18 December 2008


I came to Australia 3 years ago on a sponsored working visa. This means that the company I found a job with signed a statement that they couldn't find an Australian to fill the position and required me to come over from the US. One of the stipulations of this visa, was that I work. It didn't even occur to me that having a baby, and wanting to not work for a while might create a problem. As it turns out the maximum amount of time I was allowed to take off was 3 months, which was not enough. I had to apply for my residency to stay here longer without working.
And so on the 4th of December, Pete, Stella and I went to the immigration office to lodge my visa application. The visa was based on my relationship with Pete (called de facto spouse), who is a dual citizen of the US and Australia. It's exactly like you have seen on tv. We gathered loads of documentation to prove our relationship was real and not solely for the purpose of the visa: bank statements, our taxes (which we filed together), a criminal background check from the FBI and the Australian Federal Police, legal statements from our friends stating that the relationship was real, and even photos from vacations we took together.
I was so nervous. I could picture the immigration man looking down at me over thick, official-looking glasses and scrutinizing every detail of our application. I pictured myself pleading with him to allow me to stay home with our gorgeous daughter and all sorts of unexpected complications arising. In actuality, the officer looked over a few key pieces of he needed (the health and criminal background check to be specific) and told us to come back in 20 minutes. When we returned he had my new visa printed up and attached to my passport. Not so scary. Apparently Stella was the main piece of evidence he needed.
So now I can stay in Australia and can stay home with Stella for as long as I need.

From Residency!

1 comment:

Monica said...

You're official! Congrats, Liz!