*I meant to post this earlier, but true to form, forgot in all the excitement!*
We have now got our visas. But my word, what a task! I confess, I have never before had to apply for a working visa for another country. If the British system is anything like the Australian one (and I think I know that it isn’t but rather much worse) then all immigrants in the UK have my profound sympathies.
I was fascinated by the things I needed to prove, not just my identity (passport, fair enough!), the job I am going to (also fair enough, see contract signed, here), but also that I currently have travel insurance for medical costs (even though I am not yet in Australia and will be taking out insurance for this once we arrive), and that my relationship with my partner is a real one! I tell you, that’s a fun one when you aren’t married to each other and you don’t have shared finances! But we did get it all sorted, turns out a shared council tax bill (proves we live together) and proof that we had been on holiday together a number of times (thank goodness for family abroad and the odd vacation that we can prove through flight tickets… and thank goodness for email copies of flight tickets otherwise we would have been screwed!). I am grateful that we didn’t have to get a signed statement about our relationship from a colleague at work- now that would have been awks! All in all I submitted 34 separate image files/scans/documents to prove both my legitimate request for a visa and the legitimacy of my relationship with my partner! All good clean fun.
I have to say though, once you’ve got your head around the sheer volume of paperwork, signatures, photographs and X-rays required the online immigration system is both relatively straightforward to use and the communication between you and (presumably human) immigration agents in Australia clear and precise. Now all I have to do is turn up with my passport and it should all be registered and ready.
But I’m going to take a copy of my paperwork from the agency… just in case of mishaps! It’s an awfully long flight….
(Image Credit: By Sempoerna (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons)