Complicated situation

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Complicated situation


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Old 08-22-2012, 05:29 PM
Ted Ted is offline
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Complicated situation

G'day everyone,

Bear with me for a bit here and I'll try and explain this as in depth as possible.

I've spent the last 4 days non stop reading and would dare say I'm well informed as to what requirements there are to each visa but I still have a few uncertainties.

My fiancÚ and I have been together for approx 4 years and are currently in the process of applying for a visa to get her to Australia permanently, we have very extensive evidence of our relationship from joint bank accounts in Holland, lived together in 3 different residences over the last 4 years, etc etc etc.

Our current situation is that we haven't lived together for the last 10 months but our relationship has continued in this period.
Which negates our possibility to apply for a de-facto / partner visa.
Regardless of what type of visa we apply for we would like to get married summer 2013/2014 in Australia, if needs be on a prospective marriage visa as this negates the immediate 12 month living together criteria.
Preferably we would like to avoid the PMV as this incurs a double fee, partner visa is due within 9 months of getting this visa anyway.

Is there a possibility to obtain a 12 month holiday visa for her, travel to Australia and stay with me, possibly get married on this visa and apply for an onshore partner visa (with a bridging visa to gap any open remainder?) I'm keen to hear your opinions!

I've added some background info for those interested but I am keen to hear what others would advise in this situation.



I was born in Australia and at age 4 my father had to re-locate for work. We moved to The Netherlands where I grew up and attended school. At age 19 I joined the Royal Netherlands Marine Corps and I planned to move back to Australia at the end of my contract.
When my fiancÚ & I began our relationship June 2008, I was a serving member of the Marines.

In January 2009 we began living together in The Netherlands and spent 2 years together at this address and we also share a Dutch bank account which we only used for groceries since the house we lived in belonged to my mother whom had returned to Australia approx. 2007.
We payed our rent monthly into my mothers account and have proof of our shared bank account ledgers. Rent was payed to my mother. During and after my deployment to Afghanistan my mother did not require us to pay rent. (no bills during and after this period, shared account continued)

In December 2010 I returned to Australia on accumulated paid leave and in Febuary 2011 I officially discharged from the Royal Netherlands Marine Corps.
Chalana followed suit January 2011 on a work and holiday visa and we lived together at 2 different addresses, however we didn't get shared accounts at this time since we didn't really require these as I was home every day.

Chalana & I have been together for approx. 4 years and we have always been very committed to each other. As such we have every intention of spending the rest of our lives together, in Australia.
In August 2011 we had our relationship officially registered with Births, Deaths & Marriages in NSW and we are also registered with the Australian Tax Office.

She left shortly after this and returned to The Netherlands because of work & study. Since then we have been working on obtaining all the documentation & financial aspects required for her visa.

The only occasions we have been apart has only been due to work or exigent circumstances and we have always gone to any lengths to be together.
Currently I am in The Netherlands staying with Chalana to spend time together and so we can lodge our paperwork for her visa.

During our time apart we are still very committed to each other and maintained contact through any means possible, mainly through sms, e-mail, social media etc etc. One major example of our commitment was whilst I was on deployment to Afghanistan for 6 months, Chalana maintained our residence and handled my affairs and supported me in any way possible whilst I was away.
In the near future I will enlist with the Australian Army and I plan to build a successful career. I have listed Chalana C Viljevac as my #1 contact in case of any emergencies.


Thanks for taking the trouble read all this!

Ted


Last edited by Ted; 08-22-2012 at 05:36 PM.

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Old 08-22-2012, 06:26 PM
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Hi Ted, and welcome to the forum.

It may be that spending the last 10 months apart does not automatically negate your eligibility for a de facto visa. There are a couple of factors that attest to this.

Firstly, your relationship is already long-standing - longer than one year, anyway. For a partner visa based on a de facto relationship, the minimum duration of the entire relationship is one year, and physical cohabitation is not the single most important criterion. Have another look at Fact sheet 35: One Year Relationship Requirement. This question in particular is telling:

Quote:
My job in Australia does not allow me to travel to my partner's country to live there for extended periods. We have been in a relationship for 12 months but lived together for only eight months. Will I be eligible to sponsor my partner to Australia?

You may be eligible. It is recognised that it is possible for the parties to be physically apart for periods of time, due to work or travel commitments, yet committed to a shared life.

In assessing a relationship, a number of factors other than periods of physical cohabitation are taken into account.
Secondly, since you already registered your relationship a year ago, the whole 12 months is waived completely:

Quote:
Waivers

The one-year relationship requirement does not apply if the applicant can establish that there are compelling and compassionate circumstances for the grant of the visa. For example:
  • in the case of a de facto partner relationship where there is a child from the relationship
  • at the time of application of the partner visa, the de facto relationship was registered as a prescribed relationship in the relevant Australian state or territory legislation
  • in the case of a same-sex de facto relationship, where cohabitation was contrary to law in the applicant's country of residence.
So, with your long-standing relationship and all your evidence (which sounds like plenty), you might already be eligible for the de facto visa.

But don't dismiss the PMV option too quickly. Yes, you will need to pay twice, but the sum will actually be five dollars less than what you would have to pay for an onshore application all at once. You'll pay $2060 to apply offshore, and then another $995 when you get married as long as you do so within that nine month period. Total $3055 against the $3060 upfront for an onshore application. (Partner Category Visa Charges)

PMV applications are anecdotally known to take less time to process, as there are not so many privileges attached to them as regular partner visas leading to permanent residence. The only problem is spending additional time apart, on top of the 10 months you've already been waiting. (Although she could apply for a tourist visa to visit you in the interim, but she will have to be offshore when the visa is granted - this means you'll have to have good communication with your case officer so you can be notified when granting is immminent and she can leave the country. She won't have to go back to the Netherlands, though - just anywhere outside Australia for a few days until the visa goes through - New Zealand, Singapore, wherever)

Regarding your current plans, I think, though am not sure, that it would be possible for her to get a second WHV to Australia as long as she is still under 30/31. If not, then 12 month tourist visas are pretty hard to come by - usually the miminum 3 months is given, or in some cases 6 months. It may also happen that she receives a 'no further stay' condition on her visa, in which case she will be barred from applying from any additional visas onshore.

