This blog really made its mark after I wrote a blog post about how I applied for the 820 defacto visa to Australia. I wrote this post because after 3 stressful months of trying to find out what exactly I needed to do to apply for the visa to stay in Australia, I wrote about my story to inspire others going through the process.
I was completely unaware of was the fact that there are two parts to this visa. Yes, two parts, meaning you have to apply for it twice because in actual fact the 820 visa is a TEMPORARY visa. After a certain amount of time (more details below) you can then apply for the permanent visa called the 801 visa.
To make this process clear, this is what has happened to date for my application and how long its taken since going through the defacto visa process:
1 February 2014 – I landed in Australia on a 3 month’s tourist visa. I knew I had 3 months to get everything ready to submit my application for the 820 partner visa otherwise I would have to leave the country. During this time I couldn’t work because I was on a tourist visa.
30 April 2014 – The last day of my 3 month tourist visa, I had successfully submitted my 820 partner visa after 3 months of hell and numerous calls to immigration wanting advice and reassurance of everything I was submitting was correct. It was a nightmare which is why I wrote the post about how I applied.
1 May 2014 – My tourist visa is now invalid BUT because immigration now have my 820 defacto partner visa application, I have now been put on a bridging visa meaning I now have full working rights and I can finally earn some money! I was sent an email as confirmation.
April 2015 – My 820 defacto visa application has finally been granted via email after 1 year of waiting!! Woo Hoo!! Bridging visa has now expired and I’m a temporary resident on this visa with full working rights.
Feb 2016 – I’m sent an email saying I’ll be able to apply for the Permanent 801 Defacto partner visa in April. The reason why is because you have to wait 1 year after you receive your 820 visa before you can apply for the permanent visa.
October 2016 – Between Feb and October I am absolutely confused as to why I have to go through this awful process AGAIN!! Why??? So I read a good post about it here and realised essentially I was having to do the same thing all over again yet this time round, I made sure I didn’t take 3 months to apply for the visa, I took 3 days to do the whole thing. Here’s my story:
1. How much did it cost?
My first worry was whether I was going to have to spend a truck load of money yet again for this visa. The answer is no. Because I had already paid for the 820 visa, it actually pays for the 801 visa as well. Phewww!!! The only thing I had to pay for was the police clearance in Australia. Yep, you have to get another one which cost something like $150 from here.
2. How much information do I have to supply for this visa?
This is the important part – you only have to supply the evidence that you’re still together with your Australian partner since you applied for the 820 visa. Essentially, that’s just 2 year’s worth of evidence if it took immigration 1 year to approve, then another year of being together in the same time frame as mine was. Obviously I was completely unaware I would have to go through this process again so I didn’t save anything. That’s no receipts, bills or anything really relating to us being a couple.
The difference this time round is we had now lived together rather than at his mum’s house before which was my biggest worry because we didn’t know if my visa would get approved because we didn’t have any evidence of us actually living together. So this time round all we needed to do was photocopy the tenancy agreements. Done. Also, there weren’t as many forms this time round either and because I hadn’t lived anywhere else or really been to another country since I came to Australia in 2014, I didn’t have to get any police checks for any other country I had lived in other than Australia.
I made it my mission this time round to get this visa application out of the way in just 3 days. I didn’t want to stress about it and I supplied way less info this time but information that I could see was needed. I also sent it again via post rather than email. I am very much a visual person and I just preferred to have everything together in my hands and send it off that way. You cannot hand it in in person.
Since I sent it off early October, I didn’t hear anything from immigration, not even an automated email to say they had received it. I then called them in January to check in and they had it but yet again the wait was going to be 1 year until I receive my PR (permanent residency). This will then mean I can leave Australia up to 5 years and still have my PR. If I don’t come back within that time, the visa is cancelled. But if I stay in Australia for just a couple more years after I get the 801 PR, I can then apply for citizenship. FINALLY!!!! What a long process!!
Again, to make it easier for any of you going through this process, here’s what I did with my contents page below.
I was sent this via a PDF as well as clear instructions with links on what forms to fill out and where to send the application form to.
What the stat dec form looks like: here’s the sponsor’s one (the Australian partner)
Other forms and links you’ll need to fill out:
stat dec by applicant – that’s the form I need to fill out
888 Forms by 2 supporting witnesses – I got my partner’s mother and aunt to fill them out. they need to be witnessed and signed by a JP
Partner visa application – information for permanent stage processing (application form) – applicant needs to fill out (that’s me the Brit)
Step 8 is the confusing step as it’s not that clear on what you need to supply. It’s exactly the same as 820 visa but of the time you’ve been together since you submitted your 820 visa so Financial Evidence, Nature of Household, Commitment to Eachother, Social Context of the Relationship are again needed. See below for what I did.
I split this application up into 4 folders:
Folder 1 – Forms (Step 1 – 7 in the checklist at the top of this post)
- Acknowledgement Letter
- Applicant’s notification of visa 820 granted
- Partner visa application
- Police clearance form (for applicant)
- Applicant’s certified copy of passport
- Sponsors ceritified copy of passport
- Statutory declaration – partner visa (applicant) stat dec by applicant
- Statutory declaration – partner visa (sponsor)
- 888 Forms by 2 supporting witnesses
Folder 2 – Financial Evidence (Step 8 on checklist)
- Certified copy of joint bank cards of applicant and sponsor
- Bank statement of joint credit card from September 2015-July 2016. Highlighted rent, bills, weekly food shop etc (we do everything together so we mainly use this account.)
Folder 3 – Nature of household (Step 8 on checklist)
- Tenancy Agreement for (named home address)
- Tenancy Agreement for (named home address)
- Truck rental confirmation for moving house
- Email correspondence with landlord for first tenancy agreement
- Email correspondence with real estate agent for second tenancy agreement
- Recent gas bill
- Recent electricity bill
- Recent internet bill
- Foxtel confirmation email
Folder 4 – Social Context of the Relationship and The Nature of Your Commitment (I combined these two together, and again this is part of Step 8 on the checklist)
- Certified copy of Relationship certificate (this is the same one I included in 820 visa but thought to include it again as it’s good proof that we are in a committed relationship
- Holidays, flights and accommodation in Australia since 2014
- Gift to partner’s aunt’s 70th birthday – flights for a holiday
- Facebook relationship status and profile picture of us both together on both FB pages.
- Documentation of us both taking part in TV show with screen shots of casting video, email correspondence with TV company and photo’s of the show on TV from FB.
- Documentation of a booking for social events together
- Recent stay at meditation retreat, email confirmation for us both and group photo of the course of us together
- Images together on FB timeline since 2014
- Valentine’s Day cards to each other since 2014
- Future holiday’s together to GC in Sep 2016 and tickets to a future gig in Dec 2016.
- Email correspondence between us whilst Annie was away in UK for 3 weeks during August 2016
This took me 3 days to organise. I put each folder in clear folders and sent it off via special delivery to Immigration.
I just need to point out the following: I do not work for immigration, I am just someone who has been through the visa process and have written this post to state what I did. I am not saying what I did is the correct way to apply for the visa. If you have any questions, I do advise you to contact immigration or a migration agent. They are the only people who can give you the most up to date and correct answers.
Thanks for reading