About two weeks ago I sat down to write another article on our progress with the 820/801 Australian partner visa. The article was to make note of an approaching milestone: our three year wait, which we’d reach on the 25th of March 2018. It was an article I’d been dreading to write, so I’d started it early to ensure it was done before the wave of emotions from that day came around to drown me.
Here’s a snapshot of that article:
We’ve gone through pretty much the entire process now. Entering on a tourist visa, making our application for the 820 visa and being granted a bridging visa, eventually moving onto the 820 visa after what already seemed like a lifetime. Now we’re technically in the partner visa 801 second stage bit. On the 25th of March 2017 we applied for the second stage 801 partner visa, the eligibility for which opens exactly two years after your initial 820 visa application. Even then we still thought we’d wait about a year for approval, but boy were our numbers off. The latest waiting times from the government for the 801 partner visa second stage approval put Dean getting his visa sometime in the second half of the year, closer to Christmas than anything else. Waiting for anything is a challenge, but waiting for approval to be living your life can be a killer for anyone.
Still, we do our best.
We live our lives, move house, get jobs. In the back of my mind I’m still compiling information. Putting our existence into paperwork so I can ‘update the department’. Moving house isn’t exciting so much as it is about making sure I remember to change my address, and upload our new lease to show we’re both signed on it. It’s like living with someone always looking over your shoulder, and that’s one hell of a life. I think the only thing that gets me through this whole partner visa thing, and it’s the thing that has always gotten me through in a way. This entire process, the whole 820/801 Australian partner visa, from 820 visa to the partner visa 801 second stage, there’s been something consistent playing in my mind.
We aren’t alone.
There are people out there just like us. They have put in their applications, they have made their love, their wild and spark-inducing love, coherent on paper. They have filled forms, they have ticked boxes. They have been tested, by doctors and law enforcement, and by their own hearts. They have stayed true to each other, and they have waited. Even when Dean and I finally get our approval for the partner visa 801 second stage, there will be a part of me still thinking that. Everyday there are more people applying, wanting to make a life here in Australia with someone that they love.
That is just the reality.
Waking Up To The 820/801 Australian Partner Visa
So, you can imagine our surprise when I woke up to an email on March 7th from the Australian Government with the subject line IMMI Grant Notification. I couldn’t believe it. In fact, I sat down at my desk and stared at the email, in total disbelief. Dean was already at work, and I had a feeling in my stomach somewhere between delirious joy and nausea. I had to open it, and I can honestly say my hand was shaking as I went to click on it.
We got the visa.
We got the visa.
WE GOT THE VISA!!
Just like that, almost three years of waiting and wishing and hoping for it to all just be over Dean’s 820/801 Australian partner visa was approved and done. We’d spent months of our lives, thousands of our hard earned savings, and gouged our carefree youth from our bodies to get here, and just like that it was done.
People have already been asking me what our 820/801 Australian partner visa timeline looked like, so here it is clearly for those folks:
- Early March 2015 – Arrived in Australia on Visitors Visa
- 25th March 2015 – Applied for subclass 820 partner visa (stage one, temporary). Bridging Visa granted same day.
- Early June 2015 – Bridging Visa in effect as Visitor’s Visa expired.
- 14th April 2016 – further information requested from Department.
- 24th April 2016 – Information provided.
- 12th May 2016 – Australian partner visa subclass 820 granted.
- 25th March 2017 – Eligibility date for partner visa subclass 801 (2yrs after initial application). We also applied for the second stage on this day.
- 6th March 2018 – Australian partner visa subclass 801 granted.
It seems crazy to think that, after almost three years of being in the middle of the 820/801 Australian partner visa process, we are finally done. At the same time, I can’t help thinking about those people who are still out there waiting for their visas. Waiting times are all over the place with the department, and while it seemed we would definitely wait well over 12 months for our 820 partner visa, it ended up being granted in about 11.3 months. There are probably a few factors for this, and I’m going to touch on those in another article. For now, I just want to say that I am forever grateful that this part of our lives is over, and my thoughts are with all those people still living through their 820/801 Australian partner visa journey.
Useful Links For The 820/801 Australian Partner Visa