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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,
I am really hoping someone on here can help me out as Im getting more and more confused about requirements and legalities of this visa each time i go online!

I am from UK and my partner is Australia, we met over 2 years ago when he was living in London. He came back to Australia Jan 2009 and I came to visit April 2009. We got engaged and I decided to make the move over, and in July 2009 I came here on a Working Holiday Visa.
I am working here now, Im a teacher and got a great school job. We got married two weeks ago and are now collecting the data for our application, but this is where i got a little bit confused. Firstly, i spoke to an agent who advised me that because im on a Working Holiday Visa I am not eligible to apply for a spouse visa! It says nothing about this on the immi.gov website, or on my visa notification email, does anyone know what this guy is talking about or if this is true?
Secondly, my partner spoke to the Immi.gov office and they said that we can no longer lodge our application at the Sydney office in person and must mail it and processing time is currently 6-9months. I am now worried about my job here, as I know the working hol visa restricts work with each employer to 6 months and i started in January. Will i be issued a bridging visa that will allow me to keep working or not?
I think im just stressing myself out, but i would really appreciate some advice on my situation if anyone can offer any.
Also, do we have to use an agent or is it ok to do it ourselves?
Thanks
Hannabelle
 

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Hi Hannabelle,
My partner and I are in a similar situation, although not married, congratulations!
I am from the UK and have been here since February 2009 and we are just in the process of applying for the partner visa. It's quite a lot of work, especially the medical examinations which you should book in for asap as there seems to be a "lucky on the day" approach as to whether you can get an appointment or not.
But to answer your question, I am on the same working holiday visa and applying in Adelaide, where we have visited immigration quite a few times for various issues, they have been nothing but helpful and actively encouraged us by supplying info and forms to get going. Not once did they react to me being on the working holiday visa so maybe that was just the particular office you went to?
You will only be issued a bridging visa if there is some hold up on the temporary aspect of the partner visa, and your current visa expires. If the first part goes through, which it will because you guys got married, then you automatically come off work restrictions until a final decision is made. That's what I have gathered anyway, I can't say for absolute certainty as we've not got there yet either.
As far as I can see, especially applying in Oz the average time is around 2 months, our next door neighbours had there's approved in two weeks, so again who knows!
Hope this eases your mind a little, maybe we can help each other through it!
Good luck, Jo and Ben
 

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Hello,
I am really hoping someone on here can help me out as Im getting more and more confused about requirements and legalities of this visa each time i go online!
I am from UK and my partner is Australia, we met over 2 years ago when he was living in London. He came back to Australia Jan 2009 and I came to visit April 2009. We got engaged and I decided to make the move over, and in July 2009 I came here on a Working Holiday Visa.
I am working here now, Im a teacher and got a great school job. We got married two weeks ago and are now collecting the data for our application, but this is where i got a little bit confused. Firstly, i spoke to an agent who advised me that because im on a Working Holiday Visa I am not eligible to apply for a spouse visa!
I am not sure why you were told this but it is not correct.
It says nothing about this on the immi.gov website, or on my visa notification email, does anyone know what this guy is talking about or if this is true?
Secondly, my partner spoke to the Immi.gov office and they said that we can no longer lodge our application at the Sydney office in person and must mail it and processing time is currently 6-9months.
Not entirely true. You can still lodge the application at an Immigration Department office, but you can no longer book an on the spot interview to speed up the process. Processing times vary and the Department quotes processing times of between 6 to 9 months. The best way to make sure the application is processed quickly is to lodge a decision ready application.
I am now worried about my job here, as I know the working hol visa restricts work with each employer to 6 months and i started in January. Will i be issued a bridging visa that will allow me to keep working or not?
When you lodge your spouse application you will be granted a bridging visa. However, the bridging visa does not come into effect until your current visa expires. The bridging visa will have the same conditions as the visa you held before applying.
I would have to research the regulation and policy, but believe that the 6 months restriction may recommences once the bridging visa comes into effect, allowing you to work for the same employer for another 6 months.
I think im just stressing myself out, but i would really appreciate some advice on my situation if anyone can offer any.
Also, do we have to use an agent or is it ok to do it ourselves?
Thanks
Hannabelle
Hope this helps. This is just very generic advice based on limited information and may or may not be relevant to your particular situation. You should get specific advice based on your particular circumstances.

Raul T Senise Registered Australian Migration Agent, MARA No. 0636699
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You will only be issued a bridging visa if there is some hold up on the temporary aspect of the partner visa, and your current visa expires.
This is incorrect. A bridging visa is granted immediately when a valid onshore application is lodged.
If the first part goes through, which it will because you guys got married,
How can you say this when you know almost nothing about their circumstances? Just being married does not satisfy the regulatory requirements for this visa.
As far as I can see, especially applying in Oz the average time is around 2 months, our next door neighbours had there's approved in two weeks, so again who knows!
Again, this statement is misleading. I have seen spouse application take from 1 day to over 1 year. The processing procedure for on shore spouse visas was recently changed which has affected processing times. The time taken will vary depending on many factors such as the processing office, the case officer, the particulars of the application and whether all documentation has been provided at time of lodgement.
Hope this eases your mind a little, maybe we can help each other through it!
Good luck, Jo and Ben
I know you are trying to help, but you need to realise that people reading your post could make life altering decisions based on your comments.

Raul T Senise Registered Australian Migration Agent, MARA No. 0636699
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
How many Stat Decs?

