After the success of my post How To Apply For A Defacto Partner Visa 820 To Australia it’s pretty clear an Q&A post is in order. I have a lot of people email me asking very similar questions so I thought I’d write all the answers in a post which should hopefully help you all and save you time waiting to hear back from me.
Disclaimer – Just to remind you that I don’t work for Immigration and I can only talk about my experience with applying for the 820 defect0 visa. I would as always advise everyone to contact immigration to answer any questions you may have.
1. Can I apply for the 820 Visa whilst on a Tourist Visa?
I came into Australia on the shortest tourist visa I could find back in January 2014 on a 3 month tourist visa. I then spent those three months gathering up all the info I could for the visa and applied just before the tourist visa was up. During this time you’re not allowed to work and I didn’t even bother trying to get cash in hand work out of the fear of being found out. You have to remember this visa is expensive so it’s not worth taking the risk.
2. At What Point Do I Go Onto A Bridging Visa?
Here’s my example of this – I came into Australia on 1st February 2014 on a tourist visa. As this visa was for 3 months, I sent in my application for the 820 visa at the end of April. On the 1st May I went straight onto a Bridging Visa. I wasn’t sent confirmation, this was what I was told from Immigration. You will only go onto the Bridging Visa as long as you have sent in your visa application BEFORE your tourist visa finishes. You must make sure Immigration have your application before the tourist visa finishes. For more information on Bridging Visas click here.
3. At What Point Can I Start Work Whilst On A Bridging Visa?
Between the 1st February – 30th April, I was on a tourist visa. On the 1st May I automatically went onto a Bridging Visa. I remember calling Immigration a lot to double check it was all legit for me to be able to work from that date as I wasn’t sent any confirmation letting me know that I was then on a bridging visa and still able to stay in the country. Treat the Bridging Visa pretty much the same as a normal working visa, you can work the entire time before the 820 visa is granted.
TIP – Go to a recruiter and line up work to start as soon as your Bridging Visa is granted. I found Chandler Macleod the best for temp work that got me started. I did Admin work and if you go down the same route, I recommend trying to work in a Government Role as they pay the best ($30+ per hour).
5. Should I apply On Line or Send In The Post?
Immigration will encourage you to apply online and it’s a better way to apply as you can upload documents at any given time and you can track the process after you’ve applied. I sent mine in the post (you can’t send it in person) because I printed out all the forms and I had a lot of documentation so I found it easier to do it that way.
6. My partner and I have been together for more than a year yet we can’t prove we have been living together
I met my Australian boyfriend during my travels. We then moved in with his mum 2 months later in Sydney for 1 year (I was on a working holiday visa) whilst we saved for another round the world trip. We had no intention of moving back to Sydney so we didn’t have any documents proving that we lived together for that year. I found envelopes from cards, bank statements, pay summary etc that had the same address on so we could prove it that way, anything that was dated really and we also got my boyfriend’s mum to write a stat dec saying we lived with her for that year and didn’t pay rent or bills.
TIP – remember the point of this application is to prove you are in a genuine relationship so you need to prove this in as many ways as possible. I sent in photos of myself with my boyfriend’s family to receipts for gigs we went to etc.
7. I haven’t been with my partner 1 year yet but can I still apply for the 820 visa?
I get this question quite a lot. A friend I worked with was in a similar situation. I couldn’t really advise him as I wasnt in the same boat and told him to ask immigration. He did apply and as far as I know his British girlfriend is still in Australia over a year later so looks like it all worked out. Please do ask immigration about this.
8. How many Stat Decs Form 888 Do I Need to include in my application?
I included 6 Stat Decs. That was 4 from my boyfriend’s family, 1 of my boyfriend’s family friend and one from my British friend whom I went to school with who is now an Australian Resident. I think get as many as you can. They will need to get a JP to sign the form as well.
9. What Happen Next?
A lot of people ask me what happens after you submit your application? I got an email from Immigration saying they had received the application a few days after I submitted it. 6 months later I received an automated email from Immigration asking me to submit the following if I hadn’t done so already:
- Fill out Form 80
- Police Clearance from Australia and home country
- Complete the health assessment
- Change of circumstances
You must inform us of any change in your circumstances which affects any answer to a question in your application form, for example:
- If you change residential address for more than 14 days;
- If the composition of your family changes as a result of birth or death;
- If your relationship status changes (eg married, separated, divorced, ceased);
- If you intend to travel outside Australia;
- If changes occur affecting your name, passport, character, health.
I had completed all of these task before I applied for the visa and included them in the original application to make sure I didn’t delay anymore time. I just had to inform them that I changed my address.
I then called immigration a few times to ask how my visa was coming along and they would always say “call us back after a year has passed as that’s how long the processing currently is”. I’ve heard people have had a case worker visit them to check if their relationship is genuine, but I had nothing whatsoever.
Hope this was of some use to you all. If you have any more questions, please let me know by contacting me here.
See more of my Expat Posts here.
Thanks and best of luck to your life living in Australia!