Emigrating to Australia: Applying for a Partner visa (subclass 309/100), VISA GRANTED!

Wow – quite a long absence, sorry about that! Didn’t I say I was a bad diary writer?

Anyway, I thought I’d better write a post to say that my visa was granted on June 6th 2013 – a whole month ago now! I can’t quite believe how fast the time has gone. What scares me most is that I actually have just over four months left in the UK now before I board my flight to Melbourne. If a month can fly by just like this last one has, I’m sure I’m just going to blink then be on that plane.

The visa coming through when it did was a huge shock to the system, if anyone has read my posts on what we included when we applied and the next steps after that, you’ll know I’d been advised that the visa would take 8-9 months to process at a minimum. I was expecting to hear around August/September at the quickest, so to have my visa issued by early June took me by surprise.

It also freaked me out. A lot.

I think mainly it was because I wasn’t expecting it to happen so soon, and though I knew I “needed to organise stuff” at some point, I hadn’t really actually made any start on “organising stuff”. At all. I haven’t made my savings goal (yet) and basically, there’s still a pile of stuff I need to do. Plus, now we actually have a date. For the first time in nearly two years, P and I have a date where we WILL be leaving for Australia. We’re not talking about it, it’s not a plan, it’s real. I understand that applying for a visa that costs the best part of £1,500 is pretty real, don’t get me wrong, but for some reason, booking that flight made everything reality.

My initial reaction that Thursday evening was to be expected. I was ecstatic, euphoric, pick any adjective you like – I felt like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders. I felt amazing. P was happy, my parents were happy. P and I went out for dinner, we had drinks and generally celebrated. Shockingly soon however, in fact two short days later, my feelings changed. I panicked.

I’m one of those people whose mind runs away with them pretty easily. Thoughts, especially when I’m stressing, don’t come to me in nice digestible chunks. I can’t compartmentalise and I can’t turn my thoughts off. The Saturday after the visa was granted I was sat in my living room feeling completely overwhelmed by everything. The second I had thought “Oh, what about this, I need to sort that out” another “what about?” “what if?” “how do I?” “when do I?” was hot on the heels of the last thought.

Making lists tends to calm me, so I made a list, if only to silence the crazy drill Sargent in my head who was barking tasks at me. It made things worse, as now I had a list and the voice was barking “WHEN, WHEN, WHEN?!” at me. For the best part of a week or so I couldn’t think of Australia without having a panic attack.

australia_emigration_wordle1

Wordle featured on: blog.go-walkabout.co.uk

P and I had decided to get our flights booked as soon as we could, the theory being having a “deadline” would help us get organised. (I’m a world class procrastinator so sometimes I need a deadline before I can even think about getting my brain in gear.) Usually, I LOVE looking at flights and planning trips. For as long as I can remember, I have been typing Australia into the destination box then daydreaming. I have wanted to visit Australia since I was about 16 years old. I have nearly applied for a working holiday visa four times. Each time, something stopped me. First, it was that I wasn’t “ready” to do such a huge journey alone and I had no friends to travel with. Second, I had a place at university. The third time I chose an MA over a plane ticket. The fourth time – when I considered just leaving with P after I lost my job – it wasn’t right. It felt like I was just being desperate. Now, lucky time number five, it was right, it was being done properly…and I had no enthusiasm what so ever.

We decided to make it simple and go to a travel agent. Finally, after over ten years, I was booking my plane ticket to Australia! How did I feel? Nauseous. Panicked. A little depressed actually, when the money for the flight went on my credit card. Outside, P was joyous. He was going home, he was going to see his sister, he was going to see his parents. I rang my Mum. “Flight’s booked!” I declared, sort of happily. She asked if I was excited. I responded with no. Mum was also upset by the booking – I guess reality had hit for her as well. So in addition to panic mingled with apathy, I felt guilt too.

That basically sums up my feelings for the first few weeks – now since a visit from P’s Mum and a chance to talk through the emotions I wasn’t expecting to feel (well, the apathy anyway!) with just about everyone, I do, finally, feel better. My list has grown (it now covers the wall organised in a month-by-month timeframe) but that feels ok. While I’m not excited yet, I’m sure that will come. There’s just a lot of boring practical stuff to do first. 🙂

Australia: (just under) 18 weeks to go!

plane-taking-off

(gulp)

14 thoughts on “Emigrating to Australia: Applying for a Partner visa (subclass 309/100), VISA GRANTED!

  1. What a great story. We sent all our papers in February and got a CO and acknowledgement letter on the 7th of February so with 8/9 months we are expecting October November…we are hoping it will be sooner!

    • Oh, good luck! Fingers crossed it comes quickly for you too, we worked out that it took under 6 months for mine to arrive in the end so I hope yours is as speedy! Despite my panicking about everything I can honestly say that getting the grant letter through is an absolutely amazing feeling. Glad you enjoyed reading. 🙂

      • Congratulations on your visa. We applied for ours the day before you and currently still waiting for a response. I just wondered how you received the news? Was it an email? A letter in the post and did it just turn up out of the blue or did your case officer indicate that it was on its way? Just curious as the waiting is so hard and I check my emails daily and wait for the post… Be really good if you could let me know. Thanks in anticipation….. M

      • Hi Mandy,

        Thank you so much for reading and leaving me a comment. The day my visa was granted I actually had a few missed calls from my case officer. When I managed to contact her, she said she wanted to confirm that I was still living in the UK as she was in a position to grant my visa. (She did this because she couldn’t find me on her system – they might not need to ring you.) For the offshore partner visa though, it is worth remembering you have to be outside of Australia both when you apply and when the visa is granted. If you aren’t, your case officer won’t grant it until they have confirmation you have left Australia for the time it takes to grant the visa.

