defacto visa and attending univeristy as a domestic student

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defacto visa and attending univeristy as a domestic student


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Old 06-16-2013, 03:08 AM
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defacto visa and attending univeristy as a domestic student

Hi All,

I have only just found this forum and hopefully someone can help answer my questions.

I am an Australian citizen (over the age of 18) and I am currently in a relationship with a 17yr old american citizen and have been for a few months now. She will graduate high school next year (june 2014). At this time it is our hope that she join me in Australia with the hope of studying at university in future years. Prior to her leaving for Australia I will have visited her/stayed with her multiple times in the states.

From my understanding she could enter the country initially on a temporary working visa (not sure on the proper naming?) for the first year. During this period she would not be able to attend university, but we would be living together. I would then hope that she could progress to permanent residency by way of a defacto visa. After living here for a year, I believe she would have fulfilled the requirements of the defacto visa (year long relationship and living together for longer than 6 months). At this time she would be able to begin studying. However, we are hoping to avoid international student fees entirely or at least as much as possible.

So I guess my question revolves around what would be the best course of action for allowing my girlfriend to move here and eventually study, avoiding extremely pricey international student fees. Also, what would be the timeline associated with this path?

Alternatively, if there is a waiting period associated with transition from international to domestic student status whilst holding a defacto visa, is it possible for us to move back to the states without impacting this progression? i.e. live in Australia for a year (fulfill defacto visa requirements) and then relocate to the states until any waiting period is completed?

Sorry that my question is a bit long-winded but I wanted to give us much detail as possible. Hopefully someone can point me in the right direction here....

Thank you,
Alex


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Old 06-16-2013, 03:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexM View Post
Hi All,

I have only just found this forum and hopefully someone can help answer my questions.

I am an Australian citizen (over the age of 18) and I am currently in a relationship with a 17yr old american citizen and have been for a few months now. She will graduate high school next year (june 2014). At this time it is our hope that she join me in Australia with the hope of studying at university in future years. Prior to her leaving for Australia I will have visited her/stayed with her multiple times in the states.

From my understanding she could enter the country initially on a temporary working visa (not sure on the proper naming?) for the first year. During this period she would not be able to attend university, but we would be living together. I would then hope that she could progress to permanent residency by way of a defacto visa. After living here for a year, I believe she would have fulfilled the requirements of the defacto visa (year long relationship and living together for longer than 6 months). At this time she would be able to begin studying. However, we are hoping to avoid international student fees entirely or at least as much as possible.

So I guess my question revolves around what would be the best course of action for allowing my girlfriend to move here and eventually study, avoiding extremely pricey international student fees. Also, what would be the timeline associated with this path?

Alternatively, if there is a waiting period associated with transition from international to domestic student status whilst holding a defacto visa, is it possible for us to move back to the states without impacting this progression? i.e. live in Australia for a year (fulfill defacto visa requirements) and then relocate to the states until any waiting period is completed?

Sorry that my question is a bit long-winded but I wanted to give us much detail as possible. Hopefully someone can point me in the right direction here....

Thank you,
Alex
Hi Alex,

Welcome to the forum. It sounds to me like your best course of action is for your girlfriend to apply for a Work and Holiday Visa which will allow her to come to Aus and work for one year. Please keep in mind that most posts you will see on this forum are about Working Holiday Visas (different to the Work AND Holiday visa) and are not available to US citizens. At the end of that year you will meet the defacto relationship requirement of having lived together for 12 consecutive months and you could apply that way. If the 820/801 application was approved she would be granted temporary residency for 2 years. I don't know a lot about student visas but I believe she would be able to study as a resident at that time (some one please correct me if I'm wrong!). Two years after the 820/801 application was made she will be eligible for permanent residency.

You will need to do quite a bit more research to figure out the exact course of action but time is on your side. My simplest advice to you is to start saving money. If you are looking for an inexpensive way for your partner to migrate to Australia, there isn't one.

AlexM likes this.
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Last edited by Whitney; 06-16-2013 at 03:41 AM. Reason: typo

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Old 06-16-2013, 03:40 AM
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Hi Alex,

The only way for your partner to study in Australia as a domestic student is if she holds permanent resident status.

So, if you go the temporary working visa (I think the one you mean is the Work and Holiday Visa - WHV) to de facto route, it would take about three years or slightly longer to permanent residence. Here's a breakdown:

1) She arrives on a WHV, you live together in Australia for the year.
2) After this year, you become eligible to apply for a de facto visa.
3) If all goes according to plan and she is granted the temporary de facto visa, she will be eligible to be granted permanent residence two years from the time she has applied for the de facto visa.
4) Add a few months for processing of the permanent part of the partner visa, which will begin only after the two years from initial application has passed.

