The Road to Residency Part 6: Temp Visa Granted

Nearly two years after I began the application process, my temporary visa has finally been granted. Immigration took so long that my visa medical assessment expired. My migrant agent called and informed me I needed to do it again. His office scheduled it with Bupa. It was bad enough the first time with Medibank and it was downright awful the second time around. At Medibank, I was allowed to wear my clothes throughout most of the…

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2014, the Year in Review

It’s hard to believe 2014 is almost over. 2013 was emotionally trying. The excitement of being in Australia gave way to homesickness and a sense of grieving. In August of that year, I wrote an entry about how everything sucked. By January, life didn’t suck so much. I was more comfortable getting around Melbourne, I had taken up hobbies, and even obtained a local driver’s license. In February, I participated in the Expat Blog Challenge.…

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How to Spend Your First Christmas Down Under

The following is a guest post from True Blue Migration. Your first Christmas spent in Australia after a lifetime of cold, harsh winters can be a welcome change or an odd break from tradition which leaves you feeling a little strange. The feeling of the sun on your back in December as opposed to the harsh chill biting at your ears and nose is a pleasant but unfamiliar sensation. Still, despite the different weather, at…

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Expat Holiday Exchange #expatexchange14

Expat blogger Diane from Oui in France had the wonderful idea of organizing a holiday gift exchange among expats. The guidelines were simple. She’d collect the details of expats who wanted to participate and then exchange that information in a Secret Santa way. My gift arrived a couple of days ago and I was so pleasantly surprised. My gift comes all the way from Morocco courtesy of the lovely Amanda Mouttaki, the blogger behind MarocMama, which is…

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Changes

Back in February, I participated in an expat blog challenge that was hosted by my fellow expat Cristin, an American in Sydney who blogs over at In an Opal Hearted Country. The month-long challenge was a success and a little community unexpectedly emerged from it. In the Facebook group, we talk about blogging, post links to daily entries, and post prompts. My blogging results are mixed. I tend to read a number of other expat blogs, but I…

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The Road to Residency Part 5: Death and Taxes

In my last entry on residency in mid-April, I mentioned that I had all my ducks in a row and my application for a de facto partner visa subclass 820 was being lodged. That went through without a hitch and Immigration issued me a bridging visa. A bridging visa is a temporary visa that allows me to say in Australia in the period of time between when my previous visa expired and my current visa application…

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Facebook Messenger to Keep Expats Connected

In August 2012, I wrote a blog entry on three tools to help expats stay in touch with family and friends abroad: Skype, the magicJack, and Viber. As it turned out, I rarely use Skype with anyone other than Theo (and he’s in the next room or just beside me; we use it to share links and files). My family just never quite caught on to it and my friends never seem to be on…

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The Road to Residency Part 4: All the Extras

I set my foot down on the road to residency in June 2013, nearly a year ago. The process is finally coming to an end. Well, sort of. I’m applying onshore (that is, from within Australia, as opposed to offshore) for a de facto partner visa subclass 820, which is a temporary visa. If granted, if the relationship is still intact after two years, I will be granted a permanent visa, subclass 801. Today is…

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Spring in Autumn

I have Seasonal Identity Disorder. Ok, I made that up; there’s no such clinical disorder (not yet), but it’s a thing, really it is. Keep reading and you’ll see. It’s autumn here. It’s brought a bit more rain and the leaves are turning glorious shades of golden orange and deep red. The days are mild and the nights are cool. The grey, rainy days aside, it’s mostly a nice time of year. A few weeks…

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Vote for Batman

I received an amusing letter last week. First of all, it came from the Division of Batman. Apparently, I live in the Division of Batman. Seriously. I live in Melbourne and in Darebin and in the Division of Batman. Melbourne is a metropolitan area, which means it is a region with a densely populated urban core and its less-populated surrounding territories, which share industry, infrastructure, and housing. So, I live in the greater metropolitan area of Melbourne.…

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Between Cultures

The prompt for the Expat Blog Challenge on Saturday, February 16th was to respond to the following quote from Sarah Turbull: It is a bitter-sweet thing, knowing two cultures. Once you leave your birthplace nothing is ever the same. Growing up in Miami, I was like everyone else – Cuban. Ok, there were other people in Miami such as Haitians, Nicaraguans, Dominicans. I even knew a Polish kid. But with about 35% of the populace…

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