Partner Visa Help

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Partner Visa Help


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Old 08-31-2012, 01:05 PM
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Partner Visa Help

Ok first off i'd like to say hello, been skirting around the forums for a while but finally have some questions that could use a little help on.

My partner and I are looking to apply for the 309 Partner visa offshore ( Vientiane, Laos ) and we are putting together our paperwork now in regards to the application.


We have so far put together the following list


Applicant ( My Wife)

- 47 SP form
- 4 Passport photos
- Birth Certificate, Cert Copy ( Laos Language ) + Cert Translated Copy
- Cert Copy Passport Bio Data
- Cert Copy Family Registration Book ( Laos Language ) + Cert Translated Copy
- Cert Copy identification Card + Cert Translated Copy
- Cert Copy Police Clearance Cert + Translated Copy

Sponsor ( Me )
- 40 SP Form
- Cert Copy Passport
- Cert Copy Birth Cert
- Cert Copy passport


Joint

- Written statement detailing, how we met, relationship history and future plans.
- 2 x 888 forms supplied by relatives to state our relationship is genuine.
- Skype call History ( 20 Pages)
- 6 x Western union receipts
- Bank Statements
- Aprox 20 photos
- Cert Copy and Translated Copy of our Marriage Registration and Marriage Certificates

My questions start with, Is the above enough evidence to prove our relationship is genuine??

Over the last year she has withdrawn money from my Bank using my 2nd Debit card which statements have been provided, with the transactions highlighted.
I have also supported her and her family by providing money thro western Union transfers when she has needed it with receipts to prove.

We dont email, on post mail anything as we have always had Skype to communicate with multiple calls everyday between us, with paperwork backing this up over a 18 month period.

We dont have any joint financial undertakings other then the cost of the visa application outside of the above financial statements


Does anyone have information on AoS, i am currently in a contracted position as a trades qualified chef, running a successful kitchen earning a good pay weekly, My partner however will need some time in Australia before she would be "settled" enough to get a job, she has no qualifications as such would be required by most jobs in Australia, however she has many years experience working in a restaurant in Laos, with my employer saying that a position would be available if she wanted it. Should i be concerned about being asked to supply a AoS? i have read that it could be upwards of a $10,000 Bond returned after 2 years and altho i am in a good paying job i dont have that sort of money lying around, after paying for the wedding and multiple flights back an forth to Laos.

Is there a minimum wage that the AoS is worked around?



We are a little concerned as she is from Laos which is a high risk country and its getting Close to D day and we want to make sure we have everything, if anyone can provide any info on the above, or suggest anything we havent added to help us along teh way with our application we would greatly appreciate it.


Thanking in Advance,
Chris and Peng


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Old 08-31-2012, 01:54 PM
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Hi Chris and Peng,

Your evidence looks good, except you don't appear to have anything in the 'nature of the household' category. Partners are expected to be living together, or at least that any separation is temporary. At the very least, they will want to see that as a married couple, you have lived together at some point and shared the same address. I realise that in Laos this might be difficult to prove, but do you have any correspondence addressed to both of you together at the same address or both of you separately at the same address? Any shared bills? Shared rental contracts?

If you look at it this way, your goal in the application is not only to prove that your relationship is genuine, but also that it is not a sham marriage for the purposes of permanent residence. So include anything else you can think of to show that you've lived together as a married couple at some point - even hotel receipts showing you stayed in the same room and that the relationship is consummated (sorry to be so frank).

The other aspect you're a little light on is 'social context of the relationship'. You do have photos and statutory declarations which is great, but it would be a stronger application if you could show joint travel (e.g. boarding passes from airplanes) or again shared hotel receipts, or joint memberships of clubs, or any other joint activities. Anything else to prove that your relationship is accepted outside of the two of you.

I know that it might be difficult to get evidence of these things in Laos. It sure was for me and my husband in his country. But really do try and think if there's anything else you could include. This post of mine a while ago might give you some more ideas.

As for the AoS, you actually don't have to worry about it at all because it was removed at the beginning of this year from partner visas. They simply won't ask for one, no matter what your circumstances. (And there wasn't normally any bond associated with it when it was current, just a signed agreement between the assurer and Centrelink that any claims made by the applicant would be repaid. You might be thinking of the Family Visitor visa - they can and do ask for a bond, up to $15,000 for that)

So you definitely won't be asked for an AoS, but you will still have to show that you're able to support Peng when she arrives. If you have records of your employment and payslips etc., as well as your own accommodation, then everything should be fine. Don't worry on this front


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Old 08-31-2012, 02:27 PM
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Hi Adventuress, Thanks for your quick reply.

Ok your suggestion on the "nature of the household' section, we have no evidence at.
We haven't lived together as she hasn't been to Australia, near impossible to get a visitor visa for he. With my line of work it is also near impossible to get work in Laos, as such we haven't shared accommodation or anything like it, as it is illegal for an ummaried interacial couple to do so in Laos.

We only got our marriage certificate July 25th 2012 and went from there to starting to put everything together for her to hopefully get the Partner Visa and move to Australia so we can be together.

It was illegal for us to consummate the relationship, live under the same roof, let alone same bedroom, so there is no evidence as such of shared rental agreements, correspondence addressed to either of us at the same address. Also due to the nature of my work it has been hard for me to stay any length of time with her in Laos, I have visited a total of 4 times with the maximum length of stay 4 weeks, minimum of 10 days over the last year and a half.

As for the " social Aspects" suggestion you made, The only joint activities we have done is about 4 weeks travel in Laos together, which everything was paid for by cash, i didnt know at the time that i would need to keep any receipts for mundane stuff like hotels, buses ect ( not that you got any in Laos to keep ) outside of that i have the emails and visa sections on my passport to prove i visited Laos in the said times, but it doesnt prove we travelled together. My bank statements will show i withdrew amounts of cash regularly but there was no direct transactions linked to anything other then ATM withdrawals, as Laos is a cash economy with not alot of infrastructure for card usage in hotels, airport ect.

There isnt much else i can think of that i can get hold of to corroborate this other then our written statements, visa stamps and bank statments that link all this together.

Would the better option be to try for a tourist visa for her to come here for 6/12 mths ( which again would be near impossible, even tho we are legally married in accordance with Laos law ) and keep all paperwork that comes from her being here, letters, bills, flight comfirmations ect ect??

Other then that we either 1/ lodge the application in its current form with high risk of rejection. due to lack of relationship evidence or 2/ have her stay in Laos with me visiting every few months for the next year or 2?? I don't think either of us could handle that, its been hard enough being apart for a fair majority of the last 12 months


Thankyou for the info on the AoS, much appreciated


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Old 08-31-2012, 03:10 PM
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Hi again Chris,

If you haven't already, I'd recommend reading the Partner Migration Booklet, as it outlines quite clearly all the evidence that you'll be expected to provide and the categories that you'll be expected to cover.

Your and my situations are quite similar, though a few of years apart (I've been married almost 4 years now). When I first arrived to marry my husband in his country, it was also illegal for us to cohabit any way, shape or form, with a possible penalty of 3 years' jail time each. But unlike you my circumstances permitted me to stay longer in his country and get eventually get all the required evidence (though it did take years).

Do you have photographs of your travels together in Laos? You can make a selection of these that show you together undertaking different activites and with backgrounds that clearly differ one from the next. This will go some way to prove joint travel and joint activities.

But you're still stuck with the shared household part, as it may well be that your processing case officer will find that you do live permanently apart, as you've described, and this unfortunately, will automatically disqualify you from meeting their definition of a spouse relationship.

I think your idea to at least try for a tourist visa is a good one. I, too, dismissed this option for several years before we tried it, reasoning that since he was from a high risk country and had no evidence of an intention to return to his country, it'd never be granted him. However, we did finally apply last year, giving the reason for travel that he had never met his parents-in-law despite being with me for 4 years. To our surprise it was granted. Since you are married, you may be able to make some similar claim, but you will have to make sure that she can prove that she'll be a genuine visitor. In the case that it's granted, it will probably only be granted for 3 months with a 'no further stay' condition, but even in these three months you could show that you're living together in a regular partner relationship, and get a lot of other evidence too. I think it's really worth a try. For some more insights, take a look at my post describing our experience with the tourist visa here and the thread about the policy on trouist visas here (take special notice of the 'genuine visitor requirement').

