Things We Included in Our Australian Partner Visa (820) Application

13 Apr

**EDIT: This visa was GRANTED on January 6, 2014! Nothing was added to the application (save for the required police checks and medical) so all evidence here was enough to see us through. Check out more ideas for evidence to include by looking at Things We Included in Our Second Stage Australian Partner Visa (801) Application.

I thought I would start a series of visa-related posts.

I wanted to post this list for anyone going through the same visa process that Cal and I are going through. I think it will help give people some ideas about what to include, as a lot of what I included were suggestions from other people. I am obviously NOT an expertΒ so take from this what you will. Cal and I applied for an onshore Partner Visa subclass 820 on marriage grounds. I’m from the US (low risk country) and he’s an Australian citizen.

For the last several weeks I’ve been browsing visa help forums and web pages and found everything helpful (and somewhat terrifying). The biggest issue with this visa isn’t the 40-page long forms, but supplying “proof of a genuine and continuing relationship” which, I read, is meant to make up about 70% of your application.

Australian Immigration lays out four categories to fulfill for a “genuine and continuing relationship”: financial aspects, nature of the household, social context, and nature of your commitment to each other. Also statements about the history of your relationship–how you met, future plans, that sort of thing.

Forums are both helpful and terrifying because on the one hand, you can ask questions and get ideas for what to provide. On the other, you can see what people have posted that they’ve provided and your eyes will bulge and you’ll think, “I don’t have nearly enough! Who saves receipts for a dinner date from 2005??”

The problem being, in our case, that we HAVE been together since 2005. We were 15 and not really thinking about saving various random “evidence” to prove our relationship down the track. Not really sure how older people even think to do it. But I would say WE are the majority rather than them. So. Without further ado, here is what we’ve included in our visa application:

Cover letter explaining that the police check from the FBI is on its way, and that the medical will be completed as soon as advised. (Check out our sample cover letter here.)

Table of Contents:

  1. Document Checklist
  2. Completed Form 47SP
  3. Completed Form 40SP
  4. Sponsor’s payslips from the last two months.
  5. Documents to prove Identity, all certified copies: Applicant’s passport, Birth Certificate, social security card, state ID, Tax File Number, Australian Business Number. Sponsor’s passport, Birth Certificate, 18+ card, medicare card.
  6. Two passport-sized photos each of the Applicant and Sponsor.
  7. Completed Form 80.

Financial Aspects:

  1. Joint bank account statements.
  2. Also, and I think this should fall under this category: solo trans-Pacific flight itineraries, including price. (We spent literally thousands of dollars to see each other every year–could also go under “commitment” category.)

Nature of Household:

  1. Lease naming both of us as tenants.
  2. Statement about household duties (who does what around the house).

Social Context of the Relationship:

  1. Two witnessed Form 888s (one from a mutual friend, one from Sponsor’s brother).
  2. Snapshot of our Facebook “Friendship” showing 49 mutual friends, posting on each other’s wall, timeline dating to 2005, married Facebook status (2 pages).
  3. Joint travel–flight/hotel itinerary to New Zealand, plus a tour booking confirmation showing both our names.
  4. Wedding photos and a brief selection of other photos showing us in various locations, with various people. Included date, place, and who we were with in a short title above each photo. (Keep this one short–we included about a dozen photos. They don’t want entire albums.)

Nature of Commitment to Each Other:

  1. Certified copy of our marriage certificate.
  2. Itemised list of Skype incoming/outgoing calls from June 2011 to present. Included to/from username and display name, date, and duration of the call. (I used “Skype Log View” to get this information–google it.) Note that for Skype to Skype calls, as all ours were, the history is stored on the device on which Skype was used. We have been using Skype since 2006, but our oldest unbroken computer only had history from 2011, when it was first used. Keep that in mind if you’re switching computers–get that history first!)
  3. Itemised list of e-mails from Cal to Emily from 2005 to 2012. (We did think to save these. This includes over 400 e-mails.)
  4. Itemised list of e-mails from Emily to Cal from 2005 to 2012 (700 e-mails. Note, this is a LIST, not the actual content. We printed the pages from our inboxes, so it has whose e-mail inbox it’s from, who the e-mail is from, the subject, and date sent.)

