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Which Australian Visa?

BlissfulBlissful Registered User regular
edited November 2013 in Help / Advice Forum
Hey all! My first time posting here so I apologize if I don't provide enough info initially and thanks in advance for any help or advice :D

I currently live in the United States, am over 18 years of age, and want to move to Australia to live with my significant other who is an Australian citizen. We met online, have yet to meet in person, have been together for over a year, and are very committed to each other. Our goal is for me to move there permanently and we'd prefer to go about it in such a way where I can enter the country and not have to leave again to apply for subsequent visas (to minimize costs). Also, we're open to marriage but it's not something either of us prioritizes and finds necessary for a healthy and prolonged relationship.

After a lot of research on the Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection site, it's my impression that we could accomplish this by taking the following route:

1. Visitor visa (Subclass 600) (Tourist Stream) ~ temporary 12 month visa to visit a friend
2. Bridging visa A - BVA - (subclass 010) ~ temporary visa that would allow me to stay in Australia after my current visa ends while my next visa application is processed
3. Partner Visa: Onshore Temporary and Permanent (Subclasses 820 and 801) - De facto Applicant ~ having met the One-Year Relationship Requirement and intending to remain together, the Partner Visa: Onshore Temporary then 2 years later the Partner Visa: Onshore Permanent

This appears to allow me to travel to Australia, stay there for a year (fulfilling the One-Year Relationship Requirement), then apply to stay there permanently on the basis of my relationship with my significant other. Am I correct or is there anything I'm missing or going about incorrectly? I would really appreciate any help at all as it's really important for us to get this right. :)

Blissful on

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    HeraldSHeraldS Registered User regular
    Blissful wrote: »
    Am I correct or is there anything I'm missing or going about incorrectly?

    Yes. You are moving across the globe to live with someone you've never spent any time with in real life. Bad idea. Would be a bad idea if you were just on opposite sides of a state, let alone a country, let alone the whole damn planet. Find a way to spend a month or two together before you dive in like this. Get your visas lined up so you can go back quickly if it works, but this is absolutely a try before you buy situation. Being with someone in meatspace is very different from what you've been doing. Try before you buy. Don't just move to Australia.

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    TenekTenek Registered User regular
    Pretty much what HeraldS said.

    If you are concerned about minimizing costs, expensive things to avoid include "having to go back home sadder and poorer after you realize it isn't going to work". Go for a visit first.

    As a second note, you may run into some problems if you are a) intending to stay permanently and b) applying for a tourist visa. Immigration people tend to frown on that sort of thing.

    Thirdly, I'm not sure the bridging visa will work because there's no overlap - unless I'm misreading something, you have to apply for the second visa while you're still on the first and you won't be eligible until it expires. If you get that far, you should probably apply for a renewal of your tourist visa at the 9- or 10-month mark. Apparently Australia is pretty quick about processing these so leave yourself room to maneuver if it gets denied.

    Lastly, in case this turns into a cascade of discouragement: It can work but it is not guaranteed. Meet in person first and see how it goes before you pack up all your stuff.

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    FoomyFoomy Registered User regular
    edited November 2013
    What is your work situation? and savings?

    Tourist Visa won't allow you to work while you visit, and they can deny you entry when you arrive if they find out your planning on working anyway.
    And if you aren't planning on working they are going to want proof that you have sufficient funds to support yourself while you are there.

    Your best bet is to find an immigration lawyer in Australia, and then talk to them about all your options, and what you can/can't do. You don't want to screw something up.

    Foomy on
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    fightinfilipinofightinfilipino Angry as Hell #BLMRegistered User regular
    paging @Vivixenne to the thread, paging Vivixenne to the thread, emergency Australia immigration advice is needed!

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    BlissfulBlissful Registered User regular
    edited November 2013
    Thanks everyone for the responses so far. I appreciate the comments re: not having met in real life, and I'm aware of the reality, and risks involved. It's not something we haven't talked about or considered, trust me. The sequence of events I mentioned was also appealing in that if things were to not turn out as hoped, the option of simply coming back to the US and not going through with steps 2 and 3 would still be available to us for quite a while.

    So, for this thread's purposes at least, I'd like to tackle it from the standpoint of us intending to live together permanently (best case scenario) which is where the visa advice I need comes in. No matter which option I take I would need to get a visitors visa for the trip there for us to meet. Then what? There would be two options I can see: Prospective Marriage Visa (Subclass 300) or Partner Visa: Onshore Temporary and Permanent (Subclasses 820 and 801) The Partner Visa: Onshore Temporary and Permanent (Subclasses 820 and 801) requires a One-Year Relationship Requirement so I backtracked to see how we could accomplish that with the visa options available.
    Foomy wrote: »
    What is your work situation? and savings?

