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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,
I'm very glad to find this forum.

My husband is an Aussie and we got married last year in Fiji. Now I'm in Australia on my visitor visa which is going to expire 18 Apr. We've been using the agent and frankly speaking I don't trust agent since they get paid whether the application is approved or not. But my husband insisists on using one so we have this agent who is registerted.

I feel he's a bit impatient and doesn't like too many emails. He gave us a document list and told us to send the document to him by post. So far we have sent the documents to him but when I checked the website for the official document list I find there are many information he hasn't asked for, but when I emailed him asking when he will lodge the visa he ignored me.
Since my current visiotor visa will expire 18th April, to get a bridging visa before that, what is the latest time to lodge 820? And do you think agents are trustworthy?
 

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I think, in general, agents are trustworthy, it makes sense to be as above board as possible since a lot of their business relies on referrals and word of mouth. An agent who is dodgy or not worth his salt is not going to have a thriving business.

That being said, in every profession you have people who can't or won't do the right thing (and that is why word-of-mouth and establishing a good reputation is so Important) and there are always going to be those few people who get stuck with an unsatisfactory agent.

You should also educate yourself on the process, empower yourself with as much information - from as many different sources - as possible. If the agent seems a little fishy, then maybe seek a second opinion, or fire him altogether.

Hiring a professional doesn't absolve us from the responsibility of being advocates for ourselves. Research, ask questions on this forum and don't hesitate to ask your migration agent what his rationale is for each of his requests or the actions he takes. An above board migration agent will be happy to be completely transparent about your application and their decisions.

On answer to your question, the bridging visa gets issued quite soon after visa lodgement so really, you can lodge up until a few days before your visa expires and you should be ok. My husband lodged online and received his BVA within an hour or two via email.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi Star Hunter,
Thank you very much for your reply. You are quite right I should master more information from different sources.
Just one silly question: My agent says he's going to lodge the visa by post. So he's not going to lodge online. In that case, how soon can a bridging visa be granted? For example my visa expires on 18th Apr, would one week ahead be enough for visa lodging?
Looking forwatrd to your reply.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hi Star Hunter,
Thank you very much for your reply. You are quite right I should master more information from different sources.
Just one silly question: My agent says he's going to lodge the visa by post. So he's not going to lodge online. In that case, how soon can a bridging visa be granted? For example my visa expires on 18th Apr, would one week ahead be enough for visa lodging?
Looking forwatrd to your reply.
 

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The bridging visa will be issued on the date the application is received. If the application is lodged online, a bridging visa is issued almost immediately. When lodging a paper application it can take a few weeks before you receive the acknowledgement letter and the bridging visa. The bridging visa will be back-dated to the date the application was officially received.

When I lodge paper applications for clients, I like to send them no later than 2 weeks before any deadline, if at all possible, and I always use a courier service or platinum express to make sure the application is delivered directly to the processing centre and can be tracked.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you very much! May I ask currently do most agents lodge online or by post? I'm a bit worried that my agent won't spend on the courier and he seems cranky every time if I ask too much. Is there anyway to suggest him using a courier?
 

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Simply tell him that you request that he send the application by courier. He'll charge you the fee as a disbursement, but if you authorise it then he should do it.
 

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The bridging visa will be issued on the date the application is received. If the application is lodged online, a bridging visa is issued almost immediately.
Except in our case where it didn't arrive and I had to chase immigration for it. It's dated 3 days after the application was lodged.
 

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Hi Forestwood -

Glad you're getting some help from the forum. I am a bit surprised your agent is lodging a paper application for an onshore partner visa, as we've found that the online system not only works well, but seems to shave some time off some of the early steps. It also avoids the need to send in original police clearance certificates, as they now accept colour scans for online applications. Plus, now when you lodge, you generally get the bridging visa via email within a few minutes of lodging.

I'd suggest enquiring with your agent why they are recommending a paper application. Also, if you are not getting timely responses from your agent at this point, you may want to reconsider your choice of agent - there are simply too many good agents out there to settle for someone who is not meeting your expectations regarding communications and responsiveness.

Best of luck with your application -

Best,

Mark Northam
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Hi Mark,
To be frank, I was a bit surprised when the agent said he would lodge by post too. The thing is we have paid him half the fee and if we change agent now I don't think he will refund us. I'm unhappy with his service but at this point of time, is it possible to change agent?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Hi Mark,
The agent gave me a document list and told me to send him those documents by post. Since we live not far from his office I emailed him saying we would drop the documents off at his office. However, he seemed quite unhappy at that and he said he was busy and wouldn't have time to meet us. Anyway, I am really worried he's going to blow it.
 

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I agree with Mark. The online system seems to work well and provides a considerable saving in time and money when it comes to sending hard copies of supporting documentation. It is also much easier to add additional documentation to the online application, rather than having to send it by mail or courier separately.

If someone gets paid a few thousand dollars to give you professional assistance, they should not be grumpy or uncooperative. I think it is fair to expect courteous and timely responses (within reason).

You can change agents any time you want. Refund arrangements, if any, would depend on the cost agreement you have signed. Keep in mind that migration can be a long and stressful process and you don't want it dealt with by someone you're not happy with.
 
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Hi Forestwood -

Have to agree with Nick - there are definite warning signs already with this agent relationship - unhappy with you dropping off documents, no reason why they aren't using the online system, etc. To be blunt, this is too important for you to trust this to someone you have already lost confidence in BEFORE the application is lodged! Suggest you consider putting the brakes on this application process and find an agent who you are comfortable working closely with and who gives you the kind of support and communication you need and deserve. Whatever money you may lose in fees to the old agent will be small compared to the overall time and expense of the process and any stress you may have as the working with an agent you do not have confidence in.

Best,

Mark Northam

Hi Mark,
The agent gave me a document list and told me to send him those documents by post. Since we live not far from his office I emailed him saying we would drop the documents off at his office. However, he seemed quite unhappy at that and he said he was busy and wouldn't have time to meet us. Anyway, I am really worried he's going to blow it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thank you guys for your suggestion. I'll email the agent asking when he will lodge the application again (I already asked him last Monday and he didn't reply to my email) and see whether he'll give me a timely response.
 

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I'd also suggest asking him if he plans to lodge online - if not, then I would ask him why he's choosing paper.

Best,

Mark Northam

Thank you guys for your suggestion. I'll email the agent asking when he will lodge the application again (I already asked him last Monday and he didn't reply to my email) and see whether he'll give me a timely response.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Why the agent didn't ask for any certified documents??

Hi guys, I'm really confused by my agent and hope you can help me out here.
I emailed him asking why not using onling lodging. His reply was: because online lodging seems to have problems so he suggests paper lodging.
And he also said he would be ready to lodge the application this coming Monday. The thing is: he never asked for any certified document from us!! The marriage certificate and our passport copies are all uncertified. Is he going to lodge that way? I just emailed him asking whether he would need any certified document and he's not going to respond until Monday. Could anyone tell me whether this happened to you and why?
According to my understanding, certified documents are necessary like marriage certificate and passport copies, etc. right?

Looking forward to any reply.
 
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