So. This isn’t nearly as much as I’ve seen on some people’s lists, but I do (knock on wood) think that it’s enough. There is something to satisfy each category, the e-mails show how long we’ve been in contact with each other, the photos and Form 888s show our family do know/approve of us, and it shows we live together (and would very much like to continue doing so).Β I don’t there’s any use in panicking about not having enough if you’ve given just about all that you can think to provide.

My visa timeline:

APPLIED: March 25, 2013

POLICE CHECKS: Requested November 25, 2013. Australian check provided December 9, 2013. US check provided January 6, 2014.

MEDICAL: Requested November 25, 2013. Completed December 9, 2013.

CASE OFFICER ASSIGNED: November 25, 2013.

APPROVED: January 6, 2014.

NOTE ON THE POLICE CHECKS: I applied for and received the Australian police certificate within a week, with the Easter holidays affecting service/mail. I applied from within Australia. I applied for the US FBI police check and the payment came out of my account 8 weeks later. I haven’t yet received results, but you should allow up to 12 weeks for processing. EDIT: So, I received another fingerprint card in the mail from the FBI on April 22 because my fingerprints were not high-quality enough to process. Ugh! I went to the police station (no appt. required, free) and got them redone on April 26 and sent them back to the FBI on the same day. I really wish they would have e-mailed me to tell me and I could have gotten them in two weeks sooner. Ah, well. The waiting game continues…

POLICE CHECK EDIT, SEPTEMBER 24, 2013: So, I finally caved and sent in ANOTHER application for an FBI Police Check. I never received any notification about what happened to the last one, so I decided to take a few extra precautions which I probably should have done the last two times. First, I got my fingerprints done TWICE and sent in both copies. That way, if one fingerprint wasn’t able to be read, perhaps it would be able to be read on the other sheet. Second, I tracked the envelope I sent it in so that I know when/if it arrives. Last time, I didn’t even need to pay, so I had no way of knowing if the thing ever even got there. However, it looks like the forms have been updated from last time, and the wait time is now 5-6 weeks, so that’s something. Hopefully I’ll have a positive update come November.

How is your visa journey going? What did you include in your partner visa application that might be helpful for others to know about? Let me know in the comments below! Meanwhile, if you’d like more information on how my visa is going, check out these links.


66 Responses to “Things We Included in Our Australian Partner Visa (820) Application”

  1. Chelsea May 28, 2013 at 11:28 pm #

    Thanks for your post about your visa post! I’m turning in mine in one week and picking my brain for any last minute additions! What a process/waiting game!

    • inkhearted May 28, 2013 at 11:33 pm #

      I’m glad it was helpful! And tell me about it–I’m STILL waiting for my US police check to arrive (they sent back my first set of fingerprints saying it was too low-quality, so I had to send back another… hello, second 8-week wait!) so I know I’m not even being considered yet. Ugh. Let me know how your process goes! Hopefully it’s a smooth one.

      • Catherine September 4, 2014 at 12:32 pm #

        hi good afternoon,

        i am catherine and i just received an email from immigration about request of further evidence of our relationship. We lodge our visa last Januray 10 2014. i just want to ask where did you write your statement about household duties? i might add that coz i didn’t included that last time.. thank you..

      • inkhearted September 21, 2014 at 2:40 pm #

        Hi Catherine, sorry it’s taken me a while to get back to you! For household duties, I just typed up a little statement in a Microsoft Word document saying things like, “I cook dinner. Partner does the dishes. I do the washing. Partner mows the lawn.” I applied with a paper application,so I just printed it out and signed it. I didn’t use a specific form or anything. Let me know if you have any other questions!

    • Jema April 19, 2015 at 9:15 pm #

      You are amazing for taking the time to write about the visa application process! We applied online, but there is so much data to submit before you pay that we had to organize ourselves without knowing we’d have to reorganize once we saw the online system.

      Because it would have saved us a *ton* of time to know how they label all the evidence types, I took screenshots of the whole system for the benefit of others who might be applying in the future. Exhausting, but I hope it helps someone!

