Guest Georgina

Useful info from Australia House

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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!

    Georgina

     

    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

    http://www.immi.gov.au/migration/family/partners/applications.htm'>http://www.immi.gov.au/migration/family/partners/applications.htm

     

    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

    refused.

     

    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

    WC2B 4LA.

     

    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

    solicitor.

     

    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

    WC2B 4LA

     

    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

    London

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    Guest amazingnewlifeahead

    fantasitc info thanks!!!!

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    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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    Thanks for sharing this info with us, we are still in the early stages, but I am sure I will be referring to it in the near future.

     

    Thanks again.

     

     

    Debbie

    xx


    27.01.08 Made decision to move to oz, 10.04.08 Appointed Agent, 27.11.08 ACS application sent, 28.02.09 Passed ACS, 11.03.09 Visa applied for - 175/CSL-IT, 27.08.09 Case Officer, 25.09.09 - VISA APPROVED, YIPEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE

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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!)

     

    Cheers

     

    Donna xx

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    Please note the date of the original posting ...

     

    Best regards.


    Managing Director, Go Matilda Visas, www.gomatilda.com - Principal, GM Tax, www.gmtax.com.au

    Registered Migration Agent Number 0102534, Chartered Accountant (England & Wales, and Australia), and Registered Tax Agent (Australia)

    T - 023 81 66 11 55 (UK) or 03 9935 2929 (Australia)

    E - alan.collett@gomatilda.com

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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,

     

    Donna

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    And in any case, that information can be found on the London High Commission website - here

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    Hi Alan, do you reckon that there are things in the post that are no longer true?

     

    Cheers Tina

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    Guest stephanierac

    HI

    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.

    Cheers

    stephanierac

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    Will be in a similar situation soon aswell so will also be glad to read responses for this question :)

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    Guest stephanierac

    hi

    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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