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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all

I met my girlfriend 8 months ago online. We talk/facetime/text daily and we are excited for what our future holds. She is 22, currently working and studying in Russia. I'm 31 and working full-time, Australian born.

Ideally, a tourist visa would be a good way to go temporarily, but we see potential in our relationship and were hoping to go for something a little longer but not quite as permanent/expensive as a partner visa.

She's wanting to study still, so we were hoping a student visa would be ideal, but I'm worried that they won't particularly like the fact that she is in a relationship with me, and she will be living with me. Am I wrong? She will have financial support for her time in Australia by her parents/family, I am willing to write a letter for her application welcoming her to Australia, my home and detailing the facts about our relationship, however I still am unsure as to if they'd grant her a visa.

Has anyone had any experience with this, or can offer any advice? If you'd like to know more, I'd happily share as much as I can.

Cheers!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Search GTE (Genuine Temporary Entrant) and when you are thoroughly familiar with it, take professional advice from a registered migration agent.
Hey, yeah, I've seen that! It looks like a daunting list but I honestly believe she'd be able to pass all of the criteria, however I don't know how they'd judge me. I feel like I'd be the biggest hurdle to her application. "ties to Australia that present a strong incentive to stay in Australia". Obviously we have no idea how our relationship will turn out, we are still in its infancy, but with her living at mine, I'd imagine they'd take this bit quite seriously, right? I don't want to lie and want to be straight honest on the visa app, as I even considered asking a friend to lodge her and not even bother with mentioning me.

I'm speaking with a migration agent, but only for genera information at the moment, I've yet to book a consultation. She seems like tourist visa is the way to go, but with her visas, I'm mostly worried about 8503 and it requiring her going back home for a while first.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
It is a bit of a mine field mate and getting a visa from Russia can be very hard.
Yeah, figured, sadly. She is worth the effort. We just left everything a bit late, as I want her here by February 2019 and I'm getting the feeling it may take even longer than that.

With the cost of international fees a student visa will end up costing a lot more than a partner visa. Just something to think about and look into.
Considered this too, however, I believe the student visa will be cheaper and it's a better option for the $ considering we don't know how our relationship will turn out. I think so, but if you could expand, that'd be amazing. Thanks!
 

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So for a bachelor degree at a university you would be looking at maybe $30,000 per year depending on the course as law subjects cost more. This compares to about $11,000 or so for Australian citizens who get HECS.

That is what I was meaning by costing more in the long run. I was not talking about the visa fee.
 

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My Partner was from Ukraine then the visa applications were processed in Russia.

We first meet in a neutral country - Vietnam. for around a week.

I then visited them (she had 2 kids) in Ukraine a few months later.

They then applied for Visitor Visas to see Australia and meet my 3 kids - Refused.

Applied again for Visitor Visas - Refused.

Told had to leave a kid behind to get the other 2 Visitor Visas.

** I would do a few neutral country visits first on a longer than week period, and see how it pans out. Then try for Visitor Visa for a month - mentioning your relationship. This is a double edge sword, being in a relationship with an Australian is a reason not to return - but you can not claim any part of the relationship if you don't mention it in the Visitor/Student visa applications.

I very much doubt a Student Visa will be a good path to choose - has ruined many peoples lives getting that when the end goal was a Partner Visa.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
So for a bachelor degree at a university you would be looking at maybe $30,000 per year depending on the course as law subjects cost more. This compares to about $11,000 or so for Australian citizens who get HECS.

That is what I was meaning by costing more in the long run. I was not talking about the visa fee.
Oh, I see. I don't believe she would be studying at University straight away. I believe she would look to do a TAFE certificates/diploma in line with what she's studying already in Russia. Thanks for the reply!

My Partner was from Ukraine then the visa applications were processed in Russia.

We first meet in a neutral country - Vietnam. for around a week.

I then visited them (she had 2 kids) in Ukraine a few months later.

They then applied for Visitor Visas to see Australia and meet my 3 kids - Refused.

Applied again for Visitor Visas - Refused.

Told had to leave a kid behind to get the other 2 Visitor Visas.

** I would do a few neutral country visits first on a longer than week period, and see how it pans out. Then try for Visitor Visa for a month - mentioning your relationship. This is a double edge sword, being in a relationship with an Australian is a reason not to return - but you can not claim any part of the relationship if you don't mention it in the Visitor/Student visa applications.

