There are times in my life when I wonder if I would be a different person if I hadn’t had to experience the bureaucratic depths of the 820/801 partner visa. Times when I wonder what kind of carefree and easy-living person I would have been if I hadn’t had this hanging over me all this time.
Nope, Dean still hasn’t been granted his 801 Permanent Residency visa. In fact, we haven’t even applied yet. But Friday is out eligibility date for the second stage, having applied in March of 2015, and we are going to have all the relevant paperwork uploaded by this date.
If you’ve never had to deal with the immigration system of any country while seeking a long-term visa, I’m jealous. Really, I am. While I wouldn’t trade my life with Dean for anything in the world, I do wish that the road we took wasn’t quite so stressful. Doing a visa like the 820/801 partner visa is hard work. Doing it without a migration agent is probably right on the edge of insanity. Still, here we are, two years down the line collating the paperwork that represents our lives for a nameless caseworker in the Department of Immigration and Border Protection to decide our fate.
Last week, right in the middle of writing our statutory declarations telling those caseworkers how much we love each other, we got dealt a bombshell. I wasn’t going to mention it on my blog, but I know many other couples out there are facing the same, difficult reality that we are. Initially, we were looking at around 6-8 months for Dean to have his PR approved, following the 2 years wait from application. So basically, 2.5+ years in total. It’s a long time to wait, and in many cases we’ve found opportunities on his temporary residency visa to be limited. Then, last week the DIBP released new waiting times, and they’re long… Like really long. Now instead of 6-8 months we’re looking at 16-20 months. So potentially another 1.5 years before Dean gets his PR.
Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against the lovely folks at DIBP. I understand that there have been staffing cuts and that there are more applicants than ever for visas across the board. Believe me, I get it. But from the inside of this application, it’s a lot to take in. This, along with our original bombshell of the price doubling just before we applied, it makes it all feel like a bit too much.
Of course, we can’t stop now. Looking at the silver lining, I know that we have at least reached the half-way mark, and we’re basically old pros when it comes to putting our applications together. This time next week we’ll have submitted for the second stage and it will just be a little shadow at the back of our minds. We will move on and move forward, endeavouring not to let it get us down.
Hopefully, we’ll succeed in that quest. But, if it does follow us around like our own personal raincloud, I sure do hope that our little angel in the DIBP, the person reading our story and wondering if we’re ‘for real’ sees the love we have for each other, and gives us a chance and some stability for the future.
Also, I will be putting out an article on what our submission for the second stage of the 820/801 partner visa looks like, just as soon as it’s done!