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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys/gals,

First time posting here, but, I have done some lurking to get a feel of things as I am quickly approaching the time frame where I would like to live together with my SO in Australia, specifically the Sydney area. I am a US citizen living in the US and working here. I would like to know if my approach is okay based on the readings I have done. I have bolded my questions below if you wish to skip the main body.

Some background information about me, however: I am in my mid 20s, a naturalized US citizen for some 3+ years now, and have entered into a relationship with my SO since about October 2015. Since then, I have visited Australia twice, once in 2016 and again in 2017. I will visit once more next month at the end of December 2017 and stay till the first two weeks or so of January 2018. I have plenty of pictures of us together with friends and family as well as some receipts for some of the events we have done. I will probably have more by my next trip.

So, I started my application at immigov for a 309 but wanted to make sure my thoughts are valid. I plan to apply for a relationship registration and register ourselves as a defacto relationship. My SO lives in NSW so, that part should be taken care of. I will also submit notarized copies of my passport, birth certificate, and driver's license. This should satisfy the requirements in Category 2 and Category 3. However, my question is if I can get my identity documents notarized here in the US by a public notary or will I need a public notary/JP from Australia? If the latter, will I have to mail my passport, driver's license, and birth certificate for them to notarize the photocopies? If that is the case, it seems like it would be less of a hassle to do this personally when I arrive in December.

Furthermore, my goal is that once my relationship registration process is done, to next lodge a 309 visa and move along with the process (medical, state police, FBI, etc). Does that sound rational?

In my Immigov application, in various places, it asks me about the status of our relationship with the options of engagement, marriage, or defacto. My SO and I do plan to get married in December of 2018, however, should I put this as a defacto relationship due to the registration of relationship? It will occur first chronologically of course.

My goal is to ultimately live with my partner in Australia around Q1 of 2019, pending Visa issuance of course. Appreciate the feedback! Hope to join my fellow DC applicants in the long thread :)
 

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Have you considered the PMV 300? De facto requires quite a bit of evidence of combined lives, not just visiting each other. If you are already engaged and planning to marry, then you're eligible to apply.

It would be worth the couple hundred dollars to talk to an Australian based Registered Migration Agent (they Skype, usually) and make sure you even have enough evidence to meet the 309/100 requirement.

You can also consider the work and holiday visa 462 to move to Oz and build evidence for de facto. From there you could even apply onshore for 820/801.

As for certification, I'm not sure for registering relationships but I don't see why a notary in the US couldn't certify your documents. I believe I used a notary (at a UPS store) when I signed my NOIM form for the 300.

But if you wait until you get to Oz, it doesn't have to be a JP. There are many eligible occupations that can do it (e.g., teachers, police, doctors, pharmacists, etc).
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Have you considered the PMV 300? De facto requires quite a bit of evidence of combined lives, not just visiting each other. If you are already engaged and planning to marry, then you're eligible to apply.

It would be worth the couple hundred dollars to talk to an Australian based Registered Migration Agent (they Skype, usually) and make sure you even have enough evidence to meet the 309/100 requirement.
I have not, actually. I remember looking into it and it costing me much more and a longer trek to eventually becoming a citizen with the wait line of 820/801. That's why I figured it would be better if I had just applied from the United States. Just want to clarify that if I am already engaged that I do not need to register my relationship for the 309. How will I prove my engagement? Pictures, purchase of ring? Etc

You can also consider the work and holiday visa 462 to move to Oz and build evidence for de facto. From there you could even apply onshore for 820/801.
I was recommended that option by a family friend but I don't know if I want to go about it that way. I feel like if the 309 is possible, it would be the best way. It seems the shortest wait (13 months for 75% applications) and the cheapest option standing at A$7k. I have seen the list of documents submitted by some of the people and I do plan to make a better case by opening a bank account and getting the relationship registered. Hmmmm, now you're making me have doubts!

As for certification, I'm not sure for registering relationships but I don't see why a notary in the US couldn't certify your documents. I believe I used a notary (at a UPS store) when I signed my NOIM form for the 300.
Cool. I usually have my accountant notarize my documents as he is a public notary in my state. It would be a relief if I can use his services again.

But if you wait until you get to Oz, it doesn't have to be a JP. There are many eligible occupations that can do it (e.g., teachers, police, doctors, pharmacists, etc).
Will keep this in mind, thanks!
 