In this case, being a permanent resident, she would be entitled to a Commonwealth supported place at a university, which would mean she'd be looking domestic fees. However, at this stage she will not be eligible to defer payment through HECS-HELP, which is available only to citizens, so she will need to pay all the fees upfront - a big difference from international student fees, but still a huge financial commitment.

To become a citizen, she will need to have been in Australia for four years by any legal means (i.e. on any visa), including the last year as a permanent resident. There are other residence requirements for this and it gets a little complicated, but do ask if you're interested.

(The four-year residence for citizenship is a new law that was introduced in 2010 - prior to that year only a two-year period was required.)

I know, it is a long and convoluted process which appears to get harder every year. I wish you both the best, and please do continue to ask questions here on the forum - we are only too happy to help!

CollegeGirl, Whitney and AlexM like this.

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Old 06-16-2013, 03:43 AM
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Great post Adventuress!

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Old 06-16-2013, 04:18 AM
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Thank you all for your quick responses! I was hoping to progress down the HECS route but that sounds like it would be a huge wait.

Something I don't think anyone touched on was what if once we satisfy the defacto visa requirements I joined her in the states, allowing her to study there. Can she continue progressing to PR status whilst studying in the states? Also, as Adenturess mentioned (the 4 year requirement to become a citizen), is this 4 years of time spent within Australian borders or could this time progress in a similar matter to how i am proposing with progressing to PR status?

Thank you again.


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Old 06-16-2013, 04:30 AM
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She can go back to the States while the temporary de facto visa (820) is processing, but if she applies onshore (in Australia) then she must be onshore when it's granted. Having fulfilled this criterion, she can then be anywhere when the final stage, permanent 801 is granted, and does not need to have been in Australia during the processing time from 820 to 801.

However, to be eligible for citizenship, ordinarily applicants must have been in Australia for the four years immediately before they apply, and not outside of Australia for more than one year in total during that four year period, including no more than 90 days in the final year of that period. Where the applicant is the partner of an Australian citizen and is outside of Australia with their Australian citizen partner, then time spent outside of Australia may be counted as time spent inside Australia, but only during the time that the applicant is a permanent resident. This is actually more tricky than it first sounds because it's a ministerial discretion - the minister decides personally on a case by case basis whether to approve such applicants or not. For your chances to improve you must show other evidence of continuing ties and commitment to Australia, such as ownership of property in Australia, continued employment with an Australian company while overseas, continued and extensive contact with family members and friends in Australia, etc. etc.

Welcome to Australia.


Last edited by Adventuress; 06-16-2013 at 04:48 AM. Reason: Corrected 820 and 801 from 309 and 100 for onshore applications

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Old 06-16-2013, 04:40 AM
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Wow...they certainly don't make citizenship easy!

Regarding your first paragraph, are there any differences in terms of processing time regarding onshore or offshore applications? And to clarify, if she applies onshore, she simply then needs to have returned prior to the two year processing period being completed?


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Old 06-16-2013, 04:55 AM
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Not quite, if she applies onshore, she needs to be onshore when the first stage - the 820 - is granted. This is a condition of grant, and it is very important that this occurs, otherwise if she is offshore when it's granted the visa will be invalid and all your money and the time you spent waiting will be for nothing. If you end up deciding to lodge an application offshore - the 309/100 - then she will be allowed to visit Australia while it's processing but must be offshore again when it's granted (just outside of Australia, not necessarily back in her own country). If granted offshore, there will be a "must enter Australia by" date attached - if she doesn't comply with this, then again the visa's cancelled and all your work disappears down the drain.

Now, after the 820 or 309 - the provisional/temporary stage of the partner visa - is granted, she can be anywhere when the permanent (801 or 100) is be granted.

Offshore applications from the US have normally been processed in a much shorter time period than onshore applications from anywhere, except for a recent spate of very quick (mere days or weeks) onshore grants that we have seen from members of the forum. One member has begun a thread that features timelines of USA applicants, which you can use to help you research your options.

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Old 06-16-2013, 04:57 AM
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Thank you so much for all your help Adventuress!


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Old 06-16-2013, 05:00 AM
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To clarify on the point of 820/309 vs. 801/100:

The partner visa application is a two step process, but you put everything in motion for both steps during your initial application. So you apply for the 820 and 801 (onshore) or the 309 and 100 (offshore) at the same time, then the initial - provisional (820 or 309) - stage is granted after a certain processing time. The applicant immigrates to Australia, and waits out the remainder of the two year period from when he/she applied, to be eligible to be considered for the permanent stage (801 or 100). Close to ths date, the Department sends a letter asking the applicant and sponsor to provide further evidence that the relationship is still genuine and continuing, and after a few more months the permanent stage is granted.


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