      Any ideas of where else I could share it? I’ve posted it in a few forums, but I don’t know how to get the information out to people. I might have added a link with this reply (don’t know how this form works, but maybe?)

      Cheersl! ❀

      • inkhearted April 20, 2015 at 5:41 am #

        Hi Jema! I’m glad you found the blog helpful. Looks like your name is a link to your online info. Would you mind if I put a link in the body of the blog post as well? That’s some very helpful information! I used the online form to apply for my second stage visa, and it was so frustrating not knowing all of that beforehand!

        Thanks so much for the link; I’m sure others will appreciate it too!

      • Jema April 20, 2015 at 2:13 pm #

        Hi there! Yes – I’m so surprised there isn’t a more comprehensive online resource. I guess they’re called migration agents, hey? πŸ™‚

        Definitely fine to put a link in the body of the post. Like you said – super frustrating not to be able to see the whole system until after you’ve paid! My poor partner had our documents really well organized and numbered – it blew his whole system! 😦

        Cheers and happy visa-ing to all! πŸ™‚

  2. morgofborg September 4, 2013 at 10:22 am #

    Hey Emily, im just curious what visa you were on when you applied for the 820 visa?

    • inkhearted September 4, 2013 at 11:06 am #

      Hi! I was on a work and holiday visa (subclass 462). It allowed me to be in the country for a year and working (though I could only work in one place for six months at a time). This visa was slightly different from a working holiday visa, which allows people to stay in the country for two years provided they do some “country service” time.

      Let me know if you’d like any more information! I love to hear from people going through the visa process. =)

  3. morgofborg September 4, 2013 at 11:21 am #

    Wow!! Thanks for the fast response! I’m exactly the same story. I’m on a 462 visa and about to submit a 820 visa. Any chance you have tried applying for work rights extensions or whatever they are called? I really like the job I currently have, and we are living in a rural area where work is short as it is. My understanding is the bridging visa A will have the same 6 months limitations as the 462 visa?
    Also, any concern about applying for a marriage visa on a holiday visa? It should help that we are married, but I worry that they might think I was being dishonest when I entered on a temporary working holiday visa. Of course I did that to be with my partner, but I worry regardless.
    This whole thing is major stress

    • inkhearted September 4, 2013 at 8:57 pm #

      Actually, there isn’t any limitation on bridging visa A anymore! I was worried about that when I applied as well, but I asked the woman when we were turning in our visa about the work limitations, and she said there weren’t any. It used to be that the bridging visa gave you the same working rights as your previous visa, but that changed in November, I believe. My bridging visa letter also doesn’t mention anything about work limitations.

      If you’re turning the visa in in person, I’d definitely ask about it if you’re still concerned, but I’ve been working for the same people and no one’s contacted me saying I can’t! I think because the change was so (relatively) recent there isn’t a lot of information out there about it yet. Hope that helps!

      As for being concerned about applying on a holiday visa, there is some concern in the back of my mind, but the two of us have been together for so long and had so many e-mails documenting that that I think we’ll be okay. In our personal statements we also explained why we applied for a working holiday visa vs., say, an offshore partner visa. For us, we said because my husband was still in uni when I came over we weren’t sure exactly where we were going to end up when he graduated and I wanted to live in Australia for a while before I decided I wanted to move permanently. Seemed reasonable enough to me, and it was true. If you put an explanation in, it should ease your mind a bit.

      I agree, the whole thing is extremely stressful. I spent hours agonizing over my application. Still haven’t heard anything from anyone nearly 6 months on. :/ But no news is good news, I suppose!

      • tess February 11, 2014 at 11:37 pm #

        Congrats on the approval and thanks for taking the time to write this blog, Lots of info and its been really helpful:-)
        I’m currently completed the same application and was wondering if you could help me with a few questions I have (when i ring immigration they keep me on hold for half the day, useless:-)
        We have lots of loose paperwork (e.g boarding cards, invitations, ticket stubs etc) would it be best to copy them or send in the originals? Also on the forms it asks if you are known by any other names (eg preferred name). My first name is Theresa (its on all legal paperwork) but my nickname is Tess and basically everyone calls me that, should I write that in. I know these are relatively small things but were doing this on our own so want to be 100% sure before I lodge it. Any advice would be great:-0
        Tess x

        PS. Sorry another Q: Before we moved in together (and commenced our defecto relationship) we were in a long distance relationship for 6 months, should i include all correspondence even though this was before our defecto relationship began???

