So, this is my first ever post written for Wrestling with Wanderlust from Melbourne, Australia, and let me tell you, I wasn’t ever expecting to be writing it ten months after we landed. To recap for any readers who might be new, in November 2013 I moved from the UK, my home of twenty-seven years, to Melbourne, Australia, with my partner P. We had met three years earlier in a Japanese evening class in the city of Oxford where I moved in 2007 to complete my Master’s degree.
I have had a fascination with Australia for as long as I can remember, I’m not sure where it sprang from entirely but I’m probably going to blame watching Crocodile Dundee and The Rescuers Down Under too much as a child. The early nineties were a time when the whole of the UK was pretty much having a massive love affair with the Land Down Under, and I was growing up right in the middle of it. Australia was just a huge exotic land that was so far away from everything I knew. The sun shone all the time and there were vast stretches of beach everywhere according to Neighbours and Home and Away. The men fell into two camps – floppy haired, bronzed, fun-loving surfer dudes or sexy and brooding Outback dwellers who had muscles and accents to die for. The wildlife was unique and exciting, not to mention deadly.
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.
Australia House: Home of the Australian High Commission. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Firstly, thank you to everyone who has “liked” or decided to follow this blog so far, whether through WordPress or Facebook. I’m very new to blogging and any kind of encouragement means a lot. Thank you. 🙂
So an update as to where I am up to in the application process:
I finally received my police clearance certificate on Thursday 2nd May and posted it with a photocopy to Australia House in London on Tuesday 7th May. I received an email from my case officer at the embassy on Thursday 9th telling me that she has received my certificate and that now there is nothing else outstanding on my file. She also told me my medical results had been received and that they were clear – which was the part I was most worried about! Phew! So now, I have nothing else to submit and at last, after just under five months, my application is complete. I’m pleased, relieved, excited and…nervous. Now we are at the most difficult stage: the waiting.
But let’s back up a bit. What exactly happened after P and I submitted the application?
The beast in all its completed glory!
Now I’ve talked a little about how P and I met and why we decided to take the plunge and apply for a Partner visa, I thought it might be useful for all the prospective applicants out there if I told you about what we actually included in our application. We made the decision to do this in January 2012, roughly six weeks after we moved in together. However, we were only able to submit our application nearly a year after this, as in order to be eligible for the visa, we needed to have been in a de facto relationship for the entire 12 months immediately prior to lodging our application. Periods of dating don’t count towards this “one-year relationship requirement” so it didn’t matter that we had been together over a year before moving in together.
Before doing this I’d never really heard of the term “de facto relationship”. So what does that actually mean? According to the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC):
De facto relationship: Both parties have a mutual commitment to a shared life to the exclusion of all others, their relationship is genuine and continuing. They live together, or do not live separately or apart on a permanent basis.
Keep this definition in mind when you are putting your application together. This is what your application form and all the supporting evidence you include is trying to demonstrate.
So my first post! I have to admit I’ve never been much of a diary writer, though I’ve tried to be numerous times! Let’s hope I’m a better blogger, though judging by the gap between creating my “about” page and writing this first post I’m not that hopeful!!
If you’ve read my ‘about’ page you’ll already know that I met my partner of over two years in a Japanese evening class in October 2010 held here in Oxford where we’re currently living. We had known each other for about a month as friends before we started dating. Originally, the plan was to meet up and practice our Japanese together as his was (and probably still is) more advanced than mine. However the Japanese lessons were kind of abandoned early on as things took a different path 🙂 From the moment we got together, P was pretty adamant that he aimed to travel back to Australia in November 2011, in time to celebrate his younger sister’s 18th birthday that December. As sad as it was to be beginning a relationship that apparently already had an “expiration date” we continued regardless. We had a lot in common, similar interests and tastes in a lot of things and I was determined to make the most of what time we had, whatever happened at the end of that next year.