I very much doubt a Student Visa will be a good path to choose - has ruined many peoples lives getting that when the end goal was a Partner Visa.
Damn, that's horrible to hear. Sadly, I don't think we'd be able to meet any time soon in a neutral location first. I just got a new job, and therefore wouldn't be able to take any leave.

I'm hoping that because she's young, working and studying already in Russia, that it will work in her favour a bit more than someone who is older and has kids for example. Her intention is to definitely see where our relationship goes, but she also wants to experience and contribute to Australia/another country if we don't work out.

Our end goal is unknown at the moment to be perfectly honest. Maybe one day, and I've thought about it, but I definitely don't want to rush into something without fully growing the relationship in person.

I don't know how comfortable I'd be not claiming our relationship, however. I definitely see a future with her and don't want to ruin any chance at future visa applications getting rejected.
 

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[QUOTE=need2know2018


Damn, that’s horrible to hear. Sadly, I don’t think we’d be able to meet any time soon in a neutral location first. I just got a new job, and therefore wouldn’t be able to take any leave.

** Oh it got much worse and harder than that - I was in for around $80K at the end of the day - and the relationship/marriage did not work out.

I’m hoping that because she’s young, working and studying already in Russia, that it will work in her favour a bit more than someone who is older and has kids for example. Her intention is to definitely see where our relationship goes, but she also wants to experience and contribute to Australia/another country if we don’t work out.

** It seems to be the complete opposite mate - young and no strings attached. I strongly urge you to use a very good RMA on any application/s. and happy to recommend a few.

Our end goal is unknown at the moment to be perfectly honest. Maybe one day, and I’ve thought about it, but I definitely don’t want to rush into something without fully growing the relationship in person.

** Yes we all have that ideal but the visa pathways do not allow that for certain people that hold certain passports.

I don’t know how comfortable I’d be not claiming our relationship, however. I definitely see a future with her and don’t want to ruin any chance at future visa applications getting rejected.

** Just do a bit more homework mate and find out what you are up for - there is no easy or fast or cheap way from many countries inc Russia.

** Feel free to ask questions - I am brutally honest in reply's.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
need2know2018 Damn said:
Damn. I can't even think about how that'd feel. Sorry to hear, mate.

Really? I would've guessed they'd prefer younger immigrants, but I guess it depends. Skilled workers v student. She has family at home and on paper has strong fly home potential. Just it's me and our relationship where I think it falls flat.

Do you think listing my friends house as her place of residence a better idea then? And completely hide our relationship?

If we aren't going for a student visa straight away, we will try a 6 month tourist visa. Hopefully.

I certainly didn't think it'd be easy, but I hope it isn't a pit like it has been for a lot of people.
 

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** Easy - I think I am a reason that Ukraine applicants no longer get processed in Russia. If that is for better or worse, they still will know me by name, I did create a few storms and a few got in big trouble.

But I did know a bit about the visa system by then - more than the average Joe.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
** Easy - I think I am a reason that Ukraine applicants no longer get processed in Russia. If that is for better or worse, they still will know me by name, I did create a few storms and a few got in big trouble.

But I did know a bit about the visa system by then - more than the average Joe.
Haha, damn! I certainly don't know more than the average joe, but I really hope the process will be as carefree as possible. Sounds like you had a mountain of shit thrown your way.

Do you think tourist visa for 6 months would be the way to go? Do you think we should hide our relationship at all, and just let her go under the guise of wanting to travel? The issue I see with that is all her money for her travelling/studying is coming from family/friends whom are wanting to support her financially. Access to credit cards and transfers etc.
 

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Lying about your relationship could come and bite you in the bum later if you lodge a partner visa application.

Even without you in the picture I can't see immigration it is still hard for Russians to get tourist visas.

Look at it this way ... in Russia the wages aren't high like they are in Australia, therefore this gives them motivation to overstay a tourist visa.
 

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My ex had a bit over $20,000 in her bank account, this was flagged (verbally told) as her monthly income was only a few hundred a month.

Unwritten but often used is the requirement to have in their own right (with full board supplied) $1,000 per month.

If she does not have travel history to places of "similar standing to Australia", a initial 6 month visa in my opinion would be refused.

There is no easy solution and I suggest you consult with a good RMA on a pathway forward. Russia (and a few other countries) have a history of standing by an original decision regardless of evidence supplied - If you get the first application refused you will get the same result next time, even if you address the reasons for the refusal.
 