        Once I confirmed I was still living in the UK, she emailed me my grant letter whilst I was on the phone. It was very quick. I doubt they would send anything in the post to you as Australia House seems to prefer email to communicate with applicants. The grant letter will give you your visa grant number which immigration / employers etc can then use to check your status. Everything is electronic, sadly there’s nothing stuck in your passport which made me a bit sad. 😦 I’d say mine did just come out of the blue, I would have had no indication if my case officer didn’t ring me first, I would have just found the email. The waiting is horrible, I really hope you get some news soon. I was gob smacked mine came through when it did, I was expecting to hear around August / September as I’d been quoted an 8 – 9 month processing time.

        No news is good news though, if DIAC had a problem with your application I’m sure you would have heard by now. If you were told to go ahead and get your medical and police check done I always figured that meant they were happy enough with what you submitted for you to proceed. Fingers, toes and everything else crossed for you…I hope you get some good news soon.

    • Thank you for the reblog, I’m glad you enjoyed reading! It was actually kind of therapeutic for me to put all those overwhelming feelings into words. Can’t wait to touch down and start my Aussie Adventure. 😀

      • I try not to reblog most of the time, but every now and then I find an aticle that I really want to draw people’s attention to and sometimes reblogging is effective.

        Loved this article of yours! 🙂

    • Thank you 😀 – though this post may not sound like it, I am very, very pleased. I just can’t believe I’m going to be on that plane soon…scary! Thanks for taking the time to check out my blog and have a read.

  2. Wow, reading how you feel about such a big move brings back memories for me! Although I wasn’t sure if we would stay in the UK longer for 2 years, I was excited, nervous, sad, happy, the emotions really overwhelmed me so I can only imagine how you feel. I was homesick for about the first 5 or 6 months!! BUT looking back my time in the UK was some of the best times I’ve ever had in my life 🙂 I think you’ll really love exploring Australia. The lifestyle is so different, that’s one of the reasons I loved living in the UK, I loved being able to walk in to Liverpool city centre and having pubs everywhere, but Australia is awesome in it’s own way such as day trips, shopping, the nature, beaches and eating & loads of other things 🙂 There is SO much to do here if you really look for it. I can’t wait for you to start your adventures here in Australia, you’ll love it 😀

    • Thanks Aimee! 😀 When I hear things like that I start to feel more and more excited! I can’t wait to get to know Melbourne, I can’t wait for everything! I’ve waited to do this for a very long time and I’m hoping if I go with an open mind I won’t feel too shocked or disappointed or homesick. It’s only when I think about leaving my family and friends, packing, shipping, opening a bank account and tying up all my loose ends that I freak out. If only I could just snap my fingers and have all my stuff transported for me. We’ll get there though. I’m glad you enjoyed your time in the UK so much, I try and remind myself that with these life-changing things, you don’t tend to regret what you do, you regret what you don’t. Do you think you’ll come back here?

      • I’m glad! You definitely will have a ball exploring 😀 I missed my family LOADS but it helped that I was with my boyfriend because he always comforted me & reassured me that with time it will get easier and it did! Opening a bank account should be ok hopefully, I’m with NAB as I feel it’s quite similar to the UK bank accounts (no fees barely etc.). If you join up with the Commonwealth or other banks it can be a shock as Aussie banks LOVE to charge for anything & everything! Oh you’re completely right! I didn’t regret anything about my time in the UK, but did regret things I didn’t do. My Sis is Australian but has lived in the UK for over 10 years & has an English hubby & 2 beautiful kids, and every time she comes back to Aus she says how much she absolutely loves it & the lifestyle so I hope you’ll feel the same! My boyfriend & I may have stayed in the UK for longer (we actually planned on getting a spouse visa for him as I’m dual citizenship, however when we were there they changed the laws that I had to be a certain age for him to apply for it, and I was 3 months off that damn age!!) So things could have been very different if they didn’t change the requirements. I’m not sure what country I would be in right now! But all I can say is now that we know we will be settling down here for a little while, we have learnt to love our home city Melbourne 🙂 I think we took it for granted before we left & we really had to make a special effort to explore everything Australia has to offer. That’s why I blog about the things I do as I find it therapeutic. And as you said if you keep an open mind you’ll soon see how much there is to explore! And your family is only a phone call away 🙂 When I was in the UK I found this number to call & I was able to call my family for 1p a minute (although it was a pretty shocking line!) so I always looked forward to Sunday mornings & calling my family every weekend, and I kept blogging the entire time I was over there & sent each individual link in an email to my parents so that was another way I felt really connected to them 🙂 Anyways, sorry for the huge essay!

  3. Pingback: Wrestling with wanderlust…and depression. | Wrestling with Wanderlust

  4. Pingback: First post from Melbourne: Hey, I’m not dead! | Wrestling with Wanderlust

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