Journey of an Offshore Partner Visa

Written on 23 May 2024 by Erina Morunga
Journey of an Offshore Partner Visa

Applying for an Australian partner visa is a significant step for any couple, and it’s one that comes with its fair share of challenges and emotions. Today, I want to share my experience navigating through the process, hoping to provide encouragement to others who may find themselves in a similar situation.

Our journey began when my partner and I made the decision to take our relationship to the next level. We had been together for several years, building a life intertwined with love, trust, and shared dreams. However, there was one obstacle standing in the way of us being together – my husband’s visa status. My husband and I decided for a number of reasons that we would lodge his Partner visa application offshore. At the time, offshore visa applications were being processed a lot quicker than those onshore.

Thus, we made the daunting decision to apply for a partner visa, a process that would allow my partner to join me in my home country. Little did we know just how intricate and time-consuming this process would be. From gathering endless documents to navigating complex visa requirements, each step seemed to present a new challenge. However, we were determined to persevere, fueled by our love and commitment to each other.

If I had to do this again, I would have engaged the services of a professional registered migration agent or immigration lawyer to better understand what I was going to get myself into. In hindsight, it would have saved us a lot of time, money and worry too! 

One of the most crucial aspects of the partner visa application is providing evidence of a genuine and ongoing relationship. This meant documenting every aspect of our relationship – from the early days of courtship to our present-day plans for the future.  We tried to gather photographs, travel itineraries, joint bank statements, and heartfelt letters from family and friends affirming the authenticity of our love. It was a labourious process, but one that ultimately strengthened our bond and reaffirmed our commitment to each other.

Visa processing times can vary greatly, and there are no guarantees of approval. The thought of being separated for an indefinite period weighed heavily on our hearts, so we decided it was best for my husband and I to lodge his application overseas. Back in 2012, offshore applications were taking less time to process. It was also an opportunity for me to meet my in-laws for the first time.

Finally, the day arrived when we submitted our partner visa application. It was a momentous occasion, filled with a mixture of relief and apprehension. We had done everything within our power to present a comprehensive and compelling case, but now it was out of our hands. All we could do was wait – wait for a decision that would shape the course of our future together.

In the weeks that followed, we experienced a rollercoaster of emotions as we eagerly awaited news from the immigration authorities. I was checking my emails hourly each day for the first two weeks after. There were moments of doubt and anxiety, tempered by moments of optimism and excitement. And then, finally, after what felt like an eternity, after 6 weeks (lodged in 2012) we received the long-awaited notification – my husband’s partner visa had been granted. Nowadays, timeframes can take up to 32 or more months.

The sense of relief and joy that washed over us was indescribable. After so much uncertainty and anticipation, we could finally breathe easy knowing that we could now focus on building a life filled with love, laughter, and endless possibilities.

Our journey to obtaining a partner visa was not without its challenges, but it was a journey worth taking. It taught us the importance of patience, resilience, and unwavering faith in each other.

To anyone embarking on a similar journey, I offer this advice to those with non-Australian partners going through this process now – stay strong, stay hopeful, and above all, stay true to yourselves and your love. The road may be long and challenging, but the destination is more than worth it. And remember, no matter how daunting the journey may seem, you are not alone – get professional advice from a registered migration agent or immigration lawyer to give you confidence in the steps you need to take.

If you can do it yourselves, you’re amazing too! Our journey may have had its ups and downs, but through it all, our love has remained steadfast and unwavering. And for that, we are eternally grateful. We’ve now been married for over 12 years.

By Kathleen Si’ulua

 

Registered Migration Agent

MARN: 2217995

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