Goodbye, My Precious: Applying for a Partner Visa

Today, I sent my child out into the world to fend for itself.

Here it is:

Partner visa application
My precioussssss.

That manuscript-looking thing is my Australian partner visa application. Originally slotted to be submitted by the 1st of February, I finally put it in the post today, the 29th of April.

This thing is four years in the making; Jared and I have been hanging on to evidence all along, knowing one day it would come to this. But it’s been over the past four months that shit got serious.

We planned on applying from the States.

We considered moving to Canada or New Zealand while waiting for it to be processed.

We decided to apply from Australia.

We almost got married at city hall.

This fat bundle of papers contains more than just a history of our relationship (though it’s got that). It’s full of the blood, sweat, and tears that went into its compilation (the application, not the relationship).

That’s not hyperbole. There is literally blood on one of the pages. The person certifying our documents got a paper cut. I wasn’t stressed. Hopefully immigration will take it as subtle encouragement to speed things along before things get…out of hand. It’s my version of a horse head on their satin sheets.

A sample of what’s included in the application (which, it might interest you to know, weighs 1 kilogram):

  • A list of every job I’ve ever had.
  • A list of every international trip I’ve taken since 2003.
  • Statutory declarations confirming that we’re a for-real couple.
  • A signed Form 80, stating, among other things, that I’ve never had a different birthdate, or a parent of Russian descent.
  • Criminal history checks from the FBI, the state of Indiana, the UK, South Korea, and Australia.
  • Bank statements, proof of insurance, job contracts, and letters addressed to us at the same address.

And, most importantly perhaps, a payment of $3975.

No. That’s not a typo.

De facto visa prep
Final assembly. That was real fun.

It would be easier to bear if there was a chance of getting the visa in a timely manner, but the waiting period is currently 14 months. Apparently, Australians are swarming the globe, romancing foreigners and attempting to bring them home.

This morning, I entered the New Lambton post office, clutching the carefully stacked sheaf of papers to my chest. I felt like Gollum with his ring, in agony at the prospect of handing it over.

“It’s a visa application,” I explained to the woman behind the counter. “I really want to make sure it gets there okay.”

“Right,” she said, as if I’d just told her it was a box of dead flies.

My last glimpse of it was when the woman at the post office all but bowled it into a box of other mail.

It’s not a cricket ball, I wanted to shout at her. Show a little respect for the papers.

But they were gone. Released from my grip in exchange for $12.50 and a tracking number.

I thought it would be a relief, but it’s not. That won’t come until I get notification from the immigration department that the package is safely in their Sydney office.

Where it will then sit, collecting dust, for more than a year.

On a totally unrelated note: thoughts on bribes – okay/not okay?

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  1. I feel your pain! So glad I put that baby to bed in February and don’t have to think about it for 14-18 months (yes, that is the wait time I heard most recently).

    Congratulations on completing it! It won’t take long to get your acknowledgement, though that was our anxious wait: ‘Did they receive it? Did it go missing? And why did the lady at the post office stay on the phone during our conversation? Doesn’t she know how important this is??’

    1. AUGH. Every time I talk to immigration the wait time gets longer. 18 months does not surprise me. I’m really hoping to bypass the temporary and be granted the permanent straightaway (apparently this can happen if you’ve been together for over 3 years) but I’m not expecting anything.

      These questions are EXACTLY what are going through my mind. I know it’ll be fine, but it will be so good to get the acknowledgement! I’m also frightened that I’m going to find a stray page somewhere in the house that was supposed to be in the stack. Just the thought of it makes me want to vomit.

      Good luck to you too and congrats on getting the worst of it out of the way!

      1. An immediate permanent would be so much easier! Alas, we will have to wait for that too.

        Hoping the approval process flies but I will let you know how long it takes. Fingers crossed!

  2. I’ve been thinking about bribing the Philippine government for a while now.. Been waiting for my fiancee to get done with her annulment, so I can file the paperwork and get her to the states ASAP. Keep the faith..

    1. Oooh, I think you’ve probably got it even more difficult than we do in the US…one of the main reasons we decided to set up in Australia was because of the (supposed) ease of visas when compared to the US. But once it’s done, it’s done! Best of luck to you and hope it happens quickly.

    1. I have no idea. They ask if you are of Russian descent, Arabic descent, or if you ever use a Chinese Commercial Code Number for your name. I think it has to do with writing your name in its true script. Or maybe that’s what they want us to think.

  3. I understand the blood, sweat, and tears process of an application like this! I’m married to a Brit and the fiance visa process for him to come to the USA was time-consuming and draining — and thankfully not as expensive as your partner visa. The waiting was so difficult — hang in there!!

    1. I followed your cross-cultural marriage story and was so cheered by your success – any time people GET the visa, regardless of situation, it reminds me that ours will come, too (eventually). Thanks for the comment!

  4. Bloody hell! If you’d spent that much time on your book, you’d be a best seller by now! I can’t believe they used to ship people over there for free just to populate the place and now it’s this hard to get a visa!

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