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G'day peeps.

I am writing this post to provide all of you people with some information on my case. I've seen a lot of posts here started with people asking questions on how to do things but no one followed up with the results of their visa process. I am trying to help everyone looking for some information or peace of mind with my story and things that I did to get approved in the process.

My story and current situation

I came into Australia on a WHV 417. After about 4 months I got contracted by a Development firm as I am a software engineer. After my initial contract of 6 months ran out they decided they wanted to keep me on. So they started the process to sponsor me for a 482, which immigration declined as I was already contracted there. We went to the AAT(Administrative appeals tribunal) with the application and I continued working past my WHV on a BVA, the 6 months condition was waived.

4 months into my BVA the company ran out of cash flow and laid everyone off. This meant that I had no means of applying for a new visa in Australia since I had no substantiate visa.

My migration agent advised me to go for a 461 visa with my NZ partner. To do this I had to withdraw the AAT application and go to NZ to apply for a substantiate tourist visa, hope that I get a 651 visa approved, and fly back into Australia to start the process of applying for the 461 and waiving the "Business visitor" condition on my BVA (No work).

Currently I am on the 461 waiting list with my BVA approved and had the "no work" condition removed due to hardship reasons.

Now, what are the things that I've learned during this process that might put some of you at ease.
Note: I am not a registered migration agent so don't take my words as legal advice. They are just my experiences and what worked for me.

Getting the tourist visa


1. Apply for BVB before you hop the pond


The first thing I did was to apply for a BVB. After losing my job I had 35 days after the Tribunal application was withdrawn until my BVA ceased to be in effect. So, I applied for a BVB to make sure that I could still fly back into Australia if my Tourist visa was declined. I had my life built up in Australia with a leased apartment that I was living in together with my partner and a car. If I was not able to get my tourist visa I would not be able to sell or dispose of assets. So don't go without a backup plan if you have responsibilities.

2. getting a 651/601.

Then the next thing - this is only for the countries that are able to get a 651 - the wait time for the 651 visa or if you will get approved or not. I know a lot of you are really stressed at this moment because you don't know if you can get back into the country or if your 651 will get approved. I know I was.

Let me tell you what I did that made it stress free. I went to a flight centre. paid $50 for a 601 (ETA) visa and it got approved straight away whilst sitting there. the 651 is free but what is worth it more. 3 days of stress or $50?

I did get my 651 approved 3 hours after I got my ETA so. Your 651 might get approved and it took me 3 days to get it. But save yourselves 3 days of sleeping in a bad hostel and stress and go for the $50 option.

Now some people say that you might run into the risk of customs stopping you. I wasn't stopped at all and could just walk through so don't think too much about that
(Note: I did buy a one way ticket to my country of origin at the end of the tourist visa, to show I had ongoing travel plans. I refunded this ticket later on but you can do this to be safe)

Applying for the 461 NZ partner visa

Next step is the 461 partner visa. If you are doing a 820 partner visa I believe these steps will be mostly the same. Don't do what I did. And that is wait 1.5 months before starting to gather evidence. I took some time off to rest my soul from all the stress before getting back at it again.

Go straight into gathering evidence and get all your paperwork done. Especially form 1221 which you and your partner need to fill out in full. For this form you need to get all your family details and nationalities, you need to get your police certificates which can take up to a month to complete, and you need to find out your last 10 years of residency, travel, and work. So don't loiter. This form is a bitch. And the faster you have this stuff done the more weight will fall off your shoulders.

This is a list of evidence that we supplied next to the required forms.
(Note: Our application hasn't been approved yet so I don't know if this evidence is substantial enough)

  • 2 statements from friends (signed and witnessed by JPs)
  • bills and insurances on both our names.
  • Whats app chat conversations with dates.
  • pictures of us together at various locations with date. Show JPEG meta data if needed, that holds the date.
  • our own two statements of relationship.
  • relationship registration certificate. We declared our relationship by law. this can bypass the 12 month living together de-facto period.

Once they receive the paperwork you should receive a grant notification for a Bridging Visa A, that will go into effect after your current Tourist visa ends. In my case this still held a condition that I was unable to work. So now for the final step. Getting the "no work" condition removed by proving hardship conditions.

Working right by claiming hardship.

So we all know that most of these visas take up to 25 months to be approved. Now being unable to work for 25 months is something that none of us can do.

I know most of you are concerned if they will remove the condition or not, so let me shed some light on what I supplied as evidence that got my "no work" condition removed from my BVA.

My advice is to actually get this sorted whilst you are still on your tourist visa so you don't have to wait longer than 3 months to get back into the grind. You do need to apply for the substantiate visa to get the BVA grant before you can apply to have conditions changed.

1. Create a list of expenses

One of the best things to do for yourself is to open up excel or google sheets and just note down all the incoming and outgoing expenses.
( Note: you can use check boxes in google sheets to make it easier to create multiple sheets. There are some tutorials out there that can help you with this as it is not the purpose of this post.)

I created three separate expenses sheets.
One with our prospected incoming and outgoing debt/savings after 3/6/9/12/24 month periods. One where we budget out outgoing. And one with our current outgoing with me working on a rate that I worked for at my previous company.

That last one shows what you guys actually based your life on and it helps you justify your outgoings.

2. Get evidence to back up those expenses.

The next step is to get evidence that proves each and every source of incoming and outgoings on your list. As well as bank statements of both your savings and active account. It helps to use a highlight marker to highlight big outgoings like bills and rent on these sheets to make it easier for the caseworker that picks it up to skim through the pile of paper.

3. Write a compelling cover letter

I've also written up a cover letter explaining why I would need the work rights. It was also good for my mental health. Running out of money is one thing but sitting at home with a growing depression is another. I stated that another reason I wanted to work was because I was becoming mentally unwell and that I would like to add value to the society I'm going to live in.

Some extra notes:

Now most of you would probably also like to know what kind of numbers we were dealing with to give you some peace of mind. Our numbers were ~$4,000 in savings, and running ~$2,000 short every month not budgeted and running ~$400 short budgeted. This left no room for fun activities and had us eating cup noodles. This would lead us to not be able to pay for vet bills, medical expenses, car breakdowns, etc. Our debt would be over $20,000 if I did not receive my working rights if we continued living like we did for the expected 25 month processing time.

We did not trim our numbers or pretend we live without luxuries. We have gym memberships, go out for dinner, do fun activities, and drive around to visit national parks. Don't feel the need to show that you actually have lived on cup noodles and need hardship conditions for that reason. They probably don't expect you to live entirely without luxuries for two years.

Now for the good news.

My working rights were approved 7 working days after I mailed my form 1005 and evidence to the department. Which was 1 day before a wedding of a friend, so it was the best news I could have received. It left me with 3 weeks of finding a job to start after my tourist visa ended which I am glad to say I've found and will start next week.

If I missed anything or if you need more information just post up and I will try to keep an eye out on my email for any of your questions.

Hope it helps you all to give you some peace and make your stay in Australia possible.
 

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Hi mate 😊👍 very informative thankyou for sharing this..

May i ask how the department notify you when you file your form 1005 and granting work rights?.
 
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