In the few weeks since Dean’s Australian Partner Visa was finally granted, we have had so many people messaging and emailing us with their congratulations and best wishes. I just wanted to say thank you so much to those people. Many of you have found our posts on the Australian partner visa journey as you go through that process yourself. Some of you, like us, are now out on the other side, but there are many still waiting. To those people, I say best wishes for a fast result!
One thing that many people have asked us is: What’s next?
Well, I will admit that initially I wasn’t thinking too much about what would be next for us, mostly because I was so focused on just getting approved for the Australian partner visa. Now, Dean is officially on a permanent partner visa (subclass 801), which is a bit of a misnomer because if he travels outside of Australia anytime after 5 years from when his visa was granted, he’ll need a Resident Return Visa (subclass 155 or 157) at a cost of some $350+ to get back into the country.
Now that we’ve had a few months to amalgamate our new circumstances, and Dean is adjusting to finally being classed as a ‘permanent Australian resident’ we are thinking about the future. The first thing we did was a bit of research as to our options. Dean loves living in Australia, but he isn’t interested in forfeiting his English citizenship, so that leaves us with two options.
Stay On A Permanent Resident Visa
As far as I’m aware you can stay on a permanent resident visa in Australia indefinitely. Under the visa that Dean is currently on, he can work, study, get medicare (Dean has actually had this from the beginning), get some social security, sponsor his own family members, and travel freely. However, as I mentioned above, once 5 years is up from the date of his permanent partner visa grant, he will need to apply for a Resident Return Visa to come back into the country. These aren’t that expensive compared to the Australian partner visa, but I know Dean and I love to travel and holiday overseas, and I know I’m not dropping $350+ every five years for the privilege.
Get Dual Australian Citizenship
Option number two then is for Dean to apply for an Australian citizenship, but this is where things get a little complicated. Current citizenship law in Australia states that Dean can apply for his citizenship providing that he:
- Has lived in Australia for four years.
- Has lived the last 12 months of that four year period as a permanent resident.
So, with that in mind Dean can essentially apply at the end of March of 2019, just over a year after he got his permanent residency visa. This is because our Australian partner visa took so long to process, that we actually arrived in March of 2015, which will be four years total by then.
Unfortunately, it seems that we’ve come too late to get things done the easy way. Just as we happened to apply for our initial Australian partner visa just a few short weeks after the price jumped from $3800ish to $7000, so now the Australian government seeks to screw us again.
Apparently because they don’t want people to feel like they belong in Australia, they are changing citizenship laws to make it so Dean will need to stay in Australia for a minimum four years as a permanent resident, instead of four years overall with 12 months as a permanent resident. To be honest, I’m not 100% sure what is going on with this as it seems as though these changes were still being debated, but apparently our insular and xenophobic government is already listing on their website that the issue has been approved, and they will be put into place in July of 2018 (i.e. this year). So, that means that Dean won’t be becoming an Australian permanent resident any time soon folks. Oh, and as you can’t travel outside of Australia for more than 1 year at a time, it also means that if we decide we’d like to spend a year back in the U.K. we are essentially starting that timer from zero.
Thanks Australian government, you’ve delivered again!
Mad and Sad
It’s hard for me to figure out where my head is at right now. On the one had, I am super mad. Dean and I have waited so bloody long to be approved to be together. I hate that this enormous chunk of our relationship has been dedicated to making some faceless government stooge believe that our love is real, that our relationship is valid. It makes me f*cking furious, and you know that it does because I’ve never sworn on this blog before.
Still, once that anger washes over me, and it burns up inside, I realise that what I’m actually feeling is sad. Dean really loves Australia. I mean, he misses his family and that feeling of belonging, but he does see Australia as his home. It makes me so sad that Australia doesn’t see him as belonging at all, even though he’s been here for so long, paid so much, and worked so hard to prove it. There are many people around us who support us, and who couldn’t care what country he came from, who recognise that (with the exception of Australia’s first peoples) we are all migrants here. That history should connect us, but instead it drives us apart. People are so angry, and so racist, and so misinformed about the history of this country, and of what comes next. Migrants bring so much to Australia, and we only need to look into our own family trees to prove it.
So, in answering what comes next for us with Dean’s Australian partner visa, all I can say is that we are still going to be waiting. We will be waiting to hear about these law changes being made official, waiting to deal with the inevitable time increase, and waiting to see if this is an Australia we actually want to be a part of.
Right now, it doesn’t feel like it.