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Useful info from Australia House

Guest Georgina

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Guest Georgina

Me and hubby e-mailed Australia House regarding certified copies and what we needed to get copied. We have received an e-mail back from them with a list of 'FAQs' and answers. I'm adding it to here as it may be useful to other people, especially those going it alone without using a Migration Agency. It may seem long and boring but you may find something useful in there!



Dear Enquirer - the Consular Section of the Australian High Commission can certify but they also charge for this.


I am responding to your enquiry about how you/your partner would obtain a visa for migration to Australia. We receive many similar enquiries and most issues are generic. The following addresses our most frequently asked questions.


Partner migration refers to applications for entry to Australia made by the

married or de facto spouse, fiance(e)s and interdependent (same-sex)

partners of Australian citizens, permanent residents or eligible New

Zealand citizens.


An application for a Partner visa should be lodged at the responsible

overseas migration office for the country in which the applicant usually

resides. For persons residing in the UK or the Republic of Ireland, the

responsible office is the Migration Section of the Australian High

Commission in London. The information below is intended for persons who

will be lodging an application in London.


Key Information Source


The primary public source for information about Partner Migration migration is the official website of the Australian Department of Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs at ww.immi.gov.au. Partner information is at http://www.immi.gov.au/migration/family/partners/index.htm'>http://www.immi.gov.au/migration/family/partners/index.htm and you will

find detailed information about the application process, documentary

requirements and answers to most frequently-asked questions. The website provides information about partner, prospective marriage (fiancee) and interdependency visas. It provides checklists, describes evidentiary requirement, explains terminology and leads you to the appropriate sponsorship and application forms.


What Forms do I need to Download and Complete?


You have a choice of completing an online application (which you must

eventually print off and submit to the processing office in hard copy) or

downloading an application package which you can complete in writing.

Details for online and downloadable forms are at



You will need to have Adobe Acrobat loaded on your computer to enable you to download these forms. This is a free download, and if you do not

already have it, the website provides a link to upload Adobe as a precursor to downloading the relevant forms.


Do we Include our Children in the Migration Application?


If you and your partner have children born outside of Australia, and if one

of the parents was an Australian citizen at the time of the child's birth,

your child may be eligible for registration as an Australian citizen by

descent. This will require you to lodge an application for registration by

descent with the Citizenship Section of the Australian High Commission.


If the relevant parent was a permanent resident of Australia, but not a

citizen, at the time of a child's birth overseas, then that child does need

to be included as a dependent child in the migrating parent's application.


If your child is eligible for registration as an Australian citizen by

descent (and this can only be determined in the context of assessment of an application), you can then apply for an Australian passport for that child

but only after registration as a citizen.


A child who has been registered as an Australian citizen by descent does

not need to be included in a parent's Partner application or undergo any

sort of migration processing.


Our Citizenship Section processes most applications for citizenship descent

within 5 working days. The Section does not process passport applications

which must be lodged with the Passport Section of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) at the High Commission.


The London website at http://www.australia.org.uk has information in the Visas &

Citizenship section on forms and application procedures for registration of

citizenship by descent. Passport application information is available in

the DFAT section of the website.


Further information is available at http://www.citizenship.gov.au.


What About Fees and Associated Costs?


The official term is "visa application charge".


The Partner Migration booklet has a special section to explain costs and

charges and also refers you to the http://www.immi.gov.au website for

determination of the visa application charge in effect when you are making

your application. There is a currency convertor facility on the website if

you need it.


Be aware that charges change from time to time, so you will need to check

shortly before lodging your application to make sure that you are paying

the current charge. Charges are generally varied on 1 January and 1 July

each year. The visa application charge applicable to your application is

the charge in effect at the time that your application is received in the

Migration Section of the Australian High Commission in London (that is, the

relevant time is the time of receipt, not of posting).


Note also that you are responsible for all costs associated with the making

of your application including the costs of obtaining medicals, character

clearances and the like.


The visa application charge is a processing fee. If your application is

refused or withdrawn, the fee is not refunded.


How Can I Pay the Visa Application Charge?


We accept credit/debit cards only (except for American Express or Diners

Card). There is a section in the application form for credit card details.


If we receive your application and you have not paid the current

application charge, we will attempt to call or email you as soon as

possible to advise you of the current charge and arrange for you to send in the correct payment. An application is not validly made, and processing

cannot commence, until the correct payment is received.


What About Medicals?


Each applicant, including children, must undergo health checks. Further

details are in the Partner Migration booklet and the following is a brief

summary only.


Each applicant aged 11 years and older will require a medical examination

and chest x-ray in the first instance.


Each applicant aged 15 years and older will require a HIV test.


If the applicant is pregnant, she may choose not to be x-rayed until after

the birth. This may delay finalisation of the application.


Medical test results are generally valid for one year.


Can I do my Medicals in Advance of Application?


You can, if you so choose, undertake health checks before you lodge your

application. This will enable you to lodge a complete application, which

may help to speed up processing of your application. You are responsible

for the costs and these will not be refunded if your application is



Where do I Obtain Medical and Radiological Forms?