      • inkhearted February 12, 2014 at 12:50 am #

        Hi Tess! I’m glad the blog has been helping you out. It can be frustrating trying to find anything out from immigration–I’ve been there! I hope I can answer your questions.

        1. I would definitely make copies of your loose paperwork and send the copies in rather than the originals, particularly if they have any sentimental value–I’m not sure how much of that sort of thing Immigration would return once a decision is made. If you are submitting a paper application, you’ll want to get the copies certified by a JP. If you are submitting your application online, I believe you can just scan colored copies in without getting them certified.

        2. For the “any other names” question, I believe they mean “official” names, or completely different names (for instance, if you were an author and had a penname or something). I don’t think they need to know about nicknames, but there’s certainly no harm in including it if it makes you feel more comfortable to do so!

        3. Yes, you will want to include some correspondence from the time that you were apart. It will certainly add some weight to your application! My husband and I were long distance for a long time before we got married and we included a lot of information in regards to that. To show that we were still in contact during that time, we printed off a list of e-mails and a list of Skype records (not the actual e-mails or chat logs; immigration doesn’t like sorting through too much of this. You can include excerpts of correspondence, though, so an e-mail here or there that you think is relevant. For instance, an e-mail that talks about plans to see each other).

        I hope that helps!! Let me know if you have any other questions. πŸ™‚

  4. tess February 19, 2014 at 12:20 am #

    Thanks so much for the help, nearly getting near the end now, fingers crossed x

    • inkhearted February 19, 2014 at 12:45 am #

      Good luck to you! Hope everything goes smoothly. πŸ™‚

  5. rachel February 19, 2014 at 9:04 am #

    Hey, thanks so much for this, I have found it really helpful as I am in the process of getting al the info together for my visa at the moment. Congratulations on getting it granted!

    I just had two little questions I would be really grateful if you had any advice/knowledge on please:
    I arrived here in September last year so have only been her around 6 months and by the time I lodge it around 8 months. I’ve read you are only meant to apply for a Australian police check if you have been in the country 12 months plus, so I’m assuming I shouldn’t apply for this as it would be invalid…how long had you been in the country when you applied for the police check?

    Also I know you have to get my stat decs verified by JP’s, my sponsors dad is a JP so we were going to get him to sign the necessary forms but do you know if it’s still valid f it’s done by a family member at all?
    Thanks for any advice and this great link πŸ™‚

    • inkhearted February 19, 2014 at 10:30 am #

      Hi Rachel! Glad this is helpful. =D As for your questions, I did apply for the Australian police check before I had been in Australia for a year, and it was accepted. I believe I applied for the Australian police check when I had been in Australia for about 10 months; my visa was granted when I had been in Australia for about 18 months, and I wasn’t asked to do another one. The Australian police check is good for a year from the time it was granted, so I believe it was accepted because it was still valid at the time of the visa grant, regardless of whether it covered my first full year in Australia.

      I’m not sure what the official standing on family members acting as JPs is. For the Form 888s, which have to be witnessed by either a JP, police officer, teacher, etc., we had my brother-in-law (who is a teacher) write one, but we decided against having his wife (also a teacher) witness it, just because it did seem like it could raise a few eyebrows. So, personally I would probably get someone else to get those verified, but like I said, I’m not sure what Immigration prefers.

      I hope that helps! Good luck with your visa!

      • rachel February 19, 2014 at 8:33 pm #

        Thank you! That’s helpful, i’m thinking on the safe side may be best not to have such a close family member you’re right.
        One other thing I wanted to make sure I do right was use a correct stat declaration form as I’ve seen a couple….there’s a commonwealth one from the stat decs oath 1959 or a NSW stat dec I’ve seen, which one did you use out of interest or which would you recommend?
        Thanks again!

