Well after submitting document after document and help from all of our family and friends, we have finally heard that my Visa has been granted. It took almost 4 years in total which wasn’t helped because the Visa is granted in stages.
Firstly immediately upon applying I was granted a Bridging Visa which lasted about a year and meant I had to apply for a different Bridging Visa so I could leave the Country. I was able to work during this time because I was staying in Australia under a Working Holiday Visa which entitled me to work when I applied for permanent residency. I understand that not everyone can work when they first apply for this Visa so you have to check your circumstances.
Next after my application was considered and after providing further information (bank statements) I was granted Temporary Residency which removed the travel restriction. I had to wait until two years had passed from the date I first applied for the Visa to submit the final application and then my Permanent Residency was granted which took about 20 months to be processed.
Again we had to submit further information for the final stage of the Visa last October and I’m not sure if that delayed the final decision but the timeframe on the immigration website was 15 to 20 months for the final decision so I was just within that time.
At each stage we had to submit Statutory Declarations from me and the Aussie explaining how we are in a De Facto relationship, evidence from friends and family as well as Police checks and other documents. I also had to have a medical done before my temporary residence was granted which involved blood tests and an chest x-ray.
I now have a Partner Subclass 801 Visa sponsored by the Aussie which lasts for 5 years. I understand that in 5 years time I would have to apply to extend the Visa by a further 5 years or I could apply to be an Australian Citizen a year after obtaining permanent residence.
The process was lengthy and not straightforward and I feel like my experience as a Lawyer helped us a lot.
It is lovely to have the reassurance that a decision has been made, I can live in Australia now and finally have the stability that I won’t be asked to leave the Country at any moment. which was a risk if they decided not to accept my application.
We’d now like to also thank all of our family and friends who provided Statutory Declarations for us over the last few years!