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Old Aug 27th 2017, 1:54 pm   #1
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Lightbulb Defacto Partner Visa - living together for 3+ years, advice saught!

I met my Australian girlfriend in Fiji at the start of 2014 after having visited my brother in Melbourne. A week after I got back to Scotland, I booked flights to go over to Sydney and meet her parents a month later. Six weeks after that she had moved to Scotland on an Ancestry Visa (5 years) as her grandfather is from England.

3.5 years later and we're making plans to go back to Oz as she is looking to start a uni course in Sydney in February next year.

Can someone please clarify the most appropriate visa that I should apply for, and what the consequences are of applying whilst I'm still here in the UK?


From the research I've done so far, our best option seems to be that we gather all of the necessary supporting evidence immediately - we fly over together in February (me on a standard 3 month tourist visa), and we lodge my partner visa application whilst in Australia. This (I think) would grant me a bridging visa which would allow me to stay and work in Australia whilst we wait for a decision about the partner visa (which by most accounts sounds like it could take anywhere between 1-2 years).

The final important thing I read was that because we've been living together for over 3 years, if the partner visa was granted it would immediately be permanent as opposed to having to then wait another 2 years on a temporary visa.

I'm just looking for clarification about the bridging visa, as I can't see any other way that I could get over and stay in Oz when she goes in February.
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Old Aug 27th 2017, 6:13 pm   #2
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Default Re: Defacto Partner Visa - living together for 3+ years, advice saught!

Apply for it now offshore, much easier and you might even get it in time if it's straightforward. If you rock up on a tourist visa you run the risk of being turned around at the border because you aren't going to be a bone fide tourist. If the visa doesn't come in time you can either delay your departure or go over for occasional visit/s. Much better to get the visa offshore then you don't have to faff about with bridging and the risks of being very temporary (medical, employment, financial)

Your partner should get her UK citizenship before she leaves if she can, you never know when she might need to return.
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Old Aug 28th 2017, 12:41 am   #3
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Default Re: Defacto Partner Visa - living together for 3+ years, advice saught!

When exactly did your girlfriend arrive in the UK on her ancestry visa?
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Old Aug 28th 2017, 8:19 pm   #4
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Default Re: Defacto Partner Visa - living together for 3+ years, advice saught!

She arrived in May 2014 and it's a 5 year visa which could have potentially been extended through 'indefinite leave to remain' if she'd remained here the whole 5 years. Not sure what that would have translated to in terms of citizenship etc, but kind of besides the point anyway really as she's definitely leaving at start of next year.
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Old Aug 29th 2017, 1:16 am   #5
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Default Re: Defacto Partner Visa - living together for 3+ years, advice saught!

I would suggest considering staying long enough to acquire British citizenship which would be May 2019 if you were to marry.

Otherwise for the Australian partner visa it would be sensible to apply around Christmas time from the UK. If you do your health and police checks around April then that would line-up quite nicely for a January/February arrival with time to spare. Straight to PR, no bridging visa and no uncertainty.
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Old Aug 29th 2017, 7:43 am   #6
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Default Re: Defacto Partner Visa - living together for 3+ years, advice saught!

Quote:
Originally Posted by BritInParis View Post
I would suggest considering staying long enough to acquire British citizenship which would be May 2019 if you were to marry.

Otherwise for the Australian partner visa it would be sensible to apply around Christmas time from the UK. If you do your health and police checks around April then that would line-up quite nicely for a January/February arrival with time to spare. Straight to PR, no bridging visa and no uncertainty.
He could apply this Christmas and get the visa in time to go in February next year? That sounds very quick. Or did you read it as him going in February 2019?
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Old Aug 29th 2017, 8:09 am   #7
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Default Re: Defacto Partner Visa - living together for 3+ years, advice saught!

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He could apply this Christmas and get the visa in time to go in February next year? That sounds very quick. Or did you read it as him going in February 2019?
Sorry, yes, that would work for February 2019, not February 2018. If the OP wanted to go this February then applying offshore now should see it granted by February providing he uploads all the required documentation in short order and completes both his health and police checks as soon as he applies.
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Old Aug 30th 2017, 9:35 am   #8
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Default Re: Defacto Partner Visa - living together for 3+ years, advice saught!

Thanks VERY MUCH again for the further input, it's very much appreciated. I can see the potential pitfalls of waiting to apply onshore whilst on a tourist visa - as I can imagine immigration wanting to see you had a return flight, and also having concerns if you were honest and said you were intending to apply for the defacto visa whilst in the country to thus get an immediate briding visa :/ Is that a legitimate concern?

Also - I'm interested to see the suggestion that an immediate application would potentially lead to being able to go over in ~6 months time. Are the average processing times not more like 12-18 months from the date of application?

You mention about applying this Xmas, completing health/police checks after that (in April) and then potentially getting a visa approved in Jan/Feb 2019 - that seems a slightly different timeline than the suggestion of how long things would take if I applied immediately.
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Old Aug 30th 2017, 10:46 am   #9
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Default Re: Defacto Partner Visa - living together for 3+ years, advice saught!

