Getting Started

To move or visit anywhere, you need a visa. Get used to saying this word, because depending on your situation, it will become a daily part of your vocab and life for many months. These immigration/visa and discussion board links helped me immeasurably:

Tips on the Visa Process in Sydney
It took six months for my temporary spouse visa to be approved.
Here’s what I learned while pursuing  this visa in Sydney, Australia. This is my experience and perspective—I am not offering legal or migration advice.

  • Invest in a printer that also has a scanner. You will be making lots of copies.
  • I had all my certificates and certified copies (marriage, divorce, birth, passport) ready to go before I started the whole process.
  • I had my fingerprint/criminal background check completed before leaving the States. I front-loaded it with my application instead of waiting to be told to pursue it. I believe that it sped up the process significantly.
  • Because you have to use an Australian panel-certified doctor, it was cheaper and easier to do my medical in Sydney rather than in the States. And the medical is a piece of cake in terms of what they do. If you get to the office and it is packed, and it probably will be, don’t worry. They have that place running like a well-oiled machine.
  • My experience using a migration agent was so-so. In the end, we had to file a form to have him removed because his communication skills were awful and we weren’t happy with his progress on our behalf.
  • When I called the immigration telephone line, I got different answers depending on who I spoke with. Getting answers was faster, easier, and more reliable when I went to the DIAC office in Sydney on Lee Street, in person.

Bridging Visas and Permission to Work or Travel
Without getting into full details surrounding my visa, know this: I could not work during the six months I was waiting for the visa. Not working was not only difficult financially, it was excruciating mentally.

p-passport-stamps

I found out too late in the wait that I could (and eventually did) get permission to work while my application was in process. I had heard that it was very difficult to get permission to work, but in reality it ended up being a snap for me.  If you move on a work visa, that is great. If not, this is what I learned:

  • I could not apply for permission to work while on a tourist visa, but once I was issued a bridging visa, I could use form 1005 to change the conditions of my bridging visa (which inherited the conditions of the visa I entered on).
  • I presented Form 1005 and some Australian-based bills (electricity, Internet, phone, rent), and was granted permission to work on the spot. The woman hardly even looked at my documentation.

On the subject of bridging visas…if you’re on one, you must obtain permission if you need to travel outside Australia. I completed form 1006, took it to DIAC at Lee Street, paid $90 AUD, and was granted permission to travel that very day—they put a sticker in my passport.

I can’t remember the time frame, but I had to complete my travel and be back in Australia within 60-90 days, I think. I also seem to remember the woman saying that if you DO travel with permission, your visa application kind of goes on hold until you get back. I never got the chance to test this out because my visa ended up being approved a week after I had applied for permission to travel, and I hadn’t left Australia yet.

Next: Getting Settled

Comments

  1. Chiara Demandante says

    Hello,

    Good day. Id like to ask when you submitted Form 1005? I submitted my to DIAC last August 15, 2010 and until now I havent got any reply from them.

    thank you

    Chiara

    • says

      Hi Chiara, I had submitted my 1005 in-person, last year around this time, and they processed it the same day. You should call DIAC, or resubmit the form in person if you are in Sydney. But call DIAC first. They’re pretty good about taking calls and getting back to you. Good luck!

  2. Nick says

    Hi

    Im still waiting for my partner visa to be process in the mean time i stil hold a student visa. Howver I need to work as Iam no longer studying and
    in the process of canceling my student visa to applying for a bridgeing visa E and also form 1005 for rights to work due to financial hardship.
    Do you have any tips as to how I can prove financial hardship e.g if we have some savings in our bank account
    would that affect the outcome? My wife have 10,000 in her account however it is not her $ she is holding onto the $ givin to her by her mother
    to help save it for her.
    We are doing it tough as my wife was not working for a few months and spent all our savings and though she just found casual employment
    i dont want to be struggling again thus i need to work to help with the bills too.

    big thanks

    regards Nick

    • says

      Nick, I’m not an immigration attorney but what I would do is this: Ask her mother if you can transfer the money back to her temporarily, since it is hers. Gather ALL your bills…mobile, rent, electric, Internet, and take them with you to the immigration office in Sydney, along with the completed form for financial hardship. Honestly, when I went with my forms, as I noted above, it was a fast review of the paperwork in-hand. No one checked any bank accounts. I can’t remember if the form requires you to list your bank account number…it probably does not, and if that’s the case, so I wouldn’t even worry about the $10K. Just gather all your bills and present yourself IN PERSON and they will likely approve it.

      Good luck!

  3. says

    Im still waiting for my partner visa to be process in the mean time i stil hold a student visa. Howver I need to work as Iam no longer studying and
    in the process of canceling my student visa to applying for a bridgeing visa E and also form 1005 for rights to work due to financial hardship.
    Do you have any tips as to how I can prove financial hardship e.g if we have some savings in our bank account
    would that affect the outcome? My wife have 10,000 in her account however it is not her $ she is holding onto the $ givin to her by her mother
    to help save it for her.
    We are doing it tough as my wife was not working for a few months and spent all our savings and though she just found casual employment
    i dont want to be struggling again thus i need to work to help with the bills too.

    +1

  4. Pritesh says

    Hi,

    After canceled my 572 student visa, i have already applied form 1005 with all proof my bank statements and letter from my sponsors. they gave decission that my sponsor can give me money to survive. but those money for study while, i am alrady running behind to my monthly budget and i am facing really hard time. i am going to apply once again from my lawyer but my lawyer suggest that i should not go direct to apply working permission again and i must apply through them. and i also afraid to do mistake. i dont know what to do? alrady rejected first application of working permission and want to apply. please suggest me if you can guide me

    Regards,
    Pritesh

    • says

      Sorry, Pritesh, I am not an immigration officer or attorney so I cannot advise you about your situation. I would follow my attorney’s advice if I were you.

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