Hi Jo,

Thanks so much for your reply, comforting to find someone else in a similar situation to me. I phoned Immigration after i wrote the post and they did assure me that applying for the spouse visa from a Working Holiday Visa is 'quite common' so Im relieved to hear that.

I have booked a Medical, have it tomorrow actually and i put in for my UK police check a while ago and it has just arrived back to my Mum in London so she will forward it on to me. As far as the Bridging Visa goes, I spoke to immigration about this too and they said I am eligible to be granted one that will come into effect after my current visa expires. As this is the case, I will have a couple of weeks where I go over the 6 month work limit before the Bridging Visa resets and I can work another 6 months. If this is the case I was advised to apply for an extension of the 6 month work limit on my Working Holiday Visa, which seems to be fine to do in my circumstance. You can get the form on the Immi Website for this, Immigration emailed it to me after I spoke to them.

As far as the processing time goes, it's great to hear that you know people who got it granted so quickly! But we will, of course, be realistic and if it takes 9 months or even a year then there's not much we can do I suppose! As long as I can be here and work, which the Bridging Visa will allow then thats all that matters!

Jo, I did have one question, how many Stat Decs did you do? It says two, so we have done two so far and also have certified copies of messages in our wedding book and cards that were sent from friends and family but not sure whether to get more Stat Decs too? Its hard because, from my understanding, they have to be completed by a Aussie Citizens so that rules out my family and most of my friends!

Aba, thank you so much for your comments, especially putting my mind at rest about the Working Holiday Visa. I had one question for you though. You said that 'The best way to make sure the application is processed quickly is to lodge a decision ready application.' I have put together the application as best I can, and I think we are able to provide enough evidence for each of the sections, but what do you mean I should include?

Any other advice you can offer is very much appreciated!:)

Hannabelle
 

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Thank you, I wasn't trying to misleading and I certainly wouldn't want anyone to suffer due to my comments I was merely trying to put across to someone my limited experience in a similar situation.
As for my assumption on the marriage, I was taking what seemed to be genuine account at face value. And the comment on application times is not so inappropriate either. I'm not saying every application takes two months and I'm sure that most people would not have read it in that way. Again, I was hoping to offer a little reassurance that these things are not ALWAYS have to be a long, drawn out process.
I understand your need to moderate, and I apologise for any offence caused.
 

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Hannabelle,

Good news you have managed to get the working aspect sorted out!

We've got about 8 people doing Stat Dec's, mostly my partner's family but I've sent some home to family and friends. After speaking to someone at immigration, there is not much point having someone outside of Australia (unless they are a citizen) to fill in a Stat Dec but they can follow the format and write a letter. If they don't accept it as proof it will go in as part of your character reference, or so I'm told...

Jo
 

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Hi Jo,

Thanks so much for your reply, comforting to find someone else in a similar situation to me. I phoned Immigration after i wrote the post and they did assure me that applying for the spouse visa from a Working Holiday Visa is 'quite common' so Im relieved to hear that.

I have booked a Medical, have it tomorrow actually and i put in for my UK police check a while ago and it has just arrived back to my Mum in London so she will forward it on to me. As far as the Bridging Visa goes, I spoke to immigration about this too and they said I am eligible to be granted one that will come into effect after my current visa expires. As this is the case, I will have a couple of weeks where I go over the 6 month work limit before the Bridging Visa resets and I can work another 6 months. If this is the case I was advised to apply for an extension of the 6 month work limit on my Working Holiday Visa, which seems to be fine to do in my circumstance. You can get the form on the Immi Website for this, Immigration emailed it to me after I spoke to them.

As far as the processing time goes, it's great to hear that you know people who got it granted so quickly! But we will, of course, be realistic and if it takes 9 months or even a year then there's not much we can do I suppose! As long as I can be here and work, which the Bridging Visa will allow then thats all that matters!

Jo, I did have one question, how many Stat Decs did you do? It says two, so we have done two so far and also have certified copies of messages in our wedding book and cards that were sent from friends and family but not sure whether to get more Stat Decs too? Its hard because, from my understanding, they have to be completed by a Aussie Citizens so that rules out my family and most of my friends!

Aba, thank you so much for your comments, especially putting my mind at rest about the Working Holiday Visa. I had one question for you though. You said that 'The best way to make sure the application is processed quickly is to lodge a decision ready application.' I have put together the application as best I can, and I think we are able to provide enough evidence for each of the sections, but what do you mean I should include?

Any other advice you can offer is very much appreciated!:)

Hannabelle
Immi do have their standard responses re a Service Standard [ complete with info on what can cause variances ] for Visa processing times and as both aba and bjl have indicated the processing times can vary enormously.
aba as an agent is tending to the need for detailed info to make precise decisions but bjl has also given advice not too far off the mark if not word perfect and that can be the way with discussion forums.

What is meant by decision ready is basically that your application is fully complete with medicals and police checks which you seem to have in hand.
As for the statutory declarations and other information, I'd keep it to the bare minimum required rather than an overload for that only gives a CO more to look at if they in fact do and a slim application file is likely to be better appreciated than a bulky one.

You could have your parents prepare statements even if they are not statutory statements under Australian Law.

Just make good use of the Checklist in the applying for this visa section of the web site and Booklet #1 for they will be a great help in ensuring you have a complete and correct decision ready application to submit.
 
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