Thursday, February 24, 2011

Visa Process - A picture speaks a thousand words

Well, like all good dyselxics I think better in pictures than all those words so here is my best understanding of the process:

And I thought it might be interesting to tick stuff off as we go along and, as is inevitable, add extra loops and lumps along the way

The Process

As mentioned I have now received instruction from our migration lawyers which detailed our instructions which, thankfully, didn't self distruct after reading

 For those interested here are the basic steps to getting a visa (abridged version):

  •  I provide personal documents to the agents office (including medical and English test results as required).
  • They prepare Department of Immigration & Citizenship (DIAC) visa application forms for all family members. 
  • These will be sent to me by email to be verified and signed.
  • They will prepare Department of Immigration & Citizenship visa application forms and supporting documents for my employer to complete.
  • Myself and my employer verify, signed and return DIAC forms and supporting documents to them.
  • They prepare written submissions in support of your application which we lodge, together with the DIAC forms, my supporting personal documents and information about my employer
  • They monitor your residency application and liaise with Immigration with regards to any queries or clarification.
  • DIAC notifies us of the outcome of the visa application.
  • Furhter instructions are provided to arrange visa evidencing.

Sounds simple doesn't it.  But wait, this little list starts with a Mount Everest of complication before it even gets started.  That innocent little phase "personal documents" cloaks a much longer list.  The documents needed include:
  • Certified copy of your passport bio-data pages, pages with Australian visa labels and entry and departure stamps.
  • If applicable, certified copy of the passport bio-data pages, and pages with Australian visa labels and entry and departure stamps, for any family members to be included in the application
  • Two recent passport photos for you and any included family members in the application
  • If applicable, certified copy of your marriage certificate/ OR de facto documentation confirming that you and your spouse have lived together for at least the last 12 months.
  • Certified copy of any previous divorce decrees (if applicable).
  • Certified copy of any change of name deeds (if applicable)
  • Certified copy of military discharge certificate for any compulsory or non-compulsory service completed (if applicable).
  • Certified copy of your qualifications (e.g. diploma certificate, bachelors degree etc).
  • Copies of two recent pay slips.
  • Copy of your Subclass 457 approval notification email for you and any included family members
  • Evidence of English language ability.
  • Police clearances for each and every country you have lived for more than 12months in the last 10 years
  • Medical checks.
And so starts the challenge........can I gather together all these pieces of paper before my stamina gives out........well of course I can, I lived in DUBAI!!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

We like it here, please may we stay?

Well it's been quite along time since I last id any blogging and lots has happened since then.  Anybody who has follwed our life on facebook will know we've moved to Australia, had a son (Teddington) and bought a house.  And with all these "life expereicnes" under our belt we've kind of decided we might like ot put down some roots and stay somwhere for a while.  And will Teddington being a ripper aussie nipper we figured whuy not make it his home country - Australia!!

Now there are many ways to get into Australia: Tourist visa, migrant worker visa,
The Australian tourist visa.The Australian working holiday visa, The Australian business visa, The Australian business sponsored visa, The General skilled migration visa, The Spouse, Fiance, Partner and De Facto Visa, The Australian student visa.  And even within all these there are sub-classes and special lists; and failing all these you can always just turn up at Christmas Island and hope for the best......but often that isn't so "best"
So it was that The Co-pilot and I started looking into the more favorable, if burocratically challenging options and it basically came down to two:  Independent Migrant Works Visa or the General Skilled Migrant Visa - Subclass 856 Employer Nominated Visa (I kid you not, that is the name, roles off the tongue doesn't it?  Having made initial inquiries I managed to establish that processing times were 1-3 years and 3-5 months respectively.  With those sort of time frames options two looked best but required my company to sponsor us; something that isn't usually offered according to my terms of employement until you have been with the company 2 years.  We've only been here 1.  However, in the best spirit of "if you don't ask you don't get" I tried my luck and put a proposition to them and they liekd what they heard:  and so we are now heading down the road of General Skilled Migrant Visa - Subclass 856 Employer Nominated Visa or GSMV-S8ENV.......or perhaps we can call it Bob for short

This was all agreed just before Christmas and at the begining of the month I received an email from the companies visa lawyers to explain the process to me and get the ball rolling.  I therefore thought that it woudl be a bit of fun and perhaps an interesting record for prosperity to keep a blog of the whoel process, as I'm sure there is bound to be problems along the - after all this is beurocracy!!

So sit back, get comfy and behold the pantomine of our journey through the world of administratum, as we set sail for AUSTRALIA!!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Nobody more Youi than you.....except you that is

Now I don't usually use this blog for goat style rants about loonacy and idioticness in the world but I have been moved to do so.

When I moved to Australia and kitted myself out with a truck of suitable qualities.  You know, nothing extravagant just the essentials such a a modest engine (4L plus); good traction control (such as 4 wheel drive); an adequate carrying capacity (comfortable seating for five people and all their dive gear should about do it) and so I arrived at the economically little city run around that is the Nissan Patrol 4.8L GU ST.