    Tourist Visa won't allow you to work while you visit, and they can deny you entry when you arrive if they find out your planning on working anyway.
    And if you aren't planning on working they are going to want proof that you have sufficient funds to support yourself while you are there.

    Your best bet is to find an immigration lawyer in Australia, and then talk to them about all your options, and what you can/can't do. You don't want to screw something up.

    He is recently employed and I'm a student. I was aware of the proof of sufficient funds, etc. and both of us are working on the savings aspect with that in mind. I wasn't planning on working in Australia if I was there with a Visitors Visa - I wouldn't want to jeopardize my current visa status or potential future status in any way.

    The immigration lawyer in Australia is definitely a good idea, just wanted to get a better idea of our options first. We definitely don't want to start heading in one direction just to find we've wasted time and money making mistakes we could have avoided, visa wise :/

    Blissful on
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    EsseeEssee The pinkest of hair. Victoria, BCRegistered User regular
    Well, as long as you aren't trying the fiance visa/etc. right off the bat, I suppose you actually aren't doing anything too crazy yet. :P I think, for the moment, I would just try the visitor's visa first, so you can see how living together will go, and THEN you can start looking into options beyond that. Actually, you could even simply go over there on the Visa Waiver Program (I think Australia participates in it?) for however long Australia lets you do that (3 months is what I'm used to) first, and THEN do a visitor's visa after that if it seems to be working, and so on. There's not much risk with a visitor's visa as long as it gets accepted, from what I've gathered, so starting that way (with or without the VWP) and potentially changing status later should be fine, and is in fact something my fiance and I were advised to do in the opposite direction from what you're doing (Norway to US, at the time-- so I don't know the specifics for Australia, of course). But do be careful! You reeeeally have to make sure this is gonna work if you decide to go for any of the fiance/marriage/etc. types of visas (rather than trying a student/work visa first). I dunno if even a year of living together is enough time for that, because living together is very different from living apart, especially without having had any physical contact with the other person. I say this as someone else who found their fiance via the internet living halfway across the world from them! I'm not just one of those people who's like, "OH GOD THEY'RE SOMEONE FROM ANOTHER COUNTRY YOU FOUND ON THE INTERNET, YOU DON'T REALLY KNOW THEM." (Not saying that anybody posting has been like that! But we all know people who feel that way.) I just contend that you really won't know everything about interacting with someone in person even from video-chatting with them, and you ABSOLUTELY won't know anything about whether you can live with them until you actually do try living with them for a while, which is true about traditional couples as well! Personally, it seems like it's working out for us, but even in our case it took quite some time for us to become certain about this stuff-- and we've been together 6 years now, having cumulatively lived together for 3 years, including 2 years where we were really living together rather than visiting.

    Anyway, other people are qualified to talk about Australia specifically, but I figured I could chime in with a bit of my own perspective as someone who's been dealing with a similar life situation!

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    SerpentSerpent Sometimes Vancouver, BC, sometimes Brisbane, QLDRegistered User regular
    I've heard good things about the Skilled – Independent (Migrant) Visa (Subclass 175)

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    VivixenneVivixenne Remember your training, and we'll get through this just fine. Registered User regular
    edited November 2013
    @Blissful you've got it right, but you may want to consider a Working Holiday Visa instead of the Visitor Visa. This way you can work a bit while you're living there. You cannot work on a Visitor Visa.

    I say this as someone who was in exactly the same situation you are a few years ago (well, I'm British and was living in China, but the boy is in Perth). I came across on a Working Holiday Visa, but didn't get a Partner Visa straight away - I did not move in with him from the outset so I didn't want to apply only to get knocked back - then went onto a Student Visa because I wanted to study. I've got a Partner Visa now.

    I'm not saying your plan is bad. But you definitely want to make sure you have a life outside this relationship. A Working Holiday Visa will help you do that. But I didn't move in with my partner straight away and that went a long way to helping us go along. I mean, I basically lived with him, but I had my own space with my own stuff and even though we moved in together just 5 months later, it still mattered that I had that space. It was an important signal that I wasn't just moving to Perth to be with him, but to start a new life for me as well.

    Going into it with anything less than that puts too much pressure on the relationship to work, which puts undue stress on both of you. Which is never good.

