de facto visa confusion

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de facto visa confusion

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Old 01-25-2010, 12:15 PM
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Smile de facto visa confusion

Hello forum

I learned already lots by reading this forum but am still confused about a couple of things.

Short to my situation: I am German living since 5 years in China. I'm with my Australian boyfriend since more than a year and we officially (shared lease contract) living together since November 2009. Because of my boyfriends family we want to move to Melbourne end of this year. This came quite unexpected so there was no time to start consciously "collecting evidence"

To my questions:

I was reading the booklet and as I understood it, we must live together when we apply for the visa not the whole year. Is that correct? We did live together (in his flat) I just never quite my lease because it was paid by my company, so there is no proof... I have proof since November 09.

Also the whole China situation makes every financial prove quite difficult. We don't have a shared bank account because we don't know how and its difficult if you don't read an write Chinese (foreigner in China...).

We both have a Chinese debit card but it doesn't give us itemized bills (foreigner in China...).

Our mobile is prepaid (because as foreigner it is unusual and difficult to get a contract) so we do not have any phone records.

All house bills (electricity, water...) we pay cash in the supermarket where we get receipts, but without any name on it. That's standard in China, too.
I think you get my problem...

Now, what we have is:

Pics from vacation February 09 and booking ticket correspondence (no e ticket because paid cash in office (that's common because we need a fapiao - tax receipt which they will not provide by online booking). Of course we didn't save the tickets or bill for a year.

e tickets paid by his credit card for both of us for our Germany trip Sep 09 where he met my family and pics with my boyfriend and my family.

Letters send to both of us from last December. Everything prior we got rid of when we moved! Stupid, but we didn't know!!!

Emails between his mum and me from last December till now.
And a planed and paid trip paid by my boyfriend to Melbourne in 3 weeks to meet his family.

However, except a couple of emails between us there is not much proof because all communication went over phone and we didn't save old cards (why should we, we ever thought we would need them)

I was wondering if we should get statements from our old landlady to prove that we actually lived together. How much trouble is it exactly to get such a document certified. Can we get it certified for her to save her some time. I feel uncomfortable enough to ask a nearly stranger for this kind of help. Any suggestions?
Also, should we get statements from both our parents? Would that help?

Thanks so much for your help,


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Old 01-25-2010, 01:46 PM
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Hi Hannahua and welcome to the forum,

I was reading the booklet and as I understood it, we must live together when we apply for the visa not the whole year. Is that correct?
it's partially correct for whilst the wording is something like you should be living together immediately prior to application, there is still a 12 months relationship to be proven.

And on that you have a difficult situation and if you've only been residing together since November last year you need to do whatever you can to show that prior to applying in November this year from that aspect.
Getting statutory declarations from your parents and any friends you have in China will certainly help as would getting something from the landlady and maybe she can advise on how you can pay some bills to get a receipt in your joint names.

If you are close enough to the embassy/consulate in China that will process an application, I'd also try and get an appointment to talk to the immigration person there and see if they're familiar with the way things are there and they may be able to advise just what they would accept.

If you're still running short on proof, another approach you may want to consider is you getting an eVisa or ETA for entry into Australia [not a tourist visa as they are more likely to have a "no further stay condition " applied] and then as soon as you are in victoria , see about having your relationship registered -$file/DomesticRelationship_ApplyToRegister.pdf
This is kind of like doing an alternative to marriage and getting a certificate for the relationship.

You would then be applying for an onshore partner visa - Partner Visa: Onshore Temporary and Permanent (Subclasses 820 and 801) and for any partner visa having a relationship registered will waive the need for a 12 months relationship though you would still want to have some history of it and all the info you collate in China will not be wasted.

The only hurdle you need to get over is that the relationship registration is easier for residents as you'll see from ID requirements on P3. though with an overseas passport and an Australian Drivers Licence and two other items you would be OK.

So first step would be to get a Victorian Drivers Licence and that could be easy enough if you already have a German one or even a Chinese one [translations required] or if not you'll need to sit a theory and practical test in Victoria and you could study up on the theory side by having a Road Rules book sent to you in China.

It'll be a bit of effort either way, but nothing ventured, nothing gained we say.

A more definite way would be if you were to be considering marriage to get a Prospective marriage visa and then you would have up to nine months after arival in Australia to get married.
Prospective Marriage Visa (Subclass 300)

Are you by any chance under 31 and eligible for a WHV for thst would be another way of being able to enter Australia for up to 12 months and even 24 if you did some qualifying regional work for a second WHV.
Working Holiday Visa (Subclass 417)

So possibly a few options for you.

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Old 01-27-2010, 03:27 AM
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Dear Wanderer,
Thx for the reply.
Very interesting what you said about registering the relationship. I'm not sure though what kind of Visa your talking about. I thought an ETA is a tourist visa? The other reason why I'm concerned is that I will have to make some money to survive and the visa takes a long time to apply. I'm not sure I can "afford" an ETA visa. I send an email to my old landlady. Do you think I'm ok if she confirms we stayed together in the flat and shared all related costs? I'm mean effectively we lived together for 1 1/2 years and paid both half the rent, there was just no need to change the contract...
Thanks for your help,

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Old 01-28-2010, 09:18 PM
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The ETA serves much the same purpose as a tourist visa - Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) - Online Applications but as I've said it is less likely to have a "no further stay condition " on it if you plan on doing something in Australia.

As to getting something from your former landlady, that'll help but you'll need more besides that and with things different in China, I'd still think it a good idea to approach the immigration people at the embassy there.

Meanwhile have a read of the Booklet #1 that'll be referenced in the partner visa pages.

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