      • inkhearted February 19, 2014 at 11:15 pm #

        No problem! Glad to help. You can use either the Commonwealth or state one–whichever one you prefer. I believe we just used a QLD one, which worked fine! All that we had to say didn’t fit on the form, so we just attached extra pages which was also okay. πŸ™‚

  6. taylor July 25, 2014 at 6:33 pm #

    Hey, I was just wondering if you and your partner filled out stat declarations yourself or not? as I am sending mine online iam not sure if everything I already answered in the applications is enough to send through or if we should both do declarations as well??

    • inkhearted July 25, 2014 at 8:09 pm #

      Hi Taylor! Part of the requirement of the visa is that you and your partner have to write statements about your relationship (how you met, how you maintained your relationship, future plans, etc.). Personally, we didn’t write these on stat dec forms–ours were just word documents. I’ve seen a lot of people write these as stat decs though, so you can feel free to do so. It could even help your application, who knows! As far as stat decs in addition to these statements that are required, though, no–you don’t need anything extra. πŸ™‚ Hope that helps! Let me know if you have any more questions!

      • taylor July 25, 2014 at 8:56 pm #

        Okay great thanks!, also the form 80 is also mandatory also right? its about a 25 page form to fill out it says its for the character check? also does my sponsor need to get a criminal record check done as well or is it just me that has to have it done?? thanks for the response!

      • inkhearted July 25, 2014 at 9:06 pm #

        From the sounds of things, sometimes Immigration doesn’t require Form 80. Some people are accepted without it. It’s always safest to include it though, so you don’t experience further delays down the track. I know it’s a huge pain, but I’d definitely fill it out and send it in just in case! It is for a character check as it asks a bunch of stuff about your background and ID information so they can double-check if you’ve committed any crimes.

        As for the criminal record check, your sponsor doesn’t need to get that done UNLESS there are children included in your application (so, children from a previous relationship that you’re bringing over with you.) If there aren’t any kids, then your sponsor doesn’t need it. πŸ™‚

      • taylor July 27, 2014 at 10:23 pm #

        did you get your personal statements signed by justice of peace as well or you only need that for the witness forms ??

      • inkhearted July 28, 2014 at 7:21 am #

        We only did that for the witness forms. However, I’ve heard varying accounts about this–some people say you have to get it signed by a JP (obviously, this was not true in our case!). I’d suggest that if you’re from a high-risk country, get it signed by a JP just to be safe. And if you’re already going to a JP with a bunch of other documents, take it along if it will give you peace of mind. But if it’s going to be a hassle, I really wouldn’t worry about it based on my experience!

  7. taylor July 28, 2014 at 8:11 pm #

    do you have any knowledge of the bridging visa b. if so I have a few questions I have read up a bunch and called to talk to them but I still need some advice, so if you went through that process please let me know, thanks!

  8. Emily August 2, 2014 at 6:50 pm #

    Hi Emily, I am applying for a partner visa and I need to print my Skype call history. I have my chat history but I also need our Skype to Skype calls. I am using SkypeLogView like you but it does not seem to show who the outgoing call is from or who the incoming call is to. Nowhere does it show the users name for calls only the other Skype user and display name. Am I missing something as I notice that you wrote ‘Itemised list of Skype incoming/outgoing calls from June 2011 to present. Included to/from username and display name, date, and duration of the call’. Any light you could shine on this would be wonderful as I really need this info for my application. Thanks, Emily.

    • inkhearted August 3, 2014 at 9:50 am #

      Hi Emily! It sounds like you’re seeing all that I had–the username and display name of the incoming and outgoing calls. I believe I printed this information out and made a note at the top, something like “Calls To/From Cal from Emily’s Skype Account.” Not very official looking, but it worked for us. Alternatively, you could print out two SkypeLogView reports–one from your account, and the other from your partner’s. It would be two sets of the same information, but it would have both names on it. Corroborating evidence is the best kind of evidence. πŸ˜‰ So, for instance, on one report you’d have something like this:

      Call to Emily on August 3, 2014 which lasted for an hour.