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I know its not ideal but nothing is ideal when it comes to visa pathways, but why not just take your time getting to know eachother, take a few trips when you can. Start building a strong case for a partner visa. By the time you have enough evidence to lodge it you should know if you want to proceed. We looked for shortcuts too but it all just gets too complicated. It's a long road but worth it for the right person.

If you lie about your relationship now you could jeopardize your relationship in the future. That won't be ideal if you do decide you want to be together.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
You guys are really killing my vibe! But I appreciate it, I now understand that it won’t be all roses and happiness unless we really put in the work, and even then, it’s going to be rough.

What does everyone think are the best questions / things I need to tell/ask an RMA? I’m pretty hampered for time, at the moment with work. One RMA said that she believed tourist visa would be good, for 3 months though.

Would a visitor visa be good? The only thing I see wrong with a lengthy visitor visa is she can’t do anything on it like study or work, so I fear she’d get bored whilst I’m at work. Also what is the negative of the visitor visa, aside from what I mentioned and condition 8503?
 

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Visitor Visas are "generally" issued for 3,6 or 12 months but can be issued for less than 3 months.

Your RMA will need info about you but more so about your girlfriend. They need to obtain favourable information within the regulations and the PAM 3 to provide a submission letter for her application. Ours was 6 pages long and very very detailed.

They need to highlight the reason why she will return after the visa is granted.

The chances of it not having the 8503 condition on it, if granted is very slim.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Visitor Visas are "generally" issued for 3,6 or 12 months but can be issued for less than 3 months.

Your RMA will need info about you but more so about your girlfriend. They need to obtain favourable information within the regulations and the PAM 3 to provide a submission letter for her application. Ours was 6 pages long and very very detailed.

They need to highlight the reason why she will return after the visa is granted.

The chances of it not having the 8503 condition on it, if granted is very slim.
So, book a consultation and then see which is the best visa from their opinion to apply for and then get them to process it based on that? Even if it's a tourist visa?

What from your experience, are the things the RMA ask about my girlfriend to help in writing the submission letter?
 

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The only real option I can see is the Visitor Visa, but a RMA might see different.

About assets, family ties, location (any politic or violence problems) income. Lots of things. I got a questionnaire to fill out prior consultation for both of us.

Below - so you don't think we are exaggerating how hard it can be, is a reply after a refusal from the RMA I used - his application was excellent and in the end we got the visas.

Hi Aaron –

I’m very sorry to report to you that DIBP has refused the visitor visa application – the attached just arrived.

My impression after reading the decision record is that their minds were already made up based on the recent refusal, and that they went hunting for any possible ways that they could defend what amounts to a pre-ordained decision. Their statement that “You have failed to submit any new evidence to show that the doubts about your circumstances and intentions are not justified.” is very telling in this regard, and utterly false since we certainly submitted substantial new evidence – from what I can see they’re basically lumping this with the previous refusal and then coming up with reasons to justify their decision and ignoring all the positive aspects of her application and the positive aspects of your invitation and support. I have to wonder whether they even took this application seriously, given how fast the turnaround was and the fact that they seem to justify their entire premise for refusal on aspects of the previous application.

They make absolutely no reference to any of the statements included, and absurdly claim that she has not demonstrated “strong employment” when we sent proof of a long-term job (which they acknowledged, but added the “claimed to be” phrase yet again) at a well-regarded institution, among other things.

The decision record is riddled with “claim to…” which infers an unproven claim, which is outrageous – “claim to be secondary school students”? This is a guilty-until-proven-innocent attitude where doubt is constantly injected into statements even in the face of incontrovertible, official, certified evidence. They also appear to be holding her limited previous international travel against her, rather than giving her credit for it.

Again, I’m sorry to have to deliver this bad news. I don’t know of anything you or I could have done differently or better with this application and we both gave this everything we had. Given the attitude they have taken towards Vika and her children, basically of a “guilty until proven innocent” attitude regarding her intentions to temporarily visit Australia, convicted essentially on what she might do while here, while ignoring overwhelming evidence that supports her and your position. It’s times like this that really get me angry about the “system” and blatantly unfair and wrong decisions like this one.

Please let me know if there’s anything I can do to assist going forward. If you are considering a fiancé or partner visa, I would suggest a very careful approach as, based on this letter, their attitude towards VIka’s claims is one of doubt and concern – that may very well carry over to other Australian visa application she may make. The best way to combat this generally is to spend as much time together with her as possible, whether it’s in her home country or elsewhere.

Best,

Mark Northam
 
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