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Agree with Skybluebrewer above re PMV being the better option, as it doesn't seem at this point you would have enough evidence for a 309. Or a W&HV if you're under 31 to help you build up evidence for a 309. But if you're not planning on arriving in Aus until 2019 then definitely consider PMV. You will have 9 months to marry after a PMV is granted.

Regarding notarising identity documents - if you're applying online you don't need to have them notarised/certified- clear colour scans are sufficient. The only thing that needs to be witnessed for online applications is the form 888's.
 

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I believe the JP question was for identity docs for registering the relationship.

Tijanaoc's reference to applying online and not needing to certify documents is in regards to the partner visa, which is good info to know anyway as it will save you a lot of money and hassle.
 

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As for your relationship status, if you are engaged then you should put engaged. Do not put de facto unless you are de facto (and can prove you're de facto) just as you would not put married unless you are married.
 

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PMV is a better option. You have't said how long you stayed on the visits and if she has visited you. The visits so sound short therefore you would not have enough evidence for a 309 visa. You will need more evidence than l photos and a few receipts.
 

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I was recommended that option by a family friend but I don't know if I want to go about it that way. I feel like if the 309 is possible, it would be the best way. It seems the shortest wait (13 months for 75% applications) and the cheapest option standing at A$7k. I have seen the list of documents submitted by some of the people and I do plan to make a better case by opening a bank account and getting the relationship registered. Hmmmm, now you're making me have doubts!
For a 309 (or 820) you need to prove you have combined your lives together and provide solid evidence of this in the four areas they require (financial, social, nature of commitment, nature of household). Having a joint bank account and getting the relationship registered is a small piece of the puzzle, but it is not enough in and of itself to prove that you have combined your lives together. If you have a joint account it needs to have been open for a period of time and needs to show regular use with money going in and out of it. Opening a bank account and then applying for a partner visa a few weeks later when there has been little use of that bank account, or similarly opening a bank account and letting it sit for months without any use isn't going to cut it. Similarly registering the relationship waives the 12 month defacto requirement, but it does not waive the requirement for evidence that you have combined your lives together - evidence in all the four above mentioned areas.

Yes the 309/820 path is cheaper and faster than the PMV->820 path but only if you have solid evidence to prove your relationship. If you don't have enough evidence then the extra $1100 for a PMV->820 is an investment that is actually going to save you the $7000 that you'd otherwise waste on a denied 309 for a lack of evidence (no refunds if your visa is rejected).
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thank you, TijanaOC, Skybluebrewer, and Mish. I imagine I will be seeing everyone's post more often. I am glad I asked and you guys swayed me towards 300 cause after searching these forums and understanding your messages better, I am convinced to go with the 300/PMV. Regarding the 300, let me know if I am understanding things correctly. My new found decision has opened more questions. Hope you guys don't mind too much! Really appreciate the help!

I would like to apply for my 300 sometime in late December 2017 or January 2018. I will be visiting Australia in 3 weeks next month. From my understanding, general wait times are about 11 to 12 months for 75%. May or may not be quicker or slower. Lurking around, it seems like it's been quicker in the past but slower now from the United States.

With that said, I see plenty of discussions regarding 888. 888 are just statements from Aussie citizens, correct? So, basically my SO's mother, brother, or our mutual Aussie friends would do? And this needs to be handwritten, not typed? In section 1, the Visa Applicant Name should be mine and the applicant's partner should be my SO. I see on the last page it says "Your Signature" and "Signature of Qualified Person". Qualified Person is the list of prescribed persons in the first page of the 888 document, correct? Do prescribed persons have a special number they are identified with? My SO's mother is a full time teacher but I do not recall that she has such notary powers. Could she theoretically fill in the paperwork and sign as the qualified person as well as for her own son, my SO's brother?

Regarding NOIM, it seems like the easiest way would be to take my passport during my trip to Australia but book something now in advance to sit with a celebrant? Anything else I should know?

Should I still register my relationship during my Australia trip next month? Another question I have is, how does engagement work and is recognized? Will I have to show proof? If I put engaged in the online application, it only asks for date of intended marriage. Is there nothing that is checked against this?

And on a more random note, what is stopping me from coming on an ETA and going the 820 route while on shore? Just the lack of sufficient evidence that our lives have not been intertwined and the inability to work till enough proof has been built and I can lodge an 820 with a BVA?
 
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