Living and Working in Australia Forum With Immigration and Travel Information

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-   -   American in love with an Australian (https://www.australiaforum.com/visas-immigration/7683-american-love-australian.html)

madamhooch 02-17-2011 10:34 AM

American in love with an Australian
 
So, I'm 23, US Citizen. I've fallen in love with an Aussie here in the States, and he is returning to Australia. We both don't want to get married for a while yet, but our plan is to have me move there in September and live with him. We haven't lived together here in the States. He has a house in Perth, and a job, etc. So, starting then, it would be a committed, de facto relationship according to the standards on the Australian Immigration website. I intend to go with a WHV, which I know will last 12 months. So, my questions are these:

1. If I want to stay after the 12 month WHV and apply for a Partner Visa, is there a visa that would allow me to stay until the PV is granted?

2. I understand that a requirement for a WHV is evidence of $5000 funds. Could this be a combination of mine and my boyfriend's money, providing two difference bank statements? Or does it all need to be in an account under my name? Also, the website states that this amount is flexible depending on amount of travel, etc. We don't intend to travel outside of Perth, and I'll be living with him, so is it possible that less than $5000 would be acceptable?

3. Lastly, any suggestions on gathering proof of a de facto relationship? We'll be living in Perth in his house the entire time. What evidence can I be gathering through out the year to make it easier once the time comes to apply for a PV?

Thanks so much!

Wanderer 02-17-2011 10:52 PM

Re the funds, you can even use a credit card account to show them being met and it is apparently not often that a check is made anyway.
Have a look at the Partner Visa eligibility and Booklet#1 as well as the sticky thread by el kitten re some ideas for showing a relationship exists.
As for another visa after the W&HV some people do decide on a brief travel outside of Australia and then returning on an ETA but there can be complications so have a read of the sticky thread on onshore/offshore applications re that.
If you have qualifications and experience in a field that may allow you to find an employer sponsorship, that may be another option though there could be restrictions on your W&HV and it may also mean a trip abroad to be able to apply.




Silviar 02-18-2011 02:04 PM

1. If I want to stay after the 12 month WHV and apply for a Partner Visa, is there a visa that would allow me to stay until the PV is granted?

In a nutshell - if you're looking for an easy visa to simply bridge the gap and make the 12 months easy, no. There isn't a visa you can apply for to get you safely over the 12 month hump into defacto status. The best option you have if you want to go defacto is to do as Wanderer suggested: take a trip out of the country right before your visa expires, say New Zealand, then apply for an ETA so you can come back, and then once you're back in, submit your de facto visa status. I'd recommend having a plane ticket out of the country to show them so it looks good like you're leaving in a month or so - you could buy a refundable and then refund it.

Also, just to make sure you know - you can't get a work visa while in Australia as an American citizen. I'm also a US person (doing what you're doing, but planning on getting married at the end), and I was bummed to discover I couldn't do that if I found a place that loved me and vice versa.

2. I understand that a requirement for a WHV is evidence of $5000 funds. Could this be a combination of mine and my boyfriend's money, providing two difference bank statements? Or does it all need to be in an account under my name? Also, the website states that this amount is flexible depending on amount of travel, etc. We don't intend to travel outside of Perth, and I'll be living with him, so is it possible that less than $5000 would be acceptable?

There's no specific guidelines stating it *has* to be in your name, but I would say that it does have to be in your name. Think about it from their perspective - if it was in someone else's bank, who's to say you didn't steal their statement or they change their mind and take 'their' money away? Make sure it's in an account that has your name on it, otherwise it would look suspicious.

Plus, it might make them question you further as to your real intentions if you're showing your boyfriend's account... :P

Make sure you have the $5000. I've heard you can even use a credit card to prove that you have it. From what I've been told by other people on the WHV, they rarely check, but make sure you have it, just in case. You could maybe have your SO or a family member transfer funds into your account, and give it right back after you enter if that makes you feel better.

3. Lastly, any suggestions on gathering proof of a de facto relationship? We'll be living in Perth in his house the entire time. What evidence can I be gathering through out the year to make it easier once the time comes to apply for a PV?


Read the Partner Migration booklet back to front - there's a few different areas you have to prove, and you'll want to make sure you have enough information to prove all of it. Knowing ahead of time, you can make sure to start saving the items you need so it's not as hard later on.

madamhooch 02-19-2011 03:03 AM

Thank you so much for your help!! The more I read on the matter, the more confusing and overwhelming it all seems to get. I greatly appreciate your advice!

mwah_86 02-27-2011 10:27 PM

If you can prove you are in a defacto relationship from the time you arrive and for the full 12months of the WHV, surely you could apply for the defacto visa as soon as the 12months is up...then you would be issued with a Bridging Visa until a decision is made. Or were you looking for more time before applying?

