As you could read in the Big Step story, almost five years ago I travelled to Canada to gain some new life experiences. Long story short, one year and many adventures later, I happened to come back home with a handsome Australian guy holding my hand. And since we considered our relationship serious, he applied for a Czech partner visa. And then in about 1 month from lodging the application (maximum length to process the application is 60 days), he got the 5 year visa no worries. Of course he still had to provide some document support. But it was nowhere from complicated. Except finding out how to actually apply for the visa, we got help with that from an agent. But otherwise he had everything ready in few days.
After living together in my home country Czech Republic for more than 3 years, we decided that it was time to move. And because I’ve never been in Auss and it definitely was on my list, there were no doubts for me about trying the life in my now husbands birth place.
And this is where we are now. After getting some time off and travelling through Thailand first, we arrived in Australia almost two months ago. And for me to live here I obviously have to apply for a Partner Visa too. Easy in one country, not that easy in the other. The amount of paper work is astounding. The price of the application even more. The wages in Czech Republic are waaay lower than in Australia, so we had to save a lot. That is one of the biggest things to be ready for. It is not cheap. What else to expect and get ready for?
- Decide where you want to apply for the Partner visa This can be quite a big deal. There are two options for submitting the application. You can either apply from home (Partner Visa Subclass 309) and wait for the result there. Or you can go to Australia with a different visa (easiest would be the 90 days tourist visa), apply for a Partner Visa there and stay in Australia before the decision about your application is made (Partner Visa Subclass 820), usually not being able to travel to other countries. So you should decide if you are better willing to wait 16-22 months before going to Auss or if you will be fine staying in Australia for the next 15-20 months without visiting your family or going on vacations.
- Save some money Both of the applications are pretty expensive. At this moment the fee for lodging is 6865 AUD. Plus there are other expenses associated with the application. From copies to police checks and translations. You should also consider the fact that you won’t be able to work the first 90 days if applying in Australia and being on a tourist visa. Because even if you apply the first week after arriving, you still have to wait until your current visa is finished.
- Start the paper work ahead Especially if you are travelling to Australia with a tourist visa and planning to apply for the Partner ones once there. As I mentioned, I am in Australia for good 6 weeks and actually haven’t applied yet. Even though I started getting things ready about three months before moving, there is still one document which is missing. And that is my police check from Canada. Because if you stayed in any country for more than 12 months in last 10 years, you will need to get a police check from that country to add to your application too. And as some countries provide them in matter of minutes, others (Canada…) could take quite a while.
- Make the certified copies One of the things you can definitely do few months ahead (but not too long) is making certified copies of yours and your partners current personal documents as passports, birth certificates, ID’s, and if you are married already, also the marriage certificate. Don’t forget that if you come from any non English speaking country, some of these have to be translated by a certified person. If you want to get your copies certified in Australia, the easiest way is probably visiting Justice of the Peace, which would do it for you in matter of minutes and free of charge.
- Keep any possible evidence of your relationship It might be handy. Because you will need to prove your love in many ways. And even if it can sound funny now, flight tickets from your vacation together 5 years ago can help the final decision a lot. So if you are considering the application in the future, joint bank accounts, rental agreements etc. are a good way how to make your relationship “official” for the visa matter. Just keep in mind that even if you have all of this evidence, your relationship should be longer than 12 months.
- Ask somebody you know to fill the Statutory Declarations One part of the visa application consist of 2 statutory declarations of your relationship by 2 Australian citizens that know you and your partner. These declarations have to be witnessed and you will also need certified copies of ID’s of the people making these declarations. Make sure that you will choose someone close to you and your partner (parents or someone from the family or closest friends) as they might be call for a questioning later and should really know about your relationship.
These are the most crucial things to know before considering the Australian Partner Visa application. Once I will move forward to the submitting of it, I will inform you about more details.