I'm sure others will have more to say, and we all encourage you to ask as many more questions as you need! Good luck!

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Old 08-22-2012, 07:19 PM
Ted Ted is offline
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Thanks for your speedy reply, this is the exact kind of information I was hoping for.

Since our plans are for her to come to Australia by Dec (spending x-mas together for the first time in 4 years!) at latest regardless of what visa we apply for she will be coming to Oz to stay with me on a holiday visa / visitor visa.
Understandably she will have to leave so the visa can be granted but this is not really a problem for us, just a speed bump really...

With this in mind would it be easier / faster / more efficient (cheaper?) to apply offshore, travel to Australia on a holiday visa and leave upon grant,
OR travel to Australia on a holiday visa, apply on shore? I believe she can stay in Oz while we await the decision for her visa?

Regarding what type of visa we will be applying for, a PMV or Partner visa.. that is still up in the air.. In general what visa is known as the fastest, less time spent apart is what we're definitely after!

Thanks again.


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Old 08-22-2012, 07:33 PM
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Well, I guess which is the cheapest option depends on how much you usually spend on air travel. At first glance to me it looks as though applying onshore might be your best and cheapest option, as she'll only need the one ticket to arrive instead of going back and forth.

Whatever it will be allowed for you to do depends on whether she gets a 'no further stay' condition on her tourist visa. So since she's going to apply for that very soon anyway, it may be a good idea to wait and see how it turns out. If she has 'no further stay', she can't apply onshore, if she doesn't, she can.

As long as she doesn't have the 'no further stay' condition, she'll be able to stay in Australia while the partner visa is being processed, on a bridging visa - as long as you apply for the partner visa before the original tourist visa expires. Keep in mind that she won't be allowed to work at all during the wait on the bridging visa, which may be 12 months or more (people who lodged in Brisbane have been waiting 14 months already!)

If you can do it onshore and she can bear not working for up to year, then it's the best option to spend the least amount of time apart.


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Old 08-22-2012, 07:52 PM
Ted Ted is offline
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Personally I would prefer to lodge the on-shore application as this enables her to stay in Australia with me whilst her visa is being processed and doesn't require her to leave in order to activate this visa, this also enables us to be together easily whilst her visa is being processed.

Thank god we registered our relationship last year, after reading the requirements it is indeed possible for us to apply for a de-facto visa without the 12 month requirement.

In regards to her not being able to work, financially this wouldn't severely cripple us but it would cripple her in her integration into normal Australian life. Though she would be able to study, at international student rates....

I believe having read somewhere that while her visa is being processed she can work but I have trouble locating that at this time, or that in some circumstances she can request to work as an exception?

Thanks!


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Old 08-22-2012, 08:05 PM
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She can apply for a waiver of the 'no work' condition, but she would need to demonstrate a 'compelling need to work' which would involve proving financial hardship. See Form 1005.

There are a few around the forum who have experience with this, and hopefully they'll also answer with their opinions soon. Otherwise, if you don't get your answers from the official information or old forum topics, post another thread specifically about this.

Regarding the 'no further stay' condition and how to try to avoid it when you're intending to apply for a partner visa onshore - this thread has some good information, see especially my advice and Nelly's advice in the same thread.

All the best!


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Old 08-22-2012, 08:27 PM
Ted Ted is offline
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Proving we are in financial hardship won't be possible, or necessary. I would only ask our CO this along the lines of integration into Australian society. If that is the condition then that's that I guess.

My fiance just grabbed her previous eVisitor visa and after a quick read we came to the following conclusion. She was granted an eVisitor visa may 2012 which is valid until may 2013, which does NOT have a "No further stay" requirement. If I understand this visa correctly it states she can enter Australia as often as she likes whilst it is active, for a period of 3 months maximum per time.

If this is the case then we have no further restrictions to applying for an on-shore de facto visa and she can travel to Australia in December, no questions asked


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Old 08-22-2012, 08:33 PM
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That's excellent! I'm so glad it was as easy as that to find a way for you guys to be together again, soon and for a long time

It still might be worth making a separate thread calling for responses about getting work restrictions lifted without showing financial hardship. I myself have no experience in this matter, but there are plenty of members around at the moment who do. They may have found a way to do what you want to do.

Good luck with the application!

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Old 08-22-2012, 09:30 PM
Ted Ted is offline
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I can't thank you enough since your input has basically confounded 4 days of reading into an easy compilation of what we already knew, just needed confirming!

The "No work" criteria has basically just become a nuisance now.
Who knows, our CO might be lenient to military personnel...

Thanks again.

Ted


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Old 08-22-2012, 09:41 PM
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Haha, one can only hope

You're very welcome I just had another thought - since her current visa is already valid until May, it might be a good idea to wait until a couple of weeks before the expiration date, just so that you have that extra five months of living together in Australia for further proof of your relationship. It will help cement your point that 'any separation was temporary', and you'll also get more contracts and bills and things to add to your evidence. Might also be a good idea to open an Australian joint bank account during that time for something extra. (You're probably going to do that anyway since it'll be a permanent move )

All the best, and do keep us updated

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