Getting a Permanent Australian Visa
I met my Australian partner in Paris three years ago. It is a hell of a story - we both lived in Oxford but met in Paris - a real fairy tale/Hollywood romantic movie story, but in brief, we met in Paris and dated in Oxford and moved in together after 6 months. When I met her, Mel was originally planning to stay in the UK for 1 year and then move to Canada but in a very short period we realised our relationship was good enough for her to reschedule! At that time we really had not thought that much about the future - I mean my partner had always said she didn't want to stay in the UK for long but we didn't go so far as to plan a move to Australia, at least not at that time. After 18 months of being in a relationship including 1 year of living together we planned a trip out to Australia to meet her parents.
Is Australia For Me?
I've got to be brutally honest, everyone told me I would love Australia but, well, I didn't. Maybe it was the jet lag, maybe it was just the weirdness of meeting the family of a woman I had already been living with for a year but although I kinda liked Australia I wasn't blown away. I certainly wasnt thinking about getting a permanent Australian Visa at that point! Anyway, meeting the folks and seeing the place my partner came from did confirm something for us. When we got back we decided to try for a baby.
Pulled Towards Australia
The last 18 months, with my partner being pregnant and then us having a new baby, have been really surreal, great but surreal. My partner's parents came over from Australia for the birth, which was great, and so important for both my partner and them. We decided that with my partner's grandparents getting on, us having a new baby that we just can not afford to raise the way we want to in the UK and with my partner having spent more than double the time she meant to away from home, it was time for us to move to Australia.
It was not an easy decision. I was really not sure about moving to Australia (despite knowing I didn't want to stay in the UK) and to add to it all my Mother is scared of flying so has started to say she thinks of us as 'lost' because we are moving. I really have procrastinated over the visa. We made the first enquiry way back when we first moved in together, just out of interest. The visa application process is actually quite simple when you are in a solid relationship; you fill in the form and provide evidence that your relationship is sound, simple as that. We found all the details on the Department of Immigration, Migration and Indigenous Affairs website. I would recommend downloading the booklet well in advance of trying to fill in any forms so you can get to grips with what is required.
Applying For A Permanent Australian Visa
We have just applied for my permanent visa as a defacto spouse. I was expecting to have to give a life history in the visa forms but actually it was much easier than that - details of whom we are, how long we have been together etc. Because we have been in our relationship for so long we had plenty of supporting evidence; tenancy agreements, a joint bank account, invitations addressed to us both, bills addressed to us both, travel documents in both our names, our statements and the statutory declarations from 2 Australian citizens.
Medical Requirements for an Australian Visa
You need a chest x-ray and medical for an Australian visa application. I read in the Visa booklet that an application can be processed quicker if all the necessary paperwork is together so I went for both the x-ray and medical before lodging my application. To be honest I found it quite surreal. Using more downloads from the website I found out there was only one place locally to get the x-ray and one place to get the medical so I couldn't exactly shop around for the cheapest!
I booked the x-ray for a week before the medical. On arrival I got my Visa forms filled in and signed then had my x-ray and was told to come back in half an hour. When I returned my x-ray was waiting for me at reception so I wasn't told whether everything was ok or anything. I got home and held up the x-ray to the light with my partner to see what our untrained eyes could see! (The nurse told me I have 'long' lungs?!?)
I took the x-ray with me to my medical a week later. It was all pretty standard stuff, height, weight, eyes, ears, heart rate, glands, blood pressure (the electronic version is a little disconcerting if you have only had it done the old fashioned way before, by the way!), blood test and that sort of thing.
Once completed they send the entire thing (including x-ray) directly to the Australian mission where you are lodging your permanent Australian Visa application. The final surreal part to this episode was a week later when, completely unexpectedly, I got a letter from the Doctor saying they thought my mind might need putting at ease - my HIV test was negative. Considering there was never any question I found this a little comical - oh, and there never was any question, the Doctor just filled out the sections on the form and the form requires an HIV test so whether at risk or not, your blood is tested.
In very basic terms, the advice you will get from all the booklets you can download, or emails you might receive if you send any enquiries to the consulate is to be honest and get everything thoroughly prepared for your permanent Australian visa application. It is good, simple and sensible advice, which I followed in making my Visa application - I got confirmation of visa approval after just a week. We are really thrilled to have everything prepared now - Australian flights are booked and we have a house to move into when we get there and we are both really excited, the dilemmas and choices all seem so long ago.
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"It is true that we can't have a permanent visa for any country very easy. But there are some people got it easily. Now-a-days arisen different issue related to immigration so government shrinking the immigration policies. There are some information at web for different country but the offer for Australia is seems to be better. i.e. Australia Migration Would you please let me know more from you."
"Blimey you got visa approval after a week. Hope mine is as quick"
"you lucky sod, i wish i was you getting out of the uk its gone to the dogs!!!!"