Working Holiday Visa I > De Facto Visa (12 month requirement) help needed

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Working Holiday Visa I > De Facto Visa (12 month requirement) help needed


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Old 07-10-2012, 04:01 PM
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Smile Working Holiday Visa I > De Facto Visa (12 month requirement) help needed

Hi there! My name is Caitlyn, and my partner Laura and I have been in a relationship as a same-sex couple since January this year - although we have been 'dating' long distance since November 2011. Laura is from the UK, and flew to Australia on February 14th 2012 so that we could be together and begin to build a life together in the same country.

Initially we didn't consider applying for a de facto visa to extend Laura's stay in Australia, since although Laura is 20, I am 17 and do not turn 18 until September this year. We assumed that the de facto requirement for '12 months together' meant that we both had to be 18 for the entire 12 months that we had been together. However, this morning upon contacting the DIAC I was told that it is only when we register the application that I have to be 18, and therefore we are eligible.

This has completely thrown a spanner in the works, as Laura is currently 2 weeks in to her 3 months of rural work on a farm so that she can extend her working visa from 1 year to 2. Laura and I aren't coping very well being apart, as any couple wouldn't, and would absolutely jump at the chance for her to come and live back in Adelaide (where we live together) and then apply for the de facto visa after the 12 months is up.

The problem that we have is that her working visa is valid for 12 months, and 12 months is also the minimum requirement of time that we have to have been living together for to fulfil the terms of the de facto visa. Laura entered the country on February 14th 2012, and I think I am right in saying that her Visa will expire on February 14th 2013. After speaking to the head of the Melbourne department of the DIAC today, I was advised to lodge our application the day before the 12 months is up, February 13th 2013, and then basically just hope and pray that our case officer will allow one day short of the 12 months to count as fulfilling the requirements.

If anyone has any experience in the same jump of visa, with the 12 months time limit or similar, your advice would be seriously appreciated. Is it worth making an appointment with the South Australian Immigration Office to see what they have to say? Should we lodge the application earlier than only 1 day before - or is that enough? If the application is accepted, how long is the processing period usually? Will Laura be issued a bridging Visa in the meantime? If the day short of 12 months is not enough and our application is denied, are we able to then re-apply the day after and count it as 12 months, but Laura will have to go back to the UK in the meantime and the application will then turn into an offshore application and we have to start all over again?

We just have a lot of questions, basically! Trying to wrap our heads around the legislation and the requirements that need to be fulfilled is definitely not easy stuff, as I am sure you are all well aware. I am also very conscious of not being taken seriously as a 17 year old in my application to the government, even though I have completed high school (graduated 2012), am taking a gap year and earning a substantial income with casual employment, and am viewed as independent by Centrelink.

If anyone has any advice whatsoever, we would be incredibly grateful.

Thank you! Caitlyn & Laura


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Old 07-11-2012, 10:04 AM
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I know no couples wanna be apart. I may not be able to give u all correct advices but I will try. I am not sure how the immi is gonna take the age issue. They may think it could be too young to be de facto for a life time (no offends to ur relationship). When u apply the visa, you will be the sponsor of ur partner, the immi may look at whether u can support urself n ur partner as she will have no access to centerlink or Medicare for two years. For the financial aspect, you will have to prove that u have stable income (it may be hard for u may need to pick up some part times).

For the relationship requirement, there may be biases because of ur age. You will need to prove that ur independent n responsible towards ur relationship. Stat dec from family and friends will help. Have a joint account and show all the income and expense of both of you together as a couple (could be like paying bills, insurance, grocery whatever). Provide rental lease if possible otherwise show that u can provide accommodation for ur partner.

I won't be too worried about one day short of the 12 months relationship requirement. The immi accepts temporary separation (i.e. a few weeks but u have to have reason for separation) which in ur case one day is difinitely ok. Prepare ahead n have the application ready with all the evidences and apply on 13/2/2013. Your partner can stay with you on a bridging visa granded automatically with the lodgement of visa application. She should retain the same work right of the WHV. The processing time of the visa varies from case to case. On average its 9-12 months advised by the immi, but there are others people stating they get their visa in weeks or a few months.

They won't deny your case straight away (hope not). It takes time to go thru the processing. Even if it's denied you can appeal for a review. I think the immi will give u 28 days to respond to the decision (I.e. appeal). If that also fails, ur partner will have to leave aus. You can certainly apply again, new application of course. (I am not sure how the appeal and re apply work). You can try to arrange to see someone in SA immi. Personally Im not a fan of sa immi and they never really helped.