I then got to looking for insurance for this little beast.  I was particularly impressed with an advertising campaign by an Australian Insurer who ran the tag line "Nobody is more youi than you, that's why we insure you for how you use your car".  Sounded brilliant I thought.  They have things like cheaper policies if you don't use your car to commute to work, or if you only own a small car, or you only use your car at weekends for trips etc.  This was a breath of fresh air after the insanly simple UAE system of "4% of the value of your car" regardless of whether you are a insane driver.

On this basis I took out insurance back in February and it was half the price of the next cheapest quite because I commute to work by ferry.  Brilliant!!

Well, in preparation for the big trips the co-pilot and I intend to take peanut on just as soon as he is old enough for his child seat we have had a few minor modifications made to the truck.  You know, the little tweaks like steel front bumper with super winch in case we need to drag an elephant out of the way, a dual wheel carrier steel rear bumper in case we get TWO punctures at once and 80mm lift kit (upgraded to super-stiff heavy duty springs) to safely carry all the extra weight.  In a summary we finished off the vehicle as I'm sure Nissan really wanted to make it but ran out of time on a Friday afternoon and so cut a few corners.

Well, upon reversion back to my youi insurance compnay to inform them of these little imprvements it would seem that while there is nobody more youi than me, it would seem that I am just a little too meie than me and suddenly I am completely unisurable.  It would seem that I can be as me as me provided you are a tofu knitting bunny hugger eager to buy a car and leave it at home and go to work on your bike........and do nothing more exciting with your car than add an air freshener.

I am now on the search for another insurance company; one that can handle somebody as youi as I want to be.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Mmmmmm an Idea

I believe my good friend and best man (who shall remain nameless to protect the innocent) has descovered a possible and fool proof solution to my imprending child rearing terror:

I'll say no more.........other than ask if anybody has a Brazil lonely planet I can borrow?

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Christmas in July

Imogen and I had our first experience of a rather strange, but completely understandable, tradition of our antipadian hosts and that is the Christmas In July.  I kid you not, a lot of these people have a second christmas celebration in July!!  Now at first I thought this was a rather daft idea but I guess it makes sense.  In Australia it is hot and balmy on 25 December which is entirely un-christmasy.  However, in July it is cold, misrable and usually wet.........just like those fond memories we pommes have of old blighty.

And so it was that the co-pilot and I found ourselves heading to Eaglereach in the Hunter Valley with the Sydney Sub-aqua Club for a fantastic knees up.  We arrived on Friday night after taking 2.5 hours to make the 60minute journey from Newcastle (where I am currently working) due to a combination of:

  1. A cat that bolted for the door as we were leaving (40 minutes to find and catch the little bugger)
  2. Called in to work to get wallet only to find they have an alarm system......half hour to wait for security
  3. GPS that was 10km out on the location of the place and being lead up a 3km farm drive
  4. Thick fog meaning it took us another hour to finally find the place despite being only 5km
But eventually we got there and a great place to get it was.  The place is a wilderness retreat on the top of a hill, which basically means lots of nature trails, wildlife and sleeping in fancy (really VERY fancy in many case) portacabins.  And the copilot got her fix of her new favourate native wild life - the kangeoo.

Well, enough chatter, here are some pictures:

The kangeroo's were pretty tame

 So tame in fact this little fella came and joined us for a beer
 and stuck around for about an hour and was pretty darn nosy.

Although sometimes, nature can be a bit too.......erm.....natural

 There were also a few great little off roading trails

which presented a few challenges for Jules and myself with a bit of trail building and rock crawling

and back at the ranch it was a good long soak in the hot tub

and then Saturday evening we were off to the restaurant for a great turkey dinner and a damn good knees up.  I'm afraid I don't have too many pictures of the evening itself (a bit too much vino to make the camera work.

Although I do have to say, and if you are opposed to open shows of affection (and I know they are rare from me), you know you have a stunningly good lucking wife when she can look this good even when she is 30 weeks pregnant:

I reckon I'm a pretty darn lucky bloke.

Well, most of the time

Friday, July 2, 2010

Who's Yer Daddy!!

As Imogen has suddnely disciovered her writters prowess, and produced some quite amusing posts, I thought I better get a word in edge ways.  Now, being a bit of a day dreamer (yeah yeah OK, a lot of a day dreamer) I was doing a few random searches around the wide world of webs and came across what I have to say is the COOLEST baby outfit ever:

If anybody is looking for that must get gift for a Dad to be this would be right up there with them (hint hint HINT!!)

Other greats include:                                           Chewy:

and R2D2 
Or for the baddies out there - a storm trooper

It is just a shame they don't do a Luke Skywaker in x-wing fighter pilot suit.  As mum will know, along with the double inner curve, this was the much longed for toy to complete my collection.  I eventually got the curve, but to this day have never been the proud owner of a Luke Skywalker.

I did originally search for "Where can I get Star Wars baby clothes?"  and got back the answer "Tatooine".  You have to be fan to know why that was so funny it made me laugh out loud!!

========================LATE BREAKING NEWS====================

Best of all worlds, they do a Luke Skywater in X-wing fighter pilots outfit for PEANUT!!