The forms you require are a Form 26 (medical) and Form 160 (radiological

examination). These can be downloaded at http://www.australia.org.uk in the

"medical information" section.


How do I Find out about Panel Doctors for the UK and Republic of Ireland?


Medical and radiological examinations must be undertaken by an appointed panel doctor or radiologist. For details of your closest panel doctor and radiologist, please see http://www.australia.org.uk. This is the London office website. In the section on Visas & Citizenship, see information on the health requirement. A list of panel doctors is available to be downloaded.


How are Medicals Returned to Our Office?


Your panel doctor should be advised that you are applying for a Partner

visa. Your panel doctor will return completed medicals directly to our

office c/o Migration Section, Australian High Commission, Strand London



On the front of each form there is a grey box headed "office use only".

Against "visa class" please write either PARTNER or FIANCE according to the type of application you are making. Against "name of office processing the application" please write LONDON. It is important that you do this so that we have appropriate handling instructions for our mail staff when the medicals are returned to this office.


What About Character Clearances?


An applicant must be found to be of good character. Each applicant aged 16 years and over must provide police checks for each country (including

Australia) in which the applicant has resided during the last 10 years

where the period of residence was 12 months or longer (in total/cumulatively), and the person was aged 16 years or over at the time

of residence.


You must provide originals of your police clearances. We will retain

these, so you should keep copies if you require.


Instructions on how to obtain police clearances for most countries are

contained in Form 47P (Character requirements: penal clearance

certificates). This must be downloaded from http://www.immi.gov.au.


How Long does it Take to Get a Character Clearance?


We recommend that you initiate your request for clearances early. Note

that it takes around 49 days for clearances to be obtained from the UK

authorities. You can obtain this, if you choose, in advance of

application and present the clearance with your application.


For some countries, clearances can take several months. We are not able to influence or expedite character clearances as these are solely the province of the issuing authorities. Finalisation of your case cannot proceed until your case officer is satisfied that you meet the character requirement.


Do I send Originals or Copies of my Documents?


We require originals of character clearances only. You should provide

certified/notarised copies of key documents such as birth, marriage and

divorce certificates. In all other cases provide simple photocopies of

supporting documents such as rental agreements, bank statements, insurance documents and the like.


Who Can Certify Copies of my Documents?


For the UK and the Republic of Ireland your documents can be certified by a notary public, commissioner for oaths, police officer, bank manager or



Who Can Witness a Statutory Declaration?


As above. A statutory declaration made out in Australia can be witnessed

by a Justice of the Peace (JP). Statutory Declarations supporting claims

of a genuine and ongoing marital relationship made out in Australia should

be provided on Form 888 which can be downloaded from http://www.immi.gov.au. The declarants should provide a copy of evidence of their citizenship or other visa status with the Form 888. Further information is available in the Partner Migration booklet.


If you are obtaining a statement of support from family and friends in the

UK or ROI, there is no special format which you must use. You can use the Form 888 although this is intended for persons in Australia. If in the UK or ROI, the declarant can simply make out a statement in their own writing, giving their full name and contact details, and ensuring that the statement is appropriately witnessed by an authorised person such as a notary public or commissioner for oaths.


I Do Not Know the Details of Previous Visas for Australia


If you no longer have previous passports, or have otherwise travelled on

electronic visas and cannot give us visa label or grant numbers, just

provide approximate dates of your previous visits in Australia as best you

can. Your case officer is able to ascertain the details of your previous

travel directly from our own records in the course of processing your

application. It is not necessary to contact us separately to try to obtain

this information in advance.


How Should I Put My Application Together?


Please do not make complex collations of your application papers. We waste a lot of time (and risk injury to life and limb) deconstructing

applications which have been extensively stapled or artfully put together

in complex folders with indexes, dividers and tabs. Do not use plastic

inserts. Please leave the papers, loosely divided by slide-on paper clips

if you feel it is absolutely necessary, in a simple stack. Application

form on the top; sponsorship form next; key personal documents next (birth and marriage certificates etc); formal statutory declarations next; and other supporting documents last.


Please do not send us video tapes or photograph albums. If you would like to support your claims with photographs, please choose a representative selection and make a photocopy.


Please do not send us phone cards at all as they can tell us nothing. If

you wish to send examples of correspondence, please be very selective and send copies only.


How do I Lodge an Application?


All applications to be lodged in London must be lodged by post. We do not

accept applications over the counter.


We suggest that you send in your applications by some form of secure post. For clients living in the UK we recommend that you use Special Delivery and keep a record of the registration number. You can then track progress through the mail system and date of delivery to us on the Royal Mail website via their Track and Trace facility. Clients in the UK must also include a self-addressed Special Delivery envelope for the return of their passport and other documents - ensure that the envelope size is appropriate to what you expect to have returned to you.


Clients living in the ROI should also use some form of secure or

registrable post. We will return documents by Airsure.


Our postal address is:


Migration Branch

Australian High Commission

Strand London



Clients wishing to use couriers should note that items can only be

delivered to the Migration Branch between the hours of 9-11am weekdays

(other than public holidays) at the Migration Counter. It is important

that you inform your courier of this restriction as no items intended for

this Branch will be accepted elsewhere in the High Commission other than at our counter during our opening hours.


