Hey all! Long time, no visa update. ;) If you haven’t seen this blog before, have a look on the right hand side of the screen for a brief overview of my Australian partner visa journey. For anyone new to the 820/801 visa process, essentially when you apply for the 820 (temporary residency) you are also applying for the 801 (permanent residency). Two years after the date you lodge the 820 application, you become eligible to lodge the 801 application. There are NO FURTHER FEES to pay when you apply for the 801 (aside from those you might incur from police checks). When you applied for the 820, you ALSO applied for the 801, so the fee was included in that price.
On January 16, 2015, about two months and a week before my eligibility date for my 801 visa, I received an e-mail from Immigration saying it was time to start thinking about the 801 visa. The e-mail included step-by-step instructions for applying online or via post as well as a checklist of items to include.
Among the things NOT listed below that ARE on this checklist include: an Australian national police certificate, a statutory declaration from the sponsor, and two witnessed Form 888s from people who know us and can say we are in a genuine and continuing relationship. I would recommend applying for the police check early on as it can take a while (though mine was processed in one business day and sent out!). If you’ve lived in another country for a year or more AFTER you applied for the 820, you will also need to get a police certificate from that country. This did not apply to me.
I was told by some knowledgeable people on an immigration forum that DIBP is really cracking down on the 801 visas as fraud cases continue to sneak past the 820 stage. This is unfortunate for those of us who are in legitimate relationships as it means we need to provide just as much evidence of our genuine and continuing relationship as we did for the 820.
Luckily, I feel like I have even more evidence this time around. For the last two years since I applied for the 820, I’ve kept a little storage box on a bookshelf in the lounge room. Whenever I remembered, I tossed in ticket stubs, receipts after going out to eat, plane tickets, etc. I’ve also kept online reservations for joint travel in a specific folder in my e-mail inbox. I think these are great tips for you if you’ve just applied for your 820–keep everything in one place, that way when it comes time to apply for the 801 you don’t need to go searching for things!
Anyway, I applied online. In addition to the evidence below, the online application includes a variety of information that is more or less the same as what you would have filled out for the 820: details of the applicant and sponsor, passport information, countries you’ve visited, etc. etc. etc. After you fill out this information, you submit the application and THEN attach all of the evidence. My evidence being:
- A variety of credit card and debit card statements from joint accounts showing major expenses (joint travel, vet bills), as well as regular household expenses (rent, food, utilities).
- A note on this one: I did the most recent statements from the past 6 months for both our savings account and credit card account, PLUS a couple of extra statements showing the major purchases. It seemed like a lot, but better more than less, am I right?
- Copy of both our credit cards showing they are the same account (I am a secondary cardholder and my name does not show up on the credit card statement)
- Copy of Europe Trip itinerary + plane tickets (for some reason we only have our tickets going TO Europe and not coming back, but hey–they know we’re in the country!)
- All Europe train tickets (7)
- All Europe accommodation reservations (10)
- Tour reservations in Europe (5)
- Ticket stubs from castles, museums, and zoos in Europe.
- Ticket stubs from plays seen at QPAC in Brisbane (3)
- Ticket stubs from movies seen over the last few years. (I would recommend scanning these as soon as you get them as they fade fast!)
- Ticket stubs from a museum event we attended together.
- A selection of photos of us together in Europe.
- Our Facebook Friendship page.
Nature of Our Commitment to Each Other
- Facebook communication during time apart (3 weeks).
- Skype communication during time apart.
- Our Super Fund Beneficiary information, showing each other as sole beneficiaries.
Nature of Household
- A copy of our most current lease.
- An envelope showing both our names and address.
- A statement about the division of household chores.
- Vet Vaccination Certificates for both cats showing both our names as “owners”
- Vet bill showing both our names as “owners”
- Bank statements from joint accounts showing major household purchases such as a couch, fridge, and mattress.
I hope that this post provided you with some inspiration of evidence to include with your application. If you’re going through the Australian partner visa process, I would love to hear about your journey so far and I would be happy to answer questions you have (to the best of my ability) in the comments below. Keep in mind that I am NOT a migration agent–just someone going through the same process as you!
Below you can find links to my other visa-related posts for easy navigation: