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Hey,

I'm an Australian and my partner Japanese, we've been together for 8 years. We met in Australia, but got married in Singapore. She is currently now in Japan and myself here in Australia.

We are having a difficult time choosing whether to apply for the partner visa here in Australia or whilst she is Japan, but have hesitated after stories like "it takes much longer when you apply from outside". I was hoping she could come on a tourist visa and apply for the partner visa, whilst providing bridging visa status in the interim, would there be anything wrong with this approach? i've also heard that its not favourable for you to do something like this? illegal? not sure, was hoping someone could kindly help shed some light and experience, thanks!
 

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You heard wrong, generally much longer if you apply in Australia.

It's not illegal, just don't mention that is your plan to DIBP.

You should check your on/offshore options - sure other members can fill you in on benefits of each
 

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Hi Mero,

My wife (Japanese) and I (Australian) were considdering an onshore application but it takes up to about 1.5-2 years. If applying onshore from a tourist visa her bridging visa may have work and medicare restrictions.
The offshore applications say 11 months..

Since applying for our visa offshore (we are both in Japan currently) we have both travelled to Australia on a tourist visa and plan to again in a few months if the 309 Visa isnt approved by April.

There is nothing wrong with travelling to australia on a tourist visa while you wait the partener visa application.
See #18
Partner Migration - FAQs

Aaron
 

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If you apply for the onshore partner visa from a visitor visa, the bridging visa would allow full work rights and you are eligible for medicare once you apply for the partner visa. The issue with work rights is you can't work while the visitor visa is active so you'd have to wait for the BVA to go into effect.

Offshore or onshore depends on your personal circumstances. If you come to Australia after an offshore application, you are eligible for medicare as the applicant of a 309/100 but work rights would then be based on the visa you are on in Australia.
 

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Thanks Skybluebrewer, I didn’t know you could work when going from tourist visa to a BVA visa.

As you say it depends on your circumstances, if you can handle being apart for a little bit, I think it is easier to apply offshore, reasons being:

- Many of the documents your partner needs to get from the city office as evidence / ID you need to pick up in person. If after going to Australia on a tourist visa then applying then realising you need another document, she will likely have to go back to Japan to collect it.
- She will need to come back to Japan to collect the police clearance certificate at some stage (you can’t apply online like the AFP because the Japanese police check must take your fingerprints to confirm your identity)
- If she leaves Australia while waiting for the Visa, for a holiday, or to collect documents as above etc. she will need to apply for a BVB (which requires substantial reasons to want to leave Australia.. But I'm sure you will have these).
- From what I have heard, only from 1 friend, they are more strict if applying from a tourist visa and putting a lot of pressure in the interview to explain why after an 8 year relationship, a 3 month tourist holiday to Australia turned into a partner visa application. Although it’s a legitimate way, it is obvious what you are doing, even if you say your tourist trip is only for "sightseeing".

- You can apply for the 309 Visa this week and get the process going, then gather your documents required (if you're a genuine couple, it should be easy) and upload them within the next month or so (your application will sit in a list for a while before anyone even looks at it.) - This was the advice from the people in the embassy in Tokyo.

- Alternatively if you apply onshore, you need to gather all your documents and ID that you need form Japan, then organise flights to Australia etc. etc. then do the application. And with work commitments and moving house etc... In reality she won’t be in Australia until at least Feb 2018 (unless she is ready to pack up a suitcase and go.) – that’s already 3 months that could have gone towards the offshore 309 application waiting time.


Mero, is your marriage also registered in Japan and Australia? And did your wife change her surname?


Cheers
Aaron
 

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Offshore 309 gets approved much quicker than onshore 820. I highly recommend you go for 309 offshore partner visa application. My wife got her 309 approved in 5 months while processing time showed 12 months at that time
 

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A small note but the Japanese police check can be obtained from any Japanese embassy (and probably consulates?), but it takes 8 to 10 weeks to process versus just 2 weeks if you do it in Japan. Considering the wait time for the 820, that really wouldn't affect the application much.
 
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