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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My first interaction with the DIBP/Home Affairs has been a success, albeit with a nailbitingly long wait.

My girlfriend from Ukraine has just departed from Melbourne after 4 weeks with me on a Visitor visa. I sponsored financially and provided accommodation.

Was granted Visitor 600 visa 3month stay, multiple entry, no further stay, expiring Nov 2018. 42 day processing time through UK High Commission.

I'm thankful, could've been worse given Ukraine is on the High Risk country list.

Planning bringing her here again on a second 3 week trip using same visa in Sept 2018.

Happy to help anyone else from that area of eastern Europe who are making a similar application. Biggest hurdle of course is proving you have something to return to, that you wont overstay the visa. Final year of her University course is what we submitted.
 

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Thanks for posting. We're currently waiting for a visa to be granted where my partner is travelling on a Ukrainian passport too. Interesting to hear about the blow out in processing time. When you say UK High Commission, is that standard or did you have to escalate it?

I'm glad you had success in the end. Perhaps an advantage is applying for short stays (less than 3 months) initially rather than going all in with a 6 month request. Realistically, the CO will be thinking about what employer lets their employee go for 6 months anyway.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi maldotcom2,

As she was applying within Ukraine we were directed to submit online through/addressed to the UK High Commission (because the Aust embassy in Kyiv doesn't handle visa issues).

Another advantage is proof the applicant has travelled as a tourist to other countries (and returned home), in my gf's case to parts of europe and Asia.

From memory you can update the application anytime before a decision is made, if you feel like adding more 'proof'.
 

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Who directed her? My partner's application was just online through her Immi account and there was no indication of where her visa would be processed. Although she isn't currently living in Ukraine so maybe that's why.

Part of your response suggests it was an online application but you also mention embassies and travel to Europe so was this a paper application?
 

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We started at the visa page on the website of the Australian embassy in Ukraine. It said that visa enquires and visa applications from ukranians citizens should submitted to/will be processed by the Australian High Commission in London. Formally this function was performed by the Australian embassy in moscow, but given current sensitivities ....

It was an online application through the immi account, could have been processed by anyone anywhere, we just addressed everything to the High Commission.

The Europe travel was a few years ago (before visa free access), trip to South Korea in 2016 (where we met), both used in her application to illustrate that other countries had granted her tourist visas and that she had complied with the conditions by returning before they expired.

Application was submitted in September 2017, granted Nov, travelled Dec and returned Jan 2018.
 

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Who directed her? My partner's application was just online through her Immi account and there was no indication of where her visa would be processed. Although she isn't currently living in Ukraine so maybe that's why.

Part of your response suggests it was an online application but you also mention embassies and travel to Europe so was this a paper application?
The Australian Embassy in Ukraine is a new edition since post MH17, it has limited capacity in relation to services provided and I don't believe they do or intend to do any visa applications there.

Previously all Ukrainian visa applications were processed in Moscow even during the Crimea and Eastern Ukraine conflict. During this time we had several Visitor Visa applications refused, the first 3 applications (GF and 2 kids) was done by an ex Moscow embassy employee in Ukraine (was average but not poor). The second 3 application done by a very good Registered Migration Agent was also refused.

I then contacted the Moscow embassy and had a very long chat with the boss man there, it seems the second application/s was not looked at very well or not at all (the 6 page submission letter stated ownership of a unit and a official translated property title attached) he said he did not see that.

A number of other things were discussed about the application and I asked why we had been told by 2 Federal Members of Parliament ( Labor and Liberal) why it had been suggested that we leave a child behind to get a Visitor Visa approved and suggested they could only say that if it is on file someplace or were told by the same person that rang about our case. Certainly 2 Fed MP's office staff that called me back would not be so heartless, to think of that idea as a suggestion by themselves.

This lead to a number of complaints via all possible means and I got much feed back even from Prime Ministers office, even had a chat with John Laws who had it followed up. This created a bit of heat in Moscow and at least one Case Officer was counselled.

Suddenly Moscow visa section phone number was removed and you were directed to the European call centre to try make your queries between limited hours (this too received some complaints from me). By this time our 3rd set of Visitor Visa applications had been lodged, they were about the last processed in Moscow.
 
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