Quote:
Originally Posted by keiller84 View Post
Thanks VERY MUCH again for the further input, it's very much appreciated. I can see the potential pitfalls of waiting to apply onshore whilst on a tourist visa - as I can imagine immigration wanting to see you had a return flight, and also having concerns if you were honest and said you were intending to apply for the defacto visa whilst in the country to thus get an immediate briding visa :/ Is that a legitimate concern?

Also - I'm interested to see the suggestion that an immediate application would potentially lead to being able to go over in ~6 months time. Are the average processing times not more like 12-18 months from the date of application?

You mention about applying this Xmas, completing health/police checks after that (in April) and then potentially getting a visa approved in Jan/Feb 2019 - that seems a slightly different timeline than the suggestion of how long things would take if I applied immediately.
Offshore is currently processing way way faster than onshore - like 5-7 months offshore as opposed to 12 - 18 - whenever onshore.

If you arrive on a one way ticket and say
Quote:
you were honest and said you were intending to apply for the defacto visa whilst in the country to thus get an immediate bridging visa
there is a pretty strong chance they will put you on the next plane home. If you come on a tourist visa you need to comewith the intention of being a tourist - even if you later change your mind once onshore.
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Old Aug 30th 2017, 10:46 pm   #10
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Default Re: Defacto Partner Visa - living together for 3+ years, advice saught!

Quote:
Originally Posted by keiller84 View Post
Thanks VERY MUCH again for the further input, it's very much appreciated. I can see the potential pitfalls of waiting to apply onshore whilst on a tourist visa - as I can imagine immigration wanting to see you had a return flight, and also having concerns if you were honest and said you were intending to apply for the defacto visa whilst in the country to thus get an immediate briding visa :/ Is that a legitimate concern?
That would be a potential pitfall. Even if you were able to do it you would have to wait for your initial visa to expire before you could transfer to your bridging visa and gain work rights - this would mean a period of at least three months when you would be unable to work. Given the processing times of onshore partner visa applications at the moment you may also potentially be looking at a two year wait on a bridging visa - not ideal.

Quote:
Also - I'm interested to see the suggestion that an immediate application would potentially lead to being able to go over in ~6 months time. Are the average processing times not more like 12-18 months from the date of application?
The quoted processing times are a global average - onshore and other offshore posts are taking far longer than London.

Quote:
You mention about applying this Xmas, completing health/police checks after that (in April) and then potentially getting a visa approved in Jan/Feb 2019 - that seems a slightly different timeline than the suggestion of how long things would take if I applied immediately.
That would be for a February 2019 arrival. The visa would be approved well before then but your police/health checks would be only valid for 12 months from their date of issue until you enter Australia for the first time to activate your visa. That's a little confusing so here would be a potential timeline:

Application lodged: December 2017
Health/police checks: April 2018 (valid until April 2019)
Visa granted: June 2018
Initial entry: February 2019 (with two months to spare)
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Old Aug 31st 2017, 5:55 pm   #11
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Default Re: Defacto Partner Visa - living together for 3+ years, advice saught!

Thanks that cleared it up!

So I can see I'd be applying for the subclass 309/100 visa as applying whilst still in the UK seems far more straight forward.

Do you have to wait until they prompt you for the health/police checks or are these done at the same time as the application? If 5-7 months is looking like the average processing time for that visa when applying from the UK, I would ideally be looking to submit the application in December this year, then be arriving in Australia by July/August 2018 - does that seem doable?

The immigration website also states that if you've been together for 3 years+ they consider that a 'long term relationship' and I would automatically get a permanent residency visa (100) once the temporary part (309) was approved.

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Old Aug 31st 2017, 6:25 pm   #12
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Default Re: Defacto Partner Visa - living together for 3+ years, advice saught!

If you're looking to move next summer then you should still apply now but maybe wait until October to get your health and police checks done to give yourself a couple of months leeway in case of emergencies. Don't wait until they are requested. Make sure you provided all the necessary documents and then your case officer can grant your application straight off the bat. Providing you provide evidence of your relationship going back at least three years from the date of lodgement then you should receive your 309 and 100 grants consecutively meaning you'll be a PR the moment you pass through immigration for the first time.
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Old Aug 31st 2017, 6:30 pm   #13
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Default Re: Defacto Partner Visa - living together for 3+ years, advice saught!

We're going to immediately start putting the application together but given the detail required I'm anticipating it'll take us at least a good few weeks to complete it sufficiently.

In that case (re: health/police checks) I'll submit them along with the application if it ends up taking us until October to have the application ready

That way, as you mention, the case officer should already have absolutely everything instead of needing to prompt me for the health/police checks.
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Old Aug 31st 2017, 8:34 pm   #14
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Default Re: Defacto Partner Visa - living together for 3+ years, advice saught!

Sounds like a plan
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