    Also - if you have NEVER MET IN PERSON before this, this is a tremendous move to make. In my own case we at least met in person and hung out a while to see if things still clicked when we were face-to-face. They don't always do that, and it is irresponsible to assume they will. Read this immediately: http://ldr-insight.tumblr.com/post/412052112/close-proximity-transitions

    The rest of my advice for a situation like this actually already exists in a blog that I write. Here's are more relevant posts:
    http://ldr-insight.tumblr.com/post/436794474/the-dos-and-donts-of-ldr-visitations
    http://ldr-insight.tumblr.com/post/535414216/uprooting-and-relocating-into-unfamiliar-territory

    Please be aware that a Partner Visa isn't just a way for you to stay in the country - it means that in everything except name, you're basically married. You have a legal standing and that means things like property and assets and things like that are all far more complicated than they would be otherwise. For example, you have to declare that you're in a defacto relationship in your tax return.

    Not to mention you'd be putting yourselves in a spot where you have to decide, in one year, if you want to get married or not. That kind of artificial deadline is extremely problematic.

    Vivixenne on
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    VivixenneVivixenne Remember your training, and we'll get through this just fine. Registered User regular
    edited November 2013
    Serpent wrote: »
    I've heard good things about the Skilled – Independent (Migrant) Visa (Subclass 175)

    these are impossible to get without an extensive wait

    you not only need to be in a profession that is on the approved occupations list, you also need extensive experience in it, too

    as a student, it's right out

    Vivixenne on
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    VivixenneVivixenne Remember your training, and we'll get through this just fine. Registered User regular
    edited November 2013
    Vivixenne on
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    CelestialBadgerCelestialBadger Registered User regular
    Visas are generally not free. Take a long holiday in Australia and see how you like each other. If you can't afford that, save up.

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    VivixenneVivixenne Remember your training, and we'll get through this just fine. Registered User regular
    edited November 2013
    To be totally fair, my working holiday visa got approved in 2 days and cost just under $400. That was 4 years ago, but in the grand scheme of visa prices that's really affordable.

    Vivixenne on
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    HollerHoller Registered User regular
    I have no advice about Australian visas.

    I just wanted to go ahead and reiterate that you talking about doing this in the most cost-effective way sounds a bit scary, since the savings you will get by doing this in the most cost-effective way probably still won't be much next to the substantial pile of savings you are going to want to have both for doing this at all, and as a backup in case things don't turn out as the best-case scenario you have laid out. If your relationship or bank account can't handle a delay/setback/extra couple of flights home, you should take a very serious step back and reexamine your situation and timeline.

    Vivixenne is also on the money about the problems that moving to a country and making one person your entire support system can cause, even if you HAD met them before. That is a very dangerous road to go down, and is also worth some very honest reflection about. It is incredibly easy to be the whole world to each other when you are thousands of miles apart, because it makes the other person feel that much closer to you. But if you are already in the same apartment, and you are separated from every other thing you have had in your life before that moment, that is a great recipe for a very unhealthy and unsustainable situation. You don't really go into it in your post, so maybe you've got all kinds of other things planned for when you get to AU. But if your plan is focused entirely on getting there and then the fact that you will FINALLY BE TOGETHER !!etc., you need to start doing more planning now, because that cannot be the whole picture.

    I am all for saving up and doing something crazy to see if it works, and I have done something similar with someone I was deeply compatible with, and who I knew I wanted to live with and keep in my life for the long-haul. It was an awesome decision that I am so happy I made, because living in another country was great, and would have been great regardless of the other person. But boy am I fucking glad I had backup plans both financially and personally, and still marvel at how lucky I was that my life didn't get thrown as wildly off-course as it realistically should have been. As long as you have a good support system, a life of your own, and enough in your bank account at all times to buy a next-day plane ticket home & pay for several months of living expenses you'll need while trying to get back on your feet, on top of the twelve months of expenses you already will need to have saved going into that visa... eh, why not.

    But I would not go as deep into planning this at this juncture as you seem to be, because quite frankly you are setting a lot of targets out for Life to come and absolutely fucking destroy.

    (And yes, you are putting the cart way, way, WAY before the horse making all of these plans even tentatively without having met this person, and I really don't think that can be stressed enough, but this thread will probably put that to the test, so I'm not gonna harp on it.)

