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Inquiry re: spousal Visa; Yank married to Aussie 15 years moving to Oz
Topic Started: Jun 13 2016, 04:11:34 AM (1,750 Views)
YankyOz
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G'day from San Francisco Bay Area California. Would like a recommendation.

My Aussie wife and I have been married for 15 years living in California. We are planning to move to Australia in October.
Anyone on this forum recently go through the visa application process who has been married for awhile? I notice that the majority of posts here regarding visa applications are regarding partners.

Wondering if it's cheaper (exchange rate) to start the process in Australia or do should we start it here?

Since we've been married 15 years with joint accounts, is the process still the same and will take 12-15 months as I'm reading online?

I guess my central question is this: Will our process be any easier since we have been married this long?

Thanks,
Michael

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TerritorianTori
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Being boring
[ *  *  *  * ]
:welcome: Michael!

I don't have any recent experience with the spouse visa process, but as far as I can tell, there's no discernible difference with the burden of proof or processing time. Though, I'm sure that being married for 15+ years would make it much easier to gather all the proof you need! :)

Also, the length of your marriage means you'll probably bypass the 2-year provisional visa period and go straight to permanent residency.

As for where to apply, honestly, I would do it in the States. An onshore application is far more expensive even taking into account the exchange rate; but even if it were the same, you'll still be putting yourself in a sort-of limbo while the application is processing. Having permanent residency before you arrive will allow you to get your "life" in order that much more quickly. Your mileage may obviously vary.

:cheers:

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YankyOz
Piker
Thanks a million Mate. We really appreciate your insight and perspective. One thing however. I thought the processing fee was the same whether we apply here or in Australia. All I see online is about $6800 or so. Is that only the Australian fee?
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TerritorianTori
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My bad, I just looked at the Fees and Charges on the immigration site and you're absolutely right: no cost difference between the 820/800 onshore partner visa and the 320/300 offshore partner visa. Guess things have changed a LOT in recent years! :eek:
Edited by TerritorianTori, Jul 1 2016, 06:00:28 PM.
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mkm
Piker
Hi Michael,
This is late, but I thought I'd post anyway in case it can help anyone else. My husband and I are in the exact same situation, having been married for 16 years with 3 children and years of mortgage and joint taxes. It took 10 months for my Australian visa to be approved, but I do skip ahead to Permanent Residency. The time it took had a couple of factors:

1. time it takes to get the appointment for the physical with the approved doctor. There is only 1 in all of LA so it took me a few weeks to get in. This cost over $300, FYI.
2. FBI clearance. I was in an uncommon situation being a Canadian citizen, non-permanent resident visa holder in America so this took the FBI 4 months. There was no way to expedite it for me, however I think there are agencies that can for American citizens for a fee. This is definitely worth it if you can. Also, be sure to have the ink finger prints done professionally and send at least 2 sets in. Both the state police checks and the FBI check are mailed to your home and you scan and upload it to your application, so travelling is a bit difficult.

The other thing to consider is that once the visa is issued, you MUST enter Australia within 6 months. This date is unchangeable, except in certain medical situations that make flying impossible.

Another aside, I checked with the consulate and my husband and I do not need to enter Australia together to activate my visa. The children, who are Australian citizens, do not require any paper work to arrive with one parent (except any that the airline may require). That gives us some options regarding the entry date and selling our American assets.

In all, the Australians were very easy to work with. There were no issues, aside from the length of time it took to complete all the paperwork. The visa fee was high, but considering that no lawyer was required it was less expensive than our dealings with American immigration.

Best of luck,
Marissa


Edited by mkm, Aug 13 2016, 09:21:15 AM.
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Rebelchick
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YankyOz
Jun 13 2016, 04:11:34 AM
G'day from San Francisco Bay Area California. Would like a recommendation.

My Aussie wife and I have been married for 15 years living in California. We are planning to move to Australia in October.
Anyone on this forum recently go through the visa application process who has been married for awhile? I notice that the majority of posts here regarding visa applications are regarding partners.

Wondering if it's cheaper (exchange rate) to start the process in Australia or do should we start it here?

Since we've been married 15 years with joint accounts, is the process still the same and will take 12-15 months as I'm reading online?

I guess my central question is this: Will our process be any easier since we have been married this long?

Thanks,
Michael

I'm going through it now. Its starts close to $7000 Grand AUD onshore. The price seems to go up often. It could be more and if you need help getting your criminal records check, I can tell you where to get it. I just did it. It has to be an Australian approved agency. :)
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zenetanar
Piker
So how did this go?

My husband and I are in a similar situation. He is Australian, I'm American. We got married in October 2002. We have two kids (5 and 8.) We are trying to figure out the logistics of making a move (which we haven't decided yet - we are weighing pros and cons.)

Ideally it would be great if we could apply over there, but I'm not sure how that works with me being able to actually stay legally, since I would not have a visa yet, other than the ETA. Or is there something else I can apply for to allow me to stay while a migration visa is being processed?

Thanks!
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Oregon Trail
Anklebiter
[ * ]
Hello to everyone :wave: We received the wonderful news of my husband getting his permanent resident visa this past Thursday :woohoo: we are so very happy!

We have been in the States the whole time during the process, and whilst ours took a lot longer than most people to get their visa(lots of reasons) we found Aussie immigration to be very good to work with!

For anyone who gets discouraged along the way, just know that it will work out in the end :partydots:
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Mouse
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True Blue Mate
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Congrats on it coming though! :)
John 3:16 - One of the most powerful messages ever given.
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Hanasian
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Oregon Trail
Jun 18 2017, 08:31:28 AM
Hello to everyone :wave: We received the wonderful news of my husband getting his permanent resident visa this past Thursday :woohoo: we are so very happy!

We have been in the States the whole time during the process, and whilst ours took a lot longer than most people to get their visa(lots of reasons) we found Aussie immigration to be very good to work with!

For anyone who gets discouraged along the way, just know that it will work out in the end :partydots:
Congratulations! :) Glad it all worked out!

Looking at the fees mentioned in this thread, they sure have gone way up! My 802 visa application cost just shy of $3000 in 2008, but I paid roughly the same amount to a migration agent as well. Initial application went in late January and visa approval came in mid August.
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