Hope I answer some of ur questions. U can ask me question and I'll try to answer u.

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Old 07-11-2012, 02:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ccpro View Post
I know no couples wanna be apart. I may not be able to give u all correct advices but I will try. I am not sure how the immi is gonna take the age issue. They may think it could be too young to be de facto for a life time (no offends to ur relationship). When u apply the visa, you will be the sponsor of ur partner, the immi may look at whether u can support urself n ur partner as she will have no access to centerlink or Medicare for two years. For the financial aspect, you will have to prove that u have stable income (it may be hard for u may need to pick up some part times).

For the relationship requirement, there may be biases because of ur age. You will need to prove that ur independent n responsible towards ur relationship. Stat dec from family and friends will help. Have a joint account and show all the income and expense of both of you together as a couple (could be like paying bills, insurance, grocery whatever). Provide rental lease if possible otherwise show that u can provide accommodation for ur partner.

I won't be too worried about one day short of the 12 months relationship requirement. The immi accepts temporary separation (i.e. a few weeks but u have to have reason for separation) which in ur case one day is difinitely ok. Prepare ahead n have the application ready with all the evidences and apply on 13/2/2013. Your partner can stay with you on a bridging visa granded automatically with the lodgement of visa application. She should retain the same work right of the WHV. The processing time of the visa varies from case to case. On average its 9-12 months advised by the immi, but there are others people stating they get their visa in weeks or a few months.

They won't deny your case straight away (hope not). It takes time to go thru the processing. Even if it's denied you can appeal for a review. I think the immi will give u 28 days to respond to the decision (I.e. appeal). If that also fails, ur partner will have to leave aus. You can certainly apply again, new application of course. (I am not sure how the appeal and re apply work). You can try to arrange to see someone in SA immi. Personally Im not a fan of sa immi and they never really helped.

Hope I answer some of ur questions. U can ask me question and I'll try to answer u.


Hi there! Thank you so much for such a quick reply.

In relation to the sponsorship, I've been trying to research exactly how much I need to show the DIAC that I earn per week to be an eligible sponsor. Do I need to get a statement from my employer to fulfil this requirement? And will I need to show that I will be employed at the same rate for the next two years? I currently work as a 'casual' employee but, in saying that, I usually work at least 5 days a week for 7 hours a day.

I am aware that there unfortunately may be a bias against our application right from the outset, simply because I turn 18 in September. Laura, however, is 20 - so hopefully that will count towards us. I assume that I will just need to make a very strong case for the fact that we very honestly do want to spend the rest of our lives together, and that this isn't simply just a teenage 'fling'. I know it may not be so much of the norm these days for such a young couple to make this kind of commitment, but just because it doesn't occur as often, doesn't make our relationship or our commitment to one another any less valid! I guess we'll just have to try and make that as clear as possible in our application.

In relation to the bridging visa, are they usually pretty good with handing those out immediately upon our lodging of the application? If we lodge it on February 13th 2013, will they immediately, on the spot, appoint Laura a bridging visa that will be valid until the end of the process - removing the need for her to go back to England after her WHV has expired?

I guess another thing we are tossing up is hiring an immigration officer/lawyer to help us with our application. Since, as you mentioned, my age may unfortunately work against us - is it worth looking at hiring some professional help to raise our chances of our application being taken seriously and looking the best it can? Or is there not much a lawyer can do that we couldn't do ourselves in the 7 months between now and February 2013?

Thanks again!


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Old 07-12-2012, 01:26 AM
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Hi Laura and Caitlyn!

Your Bridging Visa will be granted as soon as you lodge the application.

If I were you, however, and because you DO have the possibility of the WHV and 2nd WHV, I would get Laura to finish the 3 months of rural work. It doesnt even have to be in one go, she could go back and forth, as long as she collects the required days!

By the time you are finished with your second WHV, you guys will have a much much stronger application!! Just think of all the evidence you could collect in that time, you'll be way over the required 12 months and you will be older as well, which will work in your favour!

Thats just a suggestion ;-)
Alle the best!!


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Old 07-12-2012, 02:06 AM
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Hi, thanks so much for your help!

We really are trying our absolute hardest to avoid the 3 months of rural work if possible. Laura has just done 2 weeks of it and that was hard enough, let alone 3 months of it. Even if Laura has to come back on a visitors/holiday visa to get us over the 12 month mark (if only by a day) we would prefer doing that than doing the work for a WHV II. I have also heard of couples taking a quick, say two week holiday, to New Zealand and then applying from there to get us over the line. Would you agree that that could be a possibility?

