Wednesday, 24 March 2010

More waiting...

After my Case Officer didn't reply to my Agent's email, I picked up the telephone and made contact with Australia House.  This did feel a little bit like buying a dog and barking myself...  Clearly my Agent is a more patient man than me (or has been ground down by the bureaucracy and given up trying to pro-actively interact).

My first call went straight to voicemail; ten minutes later it was answered within three rings.  She seemed a little nervous but polite enough.  Things then went downhill. She suggested that bits of my Defacto Partner Visa application were missing and that there were still documents I needed to supply.  It took all my control to not shout "So, why the hell didn't you ask me or my agent for them?" down the telephone.  I also wished I'd kept the Special Delivery tracking numbers to prove they'd been lost in the Australia House post room.

After ten long minutes of listening to papers being shuffled around her desk - no way was I prepared to hang-up and wait for a call back! - the lost Police certificate and character references were found.  Eventually it was confirmed that my Defacto Partner Visa application was now in a position to go forward for approval sometime in MAY!!!!

That came as a bit of an unwelcome surprise.  From tracking Poms In Oz and British Expats it is apparent that the people who applied to Australia House in December 2009 for their partner visas, were much luckier in their turnaround times and now mostly have their visas.  Something has happened in 2010, to increase the Case Officer workload and increase the processing times.  Maybe the miserable winter has finally persuaded Australians living in the UK to up-sticks with their partners?  Or maybe it's a staff-shortage, as all the Case Officer's holiday in Australia in January to be guaranteed of some sunshine?  Either way it is a frustration.

Thankfully, I don't have flights booked or any immediate plans to migrate.  But it still feels like my life is on-hold with my visa application hanging over me.   Especially as the Case Officer is free to ask for more evidence (or the dreaded Form 80) at any time.  The positive I can draw from knowing about the delay is that I won't be checking my email every hour for contact from my Case Officer - until May 1st at least.

Monday, 15 March 2010

Move along... nothing to see here.

And the waiting for my Defacto Spouse visa for Australia continues.  A cleverer mind than mine pointed out that an anagram of my Case Officer's name is "Visa Scandal".  I'm not brave enough to tell her.  She didn't reply to my agents offer of more information either, so I may yet - once the boredom finals gets me.