      And on the other you’d have:

      Call from Partner on August 3, 2014 which lasted for an hour.

      Does that make sense? Let me know if it doesn’t or if you have any other questions!

      • Emily August 3, 2014 at 10:58 am #

        Thank you so much for getting back to me Emily. Yes it makes perfect sense. I am printing all the info from my partners computer as I got a new computer since the period I was away. I’m not sure if I can get the old one working but i’m going to try just incase. Otherwise i’ll just make a not like you did. I just wasn’t sure if I was missing something so it is a relief to see that this is what other people have done. Again thanks so much for your help, Emily xxx

      • inkhearted August 3, 2014 at 11:11 am #

        No problem! I’m glad I could help. Good luck with your application!

  9. Emily August 3, 2014 at 12:29 pm #

    Wow even through my computer wouldn’t even turn on last December when I got my new computer it just worked fine for me now. It has all my Skype history from when I was apart from my partner and I have printed it all out. Thanks for the advice, I hadn’t even thought of trying that. The only thing is that the info from his computer and my computer doesn’t match completely as in the time might be out by a minute or two (which I am guessing is either due to the call lasting longer for the person ringing as perhaps it incorporates the ringing time before the other answers or the time set on each computer affects it) The other strange thing is that most calls say either outgoing or ingoing for both of us regardless of who made or received the call. So if I made the call to him it says outgoing on my log and if he received the call the same call says outgoing on his log! Hope this won’t be a problem if we show it to immigration!!

    Just one final thing that I wanted to ask you. I am not sure if you made an online application but if you did, did you just attach your screenshots from your computer or did you print them out and scan them back onto your commuter to attach? It would make things a lot easier if I could just attach the screenshot direct.

    Thanks again for your help.

    • inkhearted August 3, 2014 at 4:46 pm #

      Great to hear that worked for you! I had a similar problem in that my computer died, which is why we only had one copy of Skype records. I’m sure it won’t be a problem if the times are a little off.

      I didn’t do an online application (I would have loved to, but it wasn’t an option when I applied in March 2013!). However, from what I’ve seen I’m pretty sure you can just attach screenshots directly from your computer–no need to print and scan them back in. πŸ™‚

      • Emily August 5, 2014 at 9:22 am #

        Thanks Emily, Your blog has been really helpful to me. Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions, it is is much appreciated. Emily

  10. Lucy September 4, 2014 at 12:01 pm #

    Hi there, I have found this page very very useful for lodging our application, thank you so much for the information.

    My partner is currently on a working holiday Visa, and we are applying for the partner visa pretty soon. I am just a little confused about the timeline of actually applying.. Once you lodge your application and make payment, do you automatically get the bridging visa right then and there? Is there a possibility that you can get rejected from first applying or do they reject you much later on in the piece?

    We are doing the right thing and we have been together for about 2 years. Everything adds up but I am just a tiny bit concerned about the “Financial” situation. My partner has basically just had a few odd jobs here and there (cash jobs) and just living off money saved from home. Im not sure how to explain this in the application and surely I shouldn’t mention the cash jobs because that might get him in trouble in TAX terms.. To what extent should I disclose his financial situation? Should I be basically saying he’s been supporting himself the whole time from funds saved? Or would a person who has spent nearly a year not working be an undesirable applicant… We do have a joint bank account but we don’t particularly use it.

    I understand you may not know the answer to that last question but I thought I might give it a shot.

    Thanks a lot.

    • inkhearted September 21, 2014 at 2:54 pm #

      Hi Lucy, sorry it’s taken me so long to get back to you!

      I was also on a working holiday visa when I applied for the partner visa. It’s really difficult to get work on a WHV and I think immigration is aware of that (hopefully!).

      For your first question about bridging visas, you do get it more or less right away, especially if you apply online. I’ve heard cases of a few people not receiving it right away, but when they did receive it the visa was back-dated to the date they applied (this was the case with my paper application–I received the actual bridging visa about two weeks after I applied, but it was dated the date of my application).