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    bsjezzbsjezz Registered User regular
    edited November 2013
    • you won't be able to work on a tourist visa, or if you come via the visa waiver program. this isn't really a country you can sneak by in without money.
    • you won't get a partnership visa. having been through the process with my fiance (who has since become a citizen! hooray!), they don't just need to see that you've been in a relationship for a year, they need hard evidence that you've lived together for a year. it's in the rules.
    • a working holiday visa is your way in if you're eligible. what you have to do, however, is start collating evidence as soon as you arrive that you're sharing things like an apartment and a bank account. otherwise, as soon as that expires, you're out and you'll have no recourse for a partnership visa. yes, this contradict's viv's relationship advice. unless you're willing and able to live together for part of that year in the U.S., though, it's necessary.
    • good luck. this is a fine country and what you want to do is manageable. you have to be extremely organized and astute with things like fine print if you want to do it, though. read every relevant visa document and start talking to people who know better. it's not something you can expect will just work out on its own.

    bsjezz on
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    VivixenneVivixenne Remember your training, and we'll get through this just fine. Registered User regular
    edited November 2013
    Yeah I got lucky because I also wanted to do my second degree, so that got me two years on top. Hence the five months living apart didn't matter.

    That said, there is nothing keeping you from living for a year on a WHV and living together during that time. It's up to you, really, because you are weighing up visa concerns against relationshippy stuff.

    Honestly, the main concern is that you haven't even met. Living together right off the bat is straight up unwise, regardless of the visa conditions involved. I doubt you'd find many conflicting views on that one.

    I am not saying you don't love each other or aren't committed or have no shot. But it's extremely naive to think about moving across the world permanently when you haven't even MET the primary reason you are thinking of moving in the first place. The close proximity stuff is so different from long distance. Lots of stuff comes up that you didn't even know that you didn't know. It's highly advisable that you guys just look at committing to visiting before you even think about committing to live together.

    Still, you didn't ask for relationship advice, but for visa advice. So ignoring my concerns about your relationship alone, go with the Working Holiday Visa. It's far more flexible and you get to work, so even if the relationship goes tits up, you at least got some overseas experience from it.

    Vivixenne on
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    BlissfulBlissful Registered User regular
    edited November 2013
    Thanks again for the input especially from those that have been in similar situations! I would love to be able to work while I'm there but since I'm 31, I don't meet the age requirement for the Working Holiday Visa nor the Skilled aspect of the Skilled – Independent (Migrant) Visa, since I'm still studying.

    Is it possible to go there with a tourist visa then change to a student visa at some point if I decide to stay and could I still be in Australia when I request that change? I would rather go there, meet, and get the lay of the land first before committing to anything further.


    I understand the skepticism re: our relationship. I appreciate it, and I get where people are coming from and that they're trying to impart wisdom from their own personal situations. I'm definitely going to take a look at Viv's blog, etc. and make note of the practical advice others have :)

    I'd like to reiterate, though, that we're not immune to the possibility of things not working out for one reason or another. I'm not jumping into things blindly. We want to take steps towards living together (if all goes as hoped), so we're exploring our options with that in mind. I'm not shutting the door completely on my life in the US, I'm just seeing what I need to be prepared for concerning visiting and possibly staying in Australia, for the purposes of a possible relationship with my significant other and to build an independent life for myself as Viv and others wisely suggested.

    Holler wrote: »
    But I would not go as deep into planning this at this juncture as you seem to be, because quite frankly you are setting a lot of targets out for Life to come and absolutely fucking destroy.

    (And yes, you are putting the cart way, way, WAY before the horse making all of these plans even tentatively without having met this person, and I really don't think that can be stressed enough, but this thread will probably put that to the test, so I'm not gonna harp on it.)

    For the purposes of this thread only am I suggesting a best case scenario, as I've said before. I know that there will inevitably be things that happen that we haven't envisioned and planned for. That's just life. Going into any situation without as much information as possible about all eventualities isn't smart, especially one as potentially complicated as traveling or immigrating to another country for work, school, or a relationship. Planning will, however, make the things that we have envisioned go more smoothly and ensure that we're better able to deal with the things we haven't.

    Blissful on
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    CelestialBadgerCelestialBadger Registered User regular
    What is preventing you from going to stay with your girlfriend for a long vacation? That way you can find out if you are compatible. Then you can go back home and start long-term plans.

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    BlissfulBlissful Registered User regular
    What is preventing you from going to stay with your girlfriend for a long vacation? That way you can find out if you are compatible. Then you can go back home and start long-term plans.
    Nothing, and that's what we're most leaning towards but want to plan for the, "If it works out, then what?" Understanding how the visa system, which seems incredibly complicated works, and what our options are is the reason I made this thread. The constructive relationship advice is appreciated, but is enough fodder for a whole different thread :) Input concerning which visa to apply for and when is very welcome.

