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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone,

My name is Sri and I came to Australia 3 years ago on an e457 and love this country. Since then, I got married (my wife is an Australian citizen) and we are now the proud parents of a 6 month old boy :)

My e457 expires in March 2014, but I would like to apply for the Partner Visa in the coming weeks.

I have an expired Indian passport (expired 2 months ago), but did confirm with the immigration department that it is OK for me to put in the visa application with the expired passport details. However, they did say that I would need to let them know of the new passport details as soon as I have it and only then, will they inform me of their decision.

The last time I checked, the application fee alone was $4575 and I am not sure what everything else will amount to.

Because of our financial position, I was thinking of doing the application on my own. However, the fact that the application money is non-refundable, even in the case of a failed application, is causing me to think that perhaps, I should hire an immigration agent/consultant.

I know that such services don't come cheap, so I would like to know what the distinct advantages are of going down this path.

Would appreciate your thoughts/feedback on this.

Thank you!
 

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If you are willing and able to spend quite a bit of time doing research on your own (reading the Partner Migration Booklet, reading Immi's website, reading this and other forums, for starters), you have no issues reading/writing English (seems like you're A-OK on that front), and there are no medical issues or criminal convictions that could cause issues with your application, you should be okay doing it on your own. You can always ask questions here. Start by reading though - I'd start with the Partner Migration Booklet I mentioned.
 
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Hi Sri,
Agents tend to charge fees based on experience and the estimated time spent on an application. But some agents provide "review services" where you pretty much provide your 'decision ready' application and we go through it with a fine toothcomb to weed out problems and strengthen the application. Partner visas do fall into the 'higher risk' category as far as COs are concerned, so expect a greater amount of scrutiny.

Jerry Gomez Lawyer and Migration Agent MARN 0854080
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you :)

Hi CollegeGirl,

Thanks for taking the time to reply to my question.

I have already gone through the Partner Migration Booklet and a trial completion of the application. It was very detailed but not extremely difficult to follow. I'm not sure if things have changed since I did it (about 6+ months ago).

I am going to go through it again and see if I feel confident enough to go through it all myself.

Although, having an agent would give me a bit more peace of mind/confidence than going at it all alone :)

Thanks again!
Sri

If you are willing and able to spend quite a bit of time doing research on your own (reading the Partner Migration Booklet, reading Immi's website, reading this and other forums, for starters), you have no issues reading/writing English (seems like you're A-OK on that front), and there are no medical issues or criminal convictions that could cause issues with your application, you should be okay doing it on your own. You can always ask questions here. Start by reading though - I'd start with the Partner Migration Booklet I mentioned.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you :)

Hi Jerry,

Thank you for your reply!

So, based on what you have shared, if I were to go through the whole application and do my due diligence and then approach an agent, it could end up being a bit less expensive, seeing that I have done most of the work. Am I correct to assume that?

I'm not surprised that the immigration dept wouldn't scrutinise such applications most, being that many have abused and continue to abuse this and other methods.

Thanks again for the information!
Sri

Hi Sri,
Agents tend to charge fees based on experience and the estimated time spent on an application. But some agents provide "review services" where you pretty much provide your 'decision ready' application and we go through it with a fine toothcomb to weed out problems and strengthen the application. Partner visas do fall into the 'higher risk' category as far as COs are concerned, so expect a greater amount of scrutiny.

Jerry Gomez Lawyer and Migration Agent MARN 0854080
 

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So, based on what you have shared, if I were to go through the whole application and do my due diligence and then approach an agent, it could end up being a bit less expensive, seeing that I have done most of the work. Am I correct to assume that?
If you check out Mark Northam's website (he's a regular on this website and a registered migration agent), you can see the difference in charges for
- an application review: Northam & Associates - Visa Application Review Service
- a complete visa application: Northam & Associates - Our Fees

I would assume these fees to be pretty similar across other registered migration agents.

Personally, we decided against using a migration agent, especially in face of the additional cost to the already expensive visa application charge (and the medicals... and the police checks... and the certified copies...).
It would have certainly been a relief though to have a professional check our application before submitting it. I went over it many many times and am still wondering if I should have presented it in a different way, if the information I included was relevant etc.
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thank you :)

Hi Rheia,

Thanks for sharing those links.

The visa review service does sound like a good deal.

I've had a look through the rest of the site and it does look like Mark and his team are serious and good at what they do.

From what I can gather, you have submitted your application, but waiting on the outcome. Is that right?

Thanks again!
Sri

If you check out Mark Northam's website (he's a regular on this website and a registered migration agent), you can see the difference in charges for
- an application review: Northam & Associates - Visa Application Review Service
- a complete visa application: Northam & Associates - Our Fees

I would assume these fees to be pretty similar across other registered migration agents.

Personally, we decided against using a migration agent, especially in face of the additional cost to the already expensive visa application charge (and the medicals... and the police checks... and the certified copies...).
It would have certainly been a relief though to have a professional check our application before submitting it. I went over it many many times and am still wondering if I should have presented it in a different way, if the information I included was relevant etc.
 

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Hi Rheia,

Thanks for sharing those links.

The visa review service does sound like a good deal.

I've had a look through the rest of the site and it does look like Mark and his team are serious and good at what they do.

From what I can gather, you have submitted your application, but waiting on the outcome. Is that right?

Thanks again!
Sri
Yes, we've submitted and now the waiting game has begun... Only 8-9 months to go :eek:
So I can't tell you if my approach was a successful one but I strongly believe so.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
:)

I can only imagine (for now) how that feels though I am hoping it will be my turn in due time :)

I pray everything goes through successfully for you and that you will get the visa all sorted out!

Sri

Yes, we've submitted and now the waiting game has begun... Only 8-9 months to go :eek:
So I can't tell you if my approach was a successful one but I strongly believe so.
 

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Yes, Jerry's suggestion was a great one and a good middle ground. You get the security of an agent having looked at it but not all the expense of them doing it themselves. Win-win. Good luck, Sri, and just let us know if you have questions.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks again!

Thanks CollegeGirl! I will try to keep you all posted of my progress. Thanks again to everyone who responded!

Sri

Yes, Jerry's suggestion was a great one and a good middle ground. You get the security of an agent having looked at it but not all the expense of them doing it themselves. Win-win. Good luck, Sri, and just let us know if you have questions.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks everyone :)

Everyone has been very helpful! Thank you :)

I am in the process of getting my Indian passport renewed, which has been a rather traumatic experience thus far and it's not over yet!

I do have a question regarding my 457 and my plans to get a partner visa. Should I open a new thread for that?

Thanks!
Sri

Yes, Jerry's suggestion was a great one and a good middle ground. You get the security of an agent having looked at it but not all the expense of them doing it themselves. Win-win. Good luck, Sri, and just let us know if you have questions.
 

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Thank you for asking! :) It's really up to you. You might get more responses if you do as anyone not interested in reading about agents might not read this one. :)
 
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