      I haven’t heard of anyone getting rejected right off the bat, but I suppose it could happen. I’d say it’s very, very unlikely though, especially if your partner is in Australia legally and you are legitimately a couple (which sounds like it’s the case on both counts!).

      As for financial aspects, I would try to give evidence of your partner’s savings and employability (this could just be his resume). That way, if they think it’s strange he isn’t employed, you can show that he does have the potential to be employed. Like I said, it’s very common not to get a job on a WHV–employers just don’t like it. Things aren’t that much easier on a Bridging Visa I’m afraid. :/

      In addition, definitely give evidence of your joint bank account (and try to use it a bit more before you apply, if you can!). Other things you could include are joint bills, such as rent or utilities or groceries. It’s a really tough category, but I don’t think his lack of employment will come into it much, especially not given the visa he’s currently on.

      Hope that helps! Let me know if you have any other questions.


  11. Seny December 21, 2014 at 7:17 pm #

    Thank you for your info, it helps a lot. I was wondering on the proof of relationships, as i also long distance with my partner. Did you print out the whole 400 mails? Or just time to time to proof you guys communicate? And about the photos, did you just print those out in normal paper or you develope the photo in photo paper? For PR do we need to pay again? Since we already paid for the subclass 820? Thank you so much

    • inkhearted December 21, 2014 at 7:31 pm #

      Hi! For the e-mails, we printed out a LIST of the e-mails. So I just took a screenshot of the inbox on each page, and it listed who the e-mail was sent to, what the title of the e-mail was, and the date. None of the content. I know some people do print out a few e-mails with content that are relevant (for instance, an e-mail that details plans to see each other, or something).

      Photos we printed out on regular paper. We did not use photo paper.

      You don’t need to pay for PR again, thankfully. It’s a one-time payment when you lodge your 820 visa. You’re technically applying for both the 820 and 801 which is why you only pay once. πŸ™‚

      Hope that helps!

      • Seny December 21, 2014 at 10:40 pm #

        Thank you it helps a lot, you are an angel πŸ™‚

  12. Rebecca December 27, 2014 at 3:26 pm #

    Thank you so much for your extremely helpful blog. I am about to start my 820 and your posts have been very helpful.

    • inkhearted December 27, 2014 at 4:05 pm #

      I’m glad it’s helped you! Good luck with your application. Let me know if you have any questions! πŸ™‚

  13. curly January 13, 2015 at 4:19 pm #

    Hi, may I know how do you find out when you have case officer assigned to your visa application?

    • inkhearted January 13, 2015 at 4:57 pm #

      Hi Curly! You’ll know you have a case officer IF the case officer e-mails you. Some people never hear from their case officers and just get an e-mail saying their visas had been approved. I heard from mine about eight months after submitting my application because I still needed to submit a police check and my medical. Don’t worry if you don’t hear from yours, though!

      • curly January 13, 2015 at 6:48 pm #

        Thank you so much for your reply. Cheers

  14. loveonfire January 16, 2015 at 7:53 am #

    Hi, may I know what kind of envelope you used when you lodge your application?Is it ok to use the the expanding fools cap?Just being paranoid now because I will be lodging my onshore partner visa application next week. Thanks a lot πŸ™‚

    • inkhearted January 18, 2015 at 3:35 pm #

      We lodged ours in person with just a big binder clip, no envelope. We couldn’t find one big enough! I’m sure anything is fine–they actually put ours in a big envelope used by the department anyway. As long as you don’t have sheets falling out it should be fine. Good luck with your application! πŸ™‚

  15. 24kaye March 3, 2015 at 1:28 am #

    Hi Emily,
    Do we need to have the print outs and screenshots of our FB, whatsapp, viber, gmail communications and chat logs, notarized?

    • inkhearted March 3, 2015 at 6:59 am #

      I didn’t get ours notarized! I’d turn them in as they are. It’s possible that they might ask you to get them certified down the track, but I doubt it will be an issue.

