Tuesday, 29 June 2010

"I've got a golden ticket"!

Well, the email has finally arrived (after 172 Days or 24 Weeks and 4 Days of nail biting):

Dear Mr Zultan,

I  refer  to  your application for a Partner (Migrant) visa (Class BC).  On
the  basis  of  your  sponsorship  by Mrs Zultan, I am pleased to
advise that you have been granted a subclass 100 visa. 

I note that for the first time during the application my Case Officer sent the email to my agent and not to me.  I must have upset her when I pesterered her directly last week as she sent me a stock standard response:

For the 2009-10 program year the Government has allocated 60,300 places in
the Family Stream (including 45,000 places for Partner visas, reflecting
their high priority). The planning levels for each visa category within
the Family Stream reflect the priorities allocated to these categories.
The Department has a responsibility to ensure that the numbers of visas
granted overall and within each visa category are in accordance with the
agreed planning levels. As a visa category approaches it's planning level,
this means that some cases may not be finalised as quickly as our clients
or the Department would want. We have a responsibility to ensure that visa
grants within the Family Stream reflect the priorities set by the
Government and we will manage this in the most fair and reasonable way

I appreciate that you would like to have your application finalised. I
thank you for your patience and wish to assure you that every effort is
being made to finalise your application as soon as it is possible to do so. 


Which sent me away with my tail betwen my legs.  So here is the time line of my visa application:

Application Submitted - 07/01/10
Payment taken - 12/01/10
CO Assigned, Medical and Police Certs requested - 14/01/10
Police Cert sent via Special Delivery - 26/01/10
Medical completed - 05/02/10
Medical results sent by Panel Doc to Australia House - 15/02/10
CO Acknowledged receipt of medical results (after prodding from me!) - 18/02/10
Partner Visa Subclass 100 GRANTED - 29/06/2010 at 23:02

My passport was sent off first thing this morning, so now I need to find something else to worry about.. But first a large drink!! Wahoo!! :o)

Friday, 11 June 2010

Australia Defacto Spouse Visa - an expensive hobby

So, as I cross the 22 weeks of waiting mark I've been reflecting on how expensive an activity the process of applying to Australia  House for my Defacto Spouse Visa has been - both in terms of time (nearly eleven months since we had the idea) and money (to date just over £3,000).

Visa fee - £1000 (the weak £ and strength of the $AUD didn't help)
Agent's fee - £700 (money well spent for the peace of mind)
Medical - £196 (Bridge Clinic in Maidenhead gets my thumbs up)
Police Certificate - £35 (Absolute rip-off!)
Police SAR - £10 (Not required for everyone, did it to help my addled brain)
Certfied Copies - £90 (in the end solicitor's were much easier than magistrates)
Special Delivery - £30 (various bits to my agent and to Australia House)
Train fare - £30 (to my medical)
Flight to Australia to validate my visa - £930 (more expensive because of visa delays)

Total == £3,021 (ouch!)

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

153 Days -- or -- 21 Weeks and 6 Days (and counting!!)

So here we are in June and still waiting for my Defacto Partner visa.  Although we do have major progress on the migration front, in that our single tickets to Brisbane are now booked for April 2011 (again, with Singapore Air).  We decided it was best to draw a line in the sand and work backwords from there.  Still in a bit of shock if I'm honest.

Anyhow on to a brief book review: 'How to Settle Successfully In Australia' by Emigration Australia.  Let me start off by saying I really wanted to like this book.  Its main author is a regular poster at one of the forums I frequent and seems an amiable enough chap and for certain a lot of love and effort went into the book's production.  But....  - and my mother told me if I didn't have anything nice to say I should stay quiet - I don't think I got my money's worth from it.

The book is very verbose in some areas, to say the least.  The chapter "What is the boomerang syndrome' could have easily distilled down to "an overwelming desire to return, or stay in the UK" but instead runs to four pages.  In 'Look before you leap' the author tells that we should RESEARCH, RESEARCH, RESEARCH and that he has 1485 books on Australia.  What he doesn't do is actually offer any advice as to where to do your research, what to research or which of his books are a decent read.  'Don't sell you house in the UK' would have been succint enough advice, because certainly the chapter doesn't offer any practical guidance on how you might keep your house in the UK whilst you find out if Australia is for you.

Another chapter 'The Credit Crunch', you'd expect to read about how Australia is fairing during the first Global Financial Crisis?  Instead - aside from the waffle - the author dedicates the entire chapter to an anecdotal story about the number of Australians resident in backpacker hostels.  Nothing about house prices, employment, banking, the economy in general or commodity mining..

Anyway, I've said too much.  To balance out my Karma I'm happy to send the book free of charge to the first person to send me an email to: Sorry the book has now gone!