Also, in terms of proof, I can only share my experiences. It's great that you are looking into all this now...I wish my partner and I had have done the same! But, if you can get your name added to bills, lease etc, that will obviously be a huge help. Open a joint bank account ASAP and use it for all household purchases and outings and get wages put into it. I've heard of people just opening a joint account and having it sit there...and obviously that doesnt look great. When I applied, I had receipts from groceries etc. I attached these to corresponding copies of our bank account and highlighted the relevant account debits. We also got groceries delivered to us from supermarkets online so that we'd have invoices in joint names.

Gosh, what else...
We kept all mail addressed to either of us at the same address. Get your friends and family at home to send you things throughout the year in both names and keep all proof of this. I even spoke to a couple that had dinner parties and sent the guests home with Thank-You cards with an envelope and stamp so that they could have them send mail to them in both names! We give monthly donations to charity in both names through our joint account and kept invoices of this. My partner is beneficiary on my superannuation account. We kept all the other basic stuff like movie ticket stubs etc.

We are still waiting for news on our application but we basically tried to think of everything we could gather together that showed we spend our lives together. We also gave immi a pile of proof to show that we started our relationship well before my partner came to live with me (emails, phone records etc)...just as extra proof to show that she didn't just get off the plane and jump into a committed relationship!

Anyway, good luck with it all and hope you enjoy Aus! :)

Wanderer 02-28-2011 12:59 AM

You may find that from time of arrival to when an application is submitted, you could be light on meeting the " entire period of 12 months " there also being a reference to " at least " on Australian Immigration Fact Sheet 35. One-Year Relationship Requirement

Neither means even a couple of days short of 12 months!




Silviar 02-28-2011 01:15 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Wanderer (Post 29036)
You may find that from time of arrival to when an application is submitted, you could be light on meeting the " entire period of 12 months " there also being a reference to " at least " on Australian Immigration Fact Sheet 35. One-Year Relationship Requirement

Neither means even a couple of days short of 12 months!

A quick clarification for those asking these questions, Wanderer. The FAct Sheet 35 states under reasons for time waiver:

"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 "

Does that mean that if the people live in a territory that allow relationship registration, like NSW, that the 12 months is waived for sure? Or is that still up for debate?

Wanderer 02-28-2011 01:56 AM

Yep, a relationship registration in ACT, NSW, Tassie or Vic. as it stands for the moment AFAIK and that means the full 12 months is not required though just like a married couple, six months is something of a nominal period together still seen as appropriate and there is still evidence of a relationship needed.




littlemishap 03-07-2011 06:31 AM

madamhooch-

I am an American with an Australian partner and went through the same process about 3 years ago. My advice to you:

I would recommend having a few thousand dollars in a bank account, not just as proof but simply because you may actually need it. I was never asked to show proof of funds, but did need a bit of money in my first few months before I found a job. Plus, a situation may arise that you need to purchase a flight home and you should have funds for that.

The visa process went very smoothly for us. We put some bills in my name and had things such as wedding invitations in both of our names. If you feel comfortable enough opening a joint bank account that would be very helpful. After you have been there a year, you apply for the de-facto visa and are immediately given a bridging visa until a decision has been made. Our application was basically like a big scrapbook of our relationship. So be sure to take pictures of travel together and anything that could be proof of your relationship for your application.

The only annoying thing is that you are not allowed to leave the country without permission while you are on the bridging visa. I personally like to go back to the states all the time and not having that freedom was uncomfortable to me. But it ended up only taking a few months and now I am in my second year of the defacto visa and will hopefully be granted permanent residency soon.

Well good luck and have fun!!!

to OZ! 03-16-2011 07:53 AM

"The best option you have if you want to go defacto is to do as Wanderer suggested: take a trip out of the country right before your visa expires, say New Zealand, then apply for an ETA so you can come back, and then once you're back in, submit your de facto visa status."


I'd agree with Wanderer and Silviar. I'm in a similar situation...US citizen coming to AUS for defacto visa. I would like to suggest thinking about getting the ETA visa first. Two reasons: like Wanderer said...you have to prove 12+ months of living together exactly. It seems like it will get really sticky near the end. So if you tack on a few extra months in the beginning you should be much more stress free using the WHV to get defacto. Also, you can work on the WHV whereas you can't on the ETA. If you're granted a bridging visa, it will reflect the obligations of the WHV instead of the ETA. Plus, I just like the idea of getting the whole going to NZ to apply and re-enter AUS out of the way early. You'll prob be stressing over hunting down appropriate defacto docs when the WHV is over anyways.

I am moving to NSW and am planning on registering the relationship. However I've heard both that it totally works great and lets you waive the 12+ month strict requirement...but I also recently read that Immi is still deciding whether a state-registered defacto partnership can count at the commonwealth level. So I dunno. It can't hurt....but it makes me more comfortable to know I can just get a quick tourist visa (ETA) over with in the beginning before tackling the big dogs.

Hope this helps.


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