  16. Tony Norman March 21, 2015 at 11:33 pm #

    I want to know if there really is any financial threshold to be met by either the sponsor or applicant, especially where my sponsoring partner is a Citizen on Disability Pension and I am about to apply for a Partner Visa Outside Australia ( subclass 309/100 )

    • inkhearted March 22, 2015 at 8:26 am #

      Hi Tony! When I applied two years ago it seemed that there was a minimum the sponsor had to make to satisfy DIBP. However, by the time they asked for more information that November they seemed wholly uninterested in what he made (he had changed jobs, and I asked if they needed proof of his employment/salary — they said no) and I’ve found on forums that many people have gotten approved living on Centrelink payments alone. I’m finishing up my application for the second stage of the visa and there are no questions about employment or how much money is being brought in. I’d recommend you do a bit more research and see if things have changed yet again, but I’d say you’re probably safe to apply! πŸ™‚

      • Graham August 4, 2015 at 1:14 pm #

        Hi inkhearted,
        Nice gesture and very informative. Do you still offer advice on these matters?

      • inkhearted August 9, 2015 at 4:11 pm #

        Hi Graham! I can certainly try to answer any questions you have, but I’m afraid my knowledge is somewhat out of date. A really great resource for up-to-date answers is — head to the immigration section and there are lots of people there who have been keeping up with all the newest developments and would be able to answer question better than I can!

  17. Annie Tran December 18, 2015 at 9:05 am #

    Thank you so much for sharing your experience. I’ve just got a quick question. I submitted my application few days ago and had all police checks and medical checks before hand.

    From your timeline, when you say ‘approved’ in Jan 2014, does that mean temporary visa approval? I was assumed that it would only take 2-3 months to be granted. I guess since I have all of the required docs done before hand, would boost the process a bit quicker?

    Thanks in advance

    • inkhearted December 18, 2015 at 9:48 am #

      Hi Annie,

      Yes, the January 2014 approval date was approval for my 820 (temporary residency). It took about nine months for approval which, at the time, was about average. These days approval times tend to be longer from what I’ve seen (the DIBP website is quoting 12-15 months). As far as I know, they no longer look at decision-ready applications like yours first, and instead look at the applications in the order they were received — but I admit I haven’t been keeping up-to-date with it all, so things may have changed. I would say that you should expect to be waiting more than just a few months, though.

      Good luck with everything! Fingers crossed for a quick approval. πŸ™‚

      • Annie Tran December 18, 2015 at 8:52 pm #

        Thank you for the quick response. Yeah I was hoping that by getting everything before hand would help the CO to process the application faster but I do know that there’s a queue lining up there and I have to wait for my turn. Thanks anyway and congratulations on your PR grant. Citizenship is coming soon I guess?

  18. Madeline June 16, 2016 at 7:26 am #

    WOW! What a process this is going to be 😦

    Looks like the immigration office should just give you a full time job, you’re far more helpful than any of the “contact us” form I’ve filled out and had no reply…

    My question is, can my partner work while waiting for the temporary visa? I read it’s a 13month average wait time just for the first part, does that mean he’s not allowed to work in Australia between lodging the paperwork and getting the first provisional visa??

    I’m Australian and he’s Italian and we’re currently living in Italy (I have a working-holiday visa until March) BUT, we’re not expecting a baby and I want to have it in Australia which means I’ll be heading back around October (due Jan)..I was under the impression that once we apply he can work while we wait but I’m starting to think I was way off!

    If this isn’t the case, we will have to apply outside Australia and return to Italy after the baby is born and wait 13 months until we can move to Australia.

    Any advice is appreciated, it’s a mine field!!!

    • inkhearted June 16, 2016 at 6:36 pm #

      Hi Madeline! Glad the blog has helped. It is a huge process but it all goes pretty smoothly as long as you have enough evidence, and having a baby together will definitely help things! πŸ™‚ I admit that I’m not up-to-date with visa stuff these days, but when I applied I was able to work while on the Bridging Visa and I haven’t heard that that’s changed. You might want to double check just in case. I will say that it can sometimes be difficult to find a job while on the temporary visa as employers can get a bit wary of the “temporary” label. I just made sure to explain when I got to the interview stage that I would be a permanent resident soon, there was just a waiting process.


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