Between now and February we have 7 months to collect evidence, which I think should be enough time! And no matter if I apply when I'm 18 or when I'm 19.. I think I will be viewed with bias about my age either way. We don't want to wait until I'm, say, 26 and it's more 'legitimate' to apply because by then Laura would have had to have left the country for a substantial amount of time, so we may as well hedge our bets and give it a go now. I am confident we can make a solid application and argue our case, the only things I'm worried about are things like the bridging visa, the 1 day short of the 12 months, if I earn enough to be a sponsor, and whether or not we should be hiring a lawyer!

I really appreciate your help, thank you!


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Old 07-12-2012, 02:30 AM
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In regard to your employment, it will help if you get a letter from your employer. you can also provide tax return document from previous years to show your finanical situation. The immi prefers to see that you have continous employment so that you can support your partner.

Although the bridging visa won't be granted on the spot the day that you lodge the application (which you cant because SA applications need to be mailed to Perth processing centre), your partner is legal to stay. after a few day once the payments gone through, you will receive the acknowledgement letter which also states the grant of bridging visa with what sort of conditions.

One day short of 12 months is really ok so dont worry about that too much. as long as you have a strong case and genuine relationship, one day isnt gonna be an issue.

I didnt use a migration agent/lawyer. I had bad experinece with them. some charges you $200+/hr for consultation and some charges you on a fixed term (can range from a few hundreds to $3000+ for their services which take care of everything). If you are really gonna use one, you need to choose carefully. some can be really helpful and some makes you feel like you waste your money because they can sometimes be hopeless. The application fee to immi isnt a small amount of money, paying agent fee on top of that can be a burden. you have to think about whether you wanna spend that much money. Hiring an agent/lawyer doesnt guarantee you the visa.

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Old 07-12-2012, 03:00 AM
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Originally Posted by ccpro View Post
In regard to your employment, it will help if you get a letter from your employer. you can also provide tax return document from previous years to show your finanical situation. The immi prefers to see that you have continous employment so that you can support your partner.

Although the bridging visa won't be granted on the spot the day that you lodge the application (which you cant because SA applications need to be mailed to Perth processing centre), your partner is legal to stay. after a few day once the payments gone through, you will receive the acknowledgement letter which also states the grant of bridging visa with what sort of conditions.
Since I have only been employed by my current employer as of May 1st this year, I won't have a substantial tax return to show by February next year since obviously tax returns are distributed in June/July 2013. If I show my pay slips between now and then though, would that be enough? I will also get a letter from my HR manager at work to show that I am going to be kept on as an employee and a manager over the next few years. If Laura has a job too, can we use that as evidence to show that, together with our combined incomes, we will have enough money to live together comfortably and to afford any medical bills or extras that Laura may incur as a foreign traveler in Australia?

Also, when I was on the phone to the head of the Melbourne Immigration office I was told that if I submitted our application, in person, on February 13th 2013 that it would be processed immediately, but maybe I mistook her saying that for thinking that Adelaide had a processing centre... Do we still submit it in person the day before then, or do we express post it to Perth instead? I understand you are from SA too, so I appreciate your advice!

Thank you


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Old 07-12-2012, 06:47 AM
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Gather as many pay slips as you can. Also you will have 2011/12 tax return later on this year which includes ur current employment from May. All of your ideas sound good, keep that up, in a year you can collect lots of evidences.

When you lodge the application, they won't process it right away. What I think is they look through briefly and put your case in a queue. they will then process accordingly. I don't think you can submit the application in person in SA. I tried but they wouldnt take it and got me to post it. You can choose any courier to send it to Perth. I just express posted it with Aus Post. In a few days money was taken from my account and in a week I got an acknowledge letter. After that the wait begins.

Best of luck!

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Old 03-27-2013, 09:41 PM
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Register your relationship if you can. It waives the 12 month requirement.

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Old 03-28-2013, 02:13 AM
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Caitlyn,

I think you should reconsider your approach to the application. Instead of assuming that the DIAC will have a negative bias because of your age and income why not focus on all the ways that you can prove your level of commitment to your partner? You've got seven months to study the immigration booklets and this forum to come up with every scrap of proof the DIAC has ever seen to prove the legitimacy of a relationship. I think your energy should be there. Step one should be to register your relationship with the state as that waives the 12 month requirement any way.

Also, if the periods of separation are too much for you, why don't you go do some farm work as well? That'll definitely show commitment to your partner. And farm work builds character.

EDIT: I just realized this post is four months old.... Sorry for bumping it up again.

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