Will I be Interviewed?


Most applicants are interviewed. This may occur by telephone or in person.

The necessity for, and conduct of an interview, is at the discretion of

your case officer.


Who Will Process my Application?


When we first receive your application, it will be allocated to a migration

officer. You should receive an acknowledgment within about 10 working days

- please do not approach us before that time. It is our preference to

communicate with you by email. This makes for faster transfer of documents and speedy exchanges with your case officer. Your case officer will provide you with details of the officer's name, position number, email and phone contacts.


If you have not heard from your case officer before 10 working days from

the date on which you believe we will have received your application, you

can send an email enquiry to firstenquiries.lhlh@dfat.gov.au providing the

applicant's full name and date of birth.


How Long Will it Take?


Our general response is that the better prepared your application, the

faster we are able to make a decision. We can and do finalise decisions on the day of receipt - however this is not usual. Few applications come

fully front-end loaded (including health and character clearances) and it

is not always possible to anticipate requirements for additional

information or complexities that are only evident to the case officer after

an application is received and assessment commences.


Special Notice for Prospective Marriage (fiance) Applicants: It is a legal

condition of all Prospective Marriage (subclass 300) visas that the holder

must marry in Australia within 9 months from the date of grant of the visa.

You should take this into account when calculating the appropriate time to

lodge your visa application and when fixing the date of your intended

wedding. This office will commence processing of an application when it is

lodged and will process at its normal rate to the point of decision and

visa grant where appropriate. We will not artificially maintain an

application in abeyance to compensate for early lodgement. If you lodge

your visa application too early, you will need to consider the real

likelihood that your wedding date will have to be brought forward.


Statistically, in June 2005, London took from 3-10 weeks to grant subclass

309 (Spouse Provisional) and subclass 310 (Interdependency Provisional)

visas; and from 4-12 weeks to grant subclass 300 (Prospective Marriage -

fiance) visas.


If Granted a Visa Must I Enter by a Particular Date?

(Spouse/Interdependency Visas)


Your health and police clearances are valid for 12 months from the date of

grant. In some circumstances you medicals may be valid for a lesser period (for example, if you are subject to a health undertaking requiring you to report to health authorities on arrival in Australia). Whichever of these clearances expires first will determine the "initial entry date" by which you must have entered Australia.


If you have obtained your health and police clearances so far in advance

that they expire during processing, or are likely to expire so soon after

decision that the initial entry date would not be viable, it is open to

your case officer to require you to obtain new health and police

clearances. Your case officer will determine the best course of action

during processing.


Prospective Marriage (fiance) visas - some specific information


If you decide to lodge an application for a Prospective Marriage (fiance)

visa (subclass 300), you will need to provide evidence of your intention to

marry. This will be in the form of written confirmation by an authorised

Australian Marriage Celebrant confirming the details of your planned

wedding in Australia. This confirmation must be provided on the

Celebrant’s official letterhead and confirm the following details:


· parties to be married;

· date and venue of marriage;

· Celebrant’s official registration number and address.


If your Prospective Marriage (subclass 300) visa is granted, you must marry

within 9 months from the date of grant of the visa.


My Situation is Complex - Who Can Assist?


We cannot provide individual pre-application counselling. If you have read

the Partner Migration booklet and associated information thoroughly and

feel that you still require expert assistance, you may wish to consider

using a migration agent. You are not required to use a migration agent,

however if you intend to use one, you are advised to use a registered

migration agent. Information about registered migration agents (registered with the Migration Agents Registration Authority or MARA) is available at http://www.themara.com.au.



Yours sincerely


First Enquiries

Migration Branch

Australian High Commission


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  • 2 years later...
  • 3 weeks later...
Guest crudshed

Thanks so much for sharing this info, there were a lot of little grey areas it helped to clear up especially regarding the format of application pack and advance medicals/acro checks.. cheers!

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Guest The Hoys hoping.........

Brilliant post!


Thank you very much. Answered loads of my questions..........and saved me a fortune, was going to ring the high commission tomorrow (cost me £1 per minute last time.........on phone for 7 minutes!)




Donna xx

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Guest The Hoys hoping.........
Please note the date of the original posting ...


Best regards.



Good point Alan......I hadn't noticed that!


Kind Regards,



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  • 1 year later...
Guest stephanierac


i was wondering do you know the how we apply for the spouse 820 visa once we have got married in australia? our medicals and police checks were sent to the australian embassy in london. We were granted our prospective marriage visa on 1st july 2009- and are due to go to perth in 2 weeks. As i don't want to have to re do the medicals and police checks- they are valid until april 2010- how do we get them returned to either us or do australian immigration in perth request them from london? any help would be appreciated as we leave the UK in 2 weeks and it'll be harder to request them to be returned.



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Guest stephanierac


i have seemed to answer my own question that i posted a couple of days ago! i called the australian embassy in london( its costs a fortune £1 a min!) and according to the guy who answered the phone the medical and police checks are all logged on a computer that australian immigration have access to in australia and therefore as long as you apply before they expire and they can grant the visa before they expire, you don't need to send the originals in or re do them. hope this makes sense.

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