    So, relationship advice aside, purely hypothetical, etc., etc. and in regards to Visas only:

    1. Is immigrating based on relationship status (for someone with my circumstances) only possible via two routes: the Prospective Marriage Visa and the Partner Visa?

    2. If the Partner Visa route is chosen, to meet and to eventually fulfill the 12 month requirement, would I need to travel and be in Australia using a Visitor Visa or is there some other option?

    3. According to my information, Partner Visas can only be applied for after 12 months living together so, would I then need to (ahead of time of course) apply for an extension for my current visa, or would I need to apply for a Bridging Visa to cover the additional time between the expiration of my Visitor Visa and the decision regarding my Partner Visa? Is either option looked upon more favorably?

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    CelestialBadgerCelestialBadger Registered User regular
    If it does work out, think about visas then. Seems like you are thinking of marriage before you have even met.

    I married a guy in a foreign country. We had about 3 vacations each in our respective countries before we decided to move in together and navigate the visa process, for a total of about 3 months together. It worked out great. I wouldn't have done it if I'd never met him.

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    bsjezzbsjezz Registered User regular
    Blissful wrote: »
    Is it possible to go there with a tourist visa then change to a student visa at some point if I decide to stay and could I still be in Australia when I request that change?

    i believe it's possible. however, university fees for non-residents in australia are very expensive. unless you've planned for an outlay of tens of thousands of dollars, i'm not sure you'll have a great variety of options. be careful - it's easy to overinvest in a course of work that ultimately grants you nothing. what's your current discipline? how far are you from a completed degree?

    you are also very limited in the work you can do on a student visa - you won't be able to get into a program and pay for it taking double-shifts behind a bar. these visas bring money into the country, through fees that rich families pay through the nose for. they don't give it away again by allowing any more than a handful of hours of work each week.

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    VivixenneVivixenne Remember your training, and we'll get through this just fine. Registered User regular
    edited November 2013
    Blissful wrote: »
    Is it possible to go there with a tourist visa then change to a student visa at some point if I decide to stay and could I still be in Australia when I request that change? I would rather go there, meet, and get the lay of the land first before committing to anything further.

    Yes, you can! Under qualifying visa - http://www.immi.gov.au/students/students/qualifying-visas-for-student-visa-applications-lodged-australia.htm
    Blissful wrote: »
    1. Is immigrating based on relationship status (for someone with my circumstances) only possible via two routes: the Prospective Marriage Visa and the Partner Visa?

    Yup. As far as I know, anyway.
    2. If the Partner Visa route is chosen, to meet and to eventually fulfill the 12 month requirement, would I need to travel and be in Australia using a Visitor Visa or is there some other option?

    You would need to demonstrate proof that you have been in a committed and lasting relationship for 12 months. While some applicants slip by without needing to live together for 12 months, in these cases you'll find they're either pregnant together, own property together, or have some other very clear indicator about the authenticity of their relationship. Lots of couples apparently chance an application without having lived together for 12 months (though they have been in a relationship for longer), but because they can't find adequate proof to make up for that, it doesn't happen.

    Our immigration lawyer also basically said that most migration agents/lawyers won't even though your application unless you've lived together for 12 months, because what alternatives are taken can be wildcards and not very reliable depending on where and when your application is being assessed.

    Your other option is to have her/him live with you for a year, or for you both to live elsewhere for a year.
    3. According to my information, Partner Visas can only be applied for after 12 months living together so, would I then need to (ahead of time of course) apply for an extension for my current visa, or would I need to apply for a Bridging Visa to cover the additional time between the expiration of my Visitor Visa and the decision regarding my Partner Visa? Is either option looked upon more favorably?

    If you apply for your Partner Visa before your Visitor Visa ends, you automatically get assigned a Bridging Visa. You do not apply for a Bridging Visa separately. The proviso of course is that your application for the Partner one should go in ahead of your Visitor Visa expiring, or you'll be in breach. I know someone who did get a Partner Visa after her one-year Working Holiday Visa expired and she'd sent in the application 2 weeks prior to expiration. But that was quite a few years ago now.

    I don't think you can apply for a visa extension off a Tourist Visa. I know you can get extensions off a Student Visa if needed, but even then only in certain circumstances, and all of those require applying for new visas.

    Vivixenne on
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    VivixenneVivixenne Remember your training, and we'll get through this just fine. Registered User regular
    @Dhalphir is a forumer who went the Prospective Marriage route rather than the Partner route, I think because he and his now-wife could not afford for her to move to Australia (or him to go to Belgium) and live together to demonstrate proof of their relationship.

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    DhalphirDhalphir don't you open that trapdoor you're a fool if you dareRegistered User regular
    Responding to batsignal.

    I'll make a big post when I get home!

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    DhalphirDhalphir don't you open that trapdoor you're a fool if you dareRegistered User regular
    Quick question before I write up anything - does the idea of Australia interest and appeal to you outside of your partner?

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    DhalphirDhalphir don't you open that trapdoor you're a fool if you dareRegistered User regular
    edited November 2013
    Okay, I'll outline what we did and how our journey took shape.

    Our first meeting was about four months after we "met" online. My wife came from Belgium to Australia for 13 days. In that time, we clicked completely on every single level, and decided to work out how to live together.

    My wife had finished her studies, and while she had significant savings, would be wanting to work when she was living in Australia. Sitting at home all day doing nothing gets very boring!

    Our solution was a Working Holiday visa. This allows you to work freely while in Australia, though the restriction is that you can only work for one employer for six months cumulatively.

    After about eight months of the working holiday, we had to start looking at options to continue. We looked at the partner visa, but the 12 month requirement was a dealbreaker, as we wouldn't satisfy that requirement until the working holiday had expired. You CAN extend working holidays, but you need to demonstrate a whole heap of stuff that is nearly impossible to do when using that visa for the purposes of living in one place (the working holiday visa is not intended to be used for migrating to Australia permanently)

    Our solution was the prospective marriage visa.

    My recommendation to you, if funds allow, is to travel to Australia and stay with your partner (as in live with them) for at least a couple weeks. Use a 3 month visitor visa for this.

    After that, if you want to be together,apply for a working holiday and spend up to 12 months together. As you'll be working, you'll be able to get a real feel for what daily life in Australia will be like. You can't learn that on a holiday.

    EDIT: disregard the working holiday advice, I did not realise you were 31.

    Then go from there. You could go for a prospective marriage visa, as my wife and I did. Or you could buy some property together and use that as justification for going for less than 12 months on the partner visa.

    However, whichever path you take, when it's time to go for a permanent visa like the partner or marriage visa, you will need to give them a FUCKLOAD of evidence. I'm talking dozens of photos, testimonials from family and friends in Australia as to the status of your relationship (legal declarations, not just notes). Call records, utility bills.

    If you are genuinely living together and are intertwining your lives financially, this will be easy to provide, but you'll only really be able to do that if you're working.

    fake edit: You can basically forget about a student visa. University in Australia costs tens of thousands of dollars, PER YEAR. You will not be able to pay your way through university here by working part time, because you won't get enough work under the conditions of a student visa.

    Dhalphir on
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    VivixenneVivixenne Remember your training, and we'll get through this just fine. Registered User regular
    The only problem with that advice is that Blissful is 31 and ineligible for the Working Holiday Visa. :c

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    DhalphirDhalphir don't you open that trapdoor you're a fool if you dareRegistered User regular
    Ah. I missed that part COMPLETELY in the followup posts in this thread.

    In that case, I would definitely advise a nice long stay initially on the visitor visa - a month, if you can manage it. After that, you can go for the prospective marriage visa.

    I think you are unlikely to be able to stand living somewhere with literally nothing to do for a year. Without a job and income, you won't be able to provide any evidence of finances. You aren't meant to be using visitor visas to live.

    The prospective marriage visa does have to be applied for from outside Australia, if I recall correctly, so you will need to travel outside Australia to do it at some point.

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    BlissfulBlissful Registered User regular
    Wow, ty sooo much Dhalphir! Lots of good info for us to think on! To answer your question, relationship bias aside, I definitely am interested in living in Australia and always have been. :) It looks like we'll definitely be going for the 2-4 month Visitor Visa then, to meet and such, as it doesn't appear that a 12 month Visitor Visa, Working Holiday, or Student Visa are really viable options. I really wish I was a year or two younger so the working holiday would be a possibility, but nothing I can do about that sadly. xD

    Again, thank you all very very much for all the constructive, heart felt advice and practical information you've given us! We'll have to see how meeting goes before deciding which course of action to take after that, but we really felt it was important to do things right and make as few potential mistakes as possible, especially when it comes to visas and potential immigration. It seemed logical to be careful, so all the advice and the planning it will help us accomplish, definitely takes a weight off both our minds!

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    HeraldSHeraldS Registered User regular
    Good luck & godspeed.

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