The road to residency part 8: permanent residency

On Saturday, 1st April – April Fools’Day – I got an email from my migrant agent. My visa was granted and I’m a permanent resident. The PDF from the Department of Immigration and Border Protection was attached. It took three years. I applied for the temporary residency visa in April 2014. Two years later, in April 2016, I became eligible to apply for permanent residency. It took 12 months to process. Here’s an interesting statement in the…

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The road to residency part 7: more waiting

Sometime in May or June, I became eligible to apply for permanent residency. If you’re just joining me at this part of my story, I came to Australia to be with my partner. I applied for a de facto partner visa subclass 820. It grants temporary residency. It lets me travel, get Medicare, study, and work. Although it doesn’t have an expiration date, it is temporary. Two years from the date I applied for temporary residency, I…

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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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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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10 Tips for Your Visa Process

I’m not an expert and I’m not a lawyer or migrant agent, but I’ve spent a year working on putting my visa application together. With the benefit of hindsight, I offer you some tips to make your process smoother. I applied 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,…

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Hamilton Watts Migration Services

Throughout my writings about my visa process, I’ve mentioned that I have been using a migrant agent. Today I’m going to plug the agency. I don’t know how I would be getting through this migration process without them. Hamilton Watts provides high quality migration services. They have offices in Melbourne, Sydney, Perth, and Canberra, and represent clients throughout Australia and overseas. I worked directly with Laurie Duncan, the current Chairman of Hamilton Watts, who joined the company as…

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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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The road to residency part 3: the relationship

The road to obtaining a partner visa granting me two years of residency is long and arduous. When I first read  through the paperwork, I was so overwhelmed that I cried. Then I pulled myself together and began printing documents, making lists, copies, and appointments. The tricky part is that you need different things from different agencies, which have their own requirements, and everything takes its own time. Proving that your relationship is “genuine and…

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The road to residency part 2: tricky language

I had a consultation with a migration agent this week and discovered something very, very interesting. I hadn’t planned on meeting with a migration agent. I’d planned to do all the paperwork and lodge the visa myself as many expats do, but the process is complicated and the opportunity to meet with an excellent migration agent presented itself. So, I took it. I went with all my forms in hand, as well as my passport,…

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The road to residency part 1: the visa medical

I have officially begun actively moving towards obtaining residency. 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, after two years, if the relationship is still intact, I would be granted a permanent visa, subclass 801. I have superficially reviewed the application in the past, but when I sat down a couple of weeks ago, read, and…

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Of Hobbits and Immigration Officers

The trip from Miami to Melbourne was the longest journey ever. I traveled from Miami to Los Angeles to Auckland to Melbourne. The journey from Miami to Los Angeles on American Airlines Economy was as comfortable as could be. It’s depressing to say that because it’s actually not a comfortable flight, but my expectations of domestic flights have sunk deeper than the Titanic. Once upon a time, when flying across the country, you got a pillow, blanket, headset,…

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Anniversary

On a day like today, May 20, 1980, my family arrived in the United States.

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