.

*Most importantly I learnt that I improved myself, by helping others in the process that I had differences of beliefs in certain areas, that are often contentious.

So enjoy the long weight for your visa and learn and thanks for passing that on - all info is good info and here if it is/becomes wrong it is just said (with a how or why) but kept simple for other readers - so don't take offence if someone says "that's wrong" it is just a clear not for other readers and you can discuss it with them, they don't mind.
 
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