On the other hand, you could lodge an application within the next few months with the evidence you have, and write a supporting letter explaining why you can't fulfil the other criteria they'd be expecting, i.e. your economic circmstances and commitments in Australia do not permit you to live with her permanently, but you've already visited four times, etc. etc. In the case that you apply for a tourist visa application and it's rejected, you could also focus on this in your letter, saying that you did also try to live with her in Australia for even a little while but that you were not given the chance by the Department.

What do you think?

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Old 08-31-2012, 03:52 PM
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after doing a bit of reading on your posted links and also a few other posts on this site i think we may try the tourist visa route, hopefully try and get a 6 month one and hope that is enough to convince them to grant the partner visa. oh well cant be any harm in trying, its only a small cost for a tourist visa and if it is rejected, as you say can maybe turn it around for the better.


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Old 08-31-2012, 03:57 PM
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Yes, exactly, you have to be in to win it, right? I hope it all goes well for you and that you'll be with your wife very soon.


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Old 09-01-2012, 12:03 PM
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Hi guys sorry to jump in i just want to ask adventuress a question (which may or may not help you too) that i have been curious about for a while.... Although it doesnt relate to me at all (honestly)

If a couple were already married in the applicants country but it was hard to prove or was a tricky country, like Laos, would it be possible..... though i realise it borders on or maybe is technically illegal.... To "ignore" the first wedding and apply for a PMV to be married in australia???

Is the first wedding even legal in oz if its not in Laos (sorry if im wrong about that, its just what i understood from what you said about interracial marriage in Laos)


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Old 09-01-2012, 12:19 PM
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Hi Holly,

I've actually heard of people who've done exactly the same thing that you've suggested, even though their marriage was in fact legal in their country... And they succeeded and married again in Australia.

Obviously this is a bit of a sensitive topic legally, so I don't want to actively encourage anyone to do this. If anyone does try to do this, although they may be successful they do run the risk of being found out, and then of course their entire application would be invalid (i.e. fraudulent) which would have serious repercussions on any subsequent application. That right there might the complete and final end for any aspirations to come to Australia to be with their partner.

The hardest thing with Chris & Peng's case is that had they not married it would be much easier to get a Prospective Marriage Visa and bring Peng to be with Chris in Australia. They don't have quite enough evidence for a Spouse Visa but they do have more than enough for the PMV, it's just the marriage certificate that complicates that option...

Although, you do bring up a good point that it sounds as though the marriage may not be legal in Laos. That might mean that it is indeed not legal in Australia, which would then negate the fact they're married for the purposes of visa applications. This would be a good thing to look into further, Chris, if this is the case.


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Old 09-01-2012, 02:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adventuress View Post

But you're still stuck with the shared household part, as it may well be that your processing case officer will find that you do live permanently apart, as you've described, and this unfortunately, will automatically disqualify you from meeting their definition of a spouse relationship.
Is that a fact??

How about if you married your wife while she was visiting on a tourist visa?
I mean, the whole point of applying for a partner visa is so that your husband/wife can live with you permanently...........


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Old 09-01-2012, 02:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisb View Post
Is that a fact??

How about if you married your wife while she was visiting on a tourist visa?
I mean, the whole point of applying for a partner visa is so that your husband/wife can live with you permanently...........
Exactly, I know, and there are plenty of other rules that do not make sense. I'm sure there are plenty of people who are prevented from living together in Australia because of our complicated system, and who are at the same time prevented from living together in the other country, because of a similarly complicated system! And what if tourist visas to either country are denied for some reason?

But this is the requirement of the Department - at least these are their words, in the definition of a spouse/de facto relationship: "they live together or do not live separately and apart on a permanent basis".

My saying that it automatically disqualifies someone was perhaps going a little too far as people do obviously have such circumstances where they're prevented from living together on a permanent basis due to various laws or other circumstances (my husband and I were prevented from doing so, at the beginning of our relationship, and for quite a while). Case officers examine each case on its merits and for the most part they take into account that every relationship is different.

But if you're going by DIAC's definition, then if you're in such circumstances you would be made to think that you're not eligible.


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