Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Visa displeaser

If you've been with us from the beginning, you'll know that the whole reason we came to Australia was a random conversation with a colleague of mine, who had been offered work out here, but who couldn't go herself, so... hey! Why don't you go?! Jan and I discussed it at length* and decided to go for it. And so we got a company-sponsored visa for four years,

* "Cate: Fancy moving to Sydney?
  Jan: Yeah, sure."

But recently, the company I work for was bought by another company. And so the saga began.
"But surely they can just transfer your visa to the new company?", I hear you ask. And the answer? Stupid governmental bureaucracy is much the same as estate agencies - universal and universally awful.  For undisclosed reasons, they couldn't just transfer the visa - I had to apply for a new visa.  Only..... *pauses for dramatic effect*..... they've changed the list of jobs that can qualify for the visa! And, yep, you guessed it, mine's not on there! Your name's not down, you're not coming in! Release the Border Police:

The only real option was for us to ask Jan's company to sponsor him and get a new visa that way. Fortunately for us, there were already registered with the relevant authorities, as a company that is eligible to sponsor employees. Also fortunately, Jan is very good at what he does, and they didn't want him to be eaten by the Border Police just cos his loser wife had a loser job. So they got on making