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Applying for a Partner Visa – Proving your relationship is genuine and continuing

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Being separated from your loved one is incredibly stressful.

As can a looming visa deadline, worrying that you or your partner might be sent home.

A Partner Visa solves these problems.

As migration agents, we work with many people who are desperate to bring their partner to Australia. They miss them terribly and they really can’t afford the time – or the emotional burden – of a visa rejection. 

But there is one thing many people get stuck on. 

How do I prove my relationship is ‘genuine and continuing’?

One of the key elements to your Partner Visa application is demonstrating this to the Department of Home Affairs.

But how? What does love look like on paper? What documents will the Department need to be satisfied?

Genuine and continuing – what does this mean?

In the initial stages of your Partner Visa Application, the Department considers four factors when determining whether or not a relationship is ‘genuine and continuing’.

Every relationship is different. Everyone’s love looks different. It’s about more than a marriage certificate and some photos. You’ll need to go deeper to show how your relationship with your partner works.

But – there is also such a thing as providing TOO many documents.  More is not always better Lots of bank statements, pictures and receipts don’t necessarily prove a genuine relationship. . 

You need to provide the right documents that meet the criteria. Here are some pointers to help you cover the four factors.

Cohabitation

This is a relatively easy one to collect as couples usually accumulate many documents showing that they live at the same address.

These might include:

  • Bills – Electricity, internet, rates, water – any household bill that has both of your names on it – or several different bills for the same address with one name on each. 
  • Driver licence – or another official form of identity with your home address on it.
  • Insurance – Home or contents insurance will have your home address listed in the policy.
  • General Correspondence – any letters or statements that include your name and home address.

Don’t worry if you don’t have all of these items – a migration agent can tell you when you have enough evidence to satisfy the requirements or suggest alternatives.

 

Joint financial commitment

Demonstrating joint financial commitment is about more than joint bank accounts. Every relationship has a different financial arrangement, designed to suit their circumstances.

It’s about clearly detailing your arrangement with your partner – and why you have done it this way, then providing evidence to back that up.

For example, one person may be paying the mortgage and other loans, while the other buys groceries or pays the bills. Or you may have children, and one partner might be the majority wage earner, while the other is the primary caregiver.

This is all ok! Every relationship is unique. What you need to do for your visa is 

  1. explain why your financial situation is structured this way and 
  2. how you manage your expenses together. 

You may also be able to provide the following .

  • receipts for purchases that are in both names. This might be a car, or a computer, furniture or appliances – anything with both of your names on the receipt.
  • joint bank statements
  • Wills, superannuation statements or other documents where you indicate a financial benefit to your partner. 

Social recognition

For this factor you will provide evidence that you are recognised as a couple by family, friends and by others .

Items you may include here are:

  • Photos (think about family functions, parties and other events where you are with other people, you as a couple at identifiable locations)
  • Joint travel records 
  • Invitations addressed to both of you
  • Detailed statements from friends and family members

Including specific details will help personal statements from family and friends carry more weight. If you search through your emails and social media accounts to confirm dates and other details, this goes a long way towards ensuring accuracy.

Commitment to each other

This is an area which can vary greatly. Cultural differences and personal preference mean commitment can look very different from one couple to another. 

Therefore, the most important documents to include to demonstrate commitment are statutory declarations from you and your partner 

These statements should include things like:

  • Relationship milestones – how you met, have you introduced your partner to your parents, or significant people in your life? 
  • Challenges you have overcome together – show how you support each other.
  • Your plans for the future – are you working to buy a house? To start a family? What are your dreams?

Consistency is crucial. The statements needs to be compatible with each other.

What is ‘enough’ evidence?

Always remember – your application is being processed by an actual person. 

This person has been trained to look for specific things. They will be frustrated if they have to read irrelevant documents or those that are not explained 

On the other hand, there are some essentials that absolutely need to be included. Failure to provide these will result in a rejection.

Nobody wants this!

At Aspire Australia, we go above and beyond just telling you what documents need to be included. 

 

We start by devising with you the best strategy to meet your needs. We will then manage the application at all stages of the process. We create and adapt your checklist to take into account your specific circumstances. We then help you put together the statutory declarations, to make sure they cover the important aspects of your relationship, we manage your forms, instruct you about the public interest criteria. 

We support you through the process from beginning to end- overcoming any challenges, and celebrating with you on approval. We love seeing our clients reunited with their loved ones!

If you want peace of mind that your application has the best chance of success, we would love to be your guide.

Want more information?

To get started, we invite you to download our Partner Visa Guidebook to help you understand the visa options and process. If you’re ready for a chat, please book a time with us now!

Don’t forget to download our Partner Visa GUIDE here

Are you fit to migrate?

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Health checks are an essential step in the visa process if you are looking to migrate permanently to Australia but do you understand the importance of passing the medical test? And are you aware of the ‘one fail all fail’ system – whether a member of your direct family unit is migrating with you or not, they must undergo a medical screening and, if they do not pass the health test, your application can be refused.

So while you may get a clean bill of health, an ‘unhealthy’ family unit member may jeopardize the success of your visa application.

Australia screens closely for TB, Hepatitis and HIV/AIDS as well as other diseases and conditions that could affect the health of Australians, or that require medical services in short supply here. For more details download a fact sheet.

Many permanent and temporary visa applications have been refused for medical reasons – including diabetes, obesity, kidney  and heart conditions and most cancers.

 

As part of your visa application process you should know that:

1) You will be required to attend an Australian Government approved panel doctor to have the required medical examinations as part of the visa application process. And remember, that goes for your direct family unit members as well.

2) If you know that either you or a family member has a health issue, then you can have your health status analysed at the beginning of your migration process. It is possible to get a medical opinion on the likelihood of passing the medical screening from an Australian consulting medical practitioner familiar with the Australian visa medical requirements.

Instead of waiting until the end of the process – after all the time and money has been spent –get the advice at the beginning, saving expense and heartache.

In some cases, your health and the health of your family can be improved with a change in diet and correct exercise – helping your chances of a successful migration.

3) Depending on the visa category in which you intend to apply, a health ‘waiver’ may be available, making it possible to obtain a visa despite having a listed disease or condition.

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Aspire Australia can help you plan your visa application process – including helping with obtaining a medical opinion – so that you have the best chance of successfully fulfilling the requirements and being able to start a new life in Australia. Call us now for expert advice.

5 great reasons to migrate to regional Australia

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A great way to move to Australia and enjoy everything this land has to offer is to consider moving to a country or regional area. Regional Migration visas can be granted to overseas workers who are willing to come to Australia and live in a regional area to start a new life and bring valuable skills and trades that are needed in these districts.

 

5 reasons to consider moving to a regional area:

  1. Regional NSW has a wide range of employment opportunities from farming, industrial mining and tourism, to essential services such as the health and education
  2. Far from being isolated, most regional areas have well established and welcoming communities of migrants
  3. Compared to the main cities, regional areas have lower housing costs and a higher standard of living for the average wage earner
  4. Public schools, secondary and primary, are generally smaller and well funded so children can get a great education
  5. Regional NSW is becoming more popular with Australians who want to get out of the city, bringing more business and helping to grow the economy of the area.

 

Key regional services are often run by franchise businesses – service stations, convenience store and fast food outlets are found in small towns and regional centres across NSW. Frequently these business owners have migrated to the area themselves understand the challenges faced by individuals and families migrating to a regional area in a new country.

 

Migrating to a regional area is becoming a popular choice – in 2014, there were 16 538 visas granted in the RSMS category (representing 12.8% of the skilled visas granted that year and 8.7% of the total migration programme) and 29 756 in the state sponsored categories (which includes some metropolitan areas).  Together these categories represent a significant proportion of Australia’s overall migration programme.

 

You can apply to move to a regional area of Australia through the General Skilled Migration – Regional Sponsored programme or through the Regional Sponsored Migration employment visa programme. Both mean that you will move to a regional area (places outside of Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane and Newcastle).

 

For more information on in-demand industry sectors and required skill-sets for regional areas, see SkillSelect

Aspire Australia can help you find the right regional visa for your skill-set. Contact Aspire Australia to discover your potential opportunities.

It’s not all about coding: the other IT jobs that can help you move to Australia

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The Australian IT industry is booming and while there is demand for specialist computer programmers, employment opportunities are not limited to coders. There are job vacancies across all IT industry skill sets. If you are looking to migrate to Australia as a skilled worker, , it is not necessarily your coding language you may need to brush up on – improving your English language skills may serve you better.

 

3 IT industry jobs that don’t require programming expertise:

 

IT Project Managers

Good project managers have a mix of specialist technical knowledge, great planning skills, communication skills to a range of people, leadership skills and the ability to motivate. You will need to be able to oversee a project from conception through planning, budgeting, to build, testing and delivery, as well as managing ongoing support and maintenance. Communication skills are key in this role as you will be excepted to speak to clients, managers as well as your technical team – it is your job to make sure each of these understands the details of the project.

 

Account Managers

Account Managers are part diplomat and part therapist. This is a ‘client facing’ role and your communications skills need to be very good as your role is to make sure the client is happy with the service, comfortable with the process and confident that their project is in the best possible hands. You also need to make sure the project manager fully understands the clients’ expectations and that any project constraints are clearly defined and communicated. Budgeting skills are also very useful in this role.

 

 

Sales Reps

Again, communication skills are key in the performance of this role. You need to fully understand the ICT product or service you are selling and be able to clearly communicate the features and benefits to potential buyers. Many sales positions require that you build a relationship with potential buyers and can mean that you are not only at a desk making calls but going out to meet business prospects to understand their needs. Language skills and personal presentation are an important part of this job.

 

Whether you are out there selling or managing complex ICT projects, there are opportunities for you to migrate to Australia and claim an IT industry job. Independent Skilled Migration and Employer Sponsored visa programmes are available to ICT professionals who have the right mix of technology know-how and communication skills.

 

If you are an ICT professional who does not want to be stuck behind a monitor then Call or email us here at Aspire Australia today to find a pathway for your move to Australia to work in the IT industry.

Hospitality Industry Opportunities for Hungry Workers

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Do you work in the food or food service industry? If so, have you considered migrating to Australia? The door is open for skilled and employment visas.

Australia has one of the most diverse food palates in the world. As a nation we have been built upon the cultures of many other nations – starting with the British (who admittedly didn’t contribute much in the culinary stakes!) to the Afghans who helped access the vast interior, the Chinese, Italians and Germans who came for the Gold Rush and subsequent national infrastructure projects such as the Snowy Mountains Scheme to the more recent Asian migrants. In Australia today, food has become even more diverse, and restaurants, eateries, food trucks and cafes are continuously opening.  Fresh, raw, local, organic, fusion and everything in-between – the food industry is thriving across Australia.

While New South Wales offers the greatest number of opportunities both in the major cities and regional areas, the food revolution is booming right across the country. Many smaller regional areas are becoming known for specialist culinary outlets that showcase local farmers and suppliers. And many of these food businesses – restaurants, hotels, function centres – need to supplement their workforce with specialist chefs and hospitality professionals.

Chefs & Cooks

There are several options to apply to live and work as a chef or cook in Australia. An experienced and/or qualified chef can access employer sponsored visas (the 457, ENS or RSMS), a great option if your prospective employer is willing and able to sponsor you. The employer could be a small restaurant with specialized cuisine, a large hotel, an events centre or catering company. You would be employed according to Australian standards and workplace legislation, including wages and working conditions. You would need vocational English. General skilled migration is also available to chefs and cooks, who would need to first obtain a skills assessment.

Restaurant Managers & Hotel Managers

If hospitality is your life, and you have qualifications for management positions, there are opportunities to apply under the employment (457, ENS, RSMS) and GSM programmes.

English language proficiency is a requirement – the better your proficiency the bigger the advantage – and your skills may need to be formally assessed. Click here for more Skills Recognition Information.

Look for job openings in regional areas if you wish to apply for a Regional Skilled Migration Scheme visa (RSMS). Regional Australia covers all of Australia except Sydney, Newcastle and Wollongong in NSW, Brisbane metro and Gold Coast areas in Queensland and the Melbourne metro area of Victoria. Consider stand alone restaurants, restaurants in hotels, hotels either small or large or resorts.

Discover more about the various employer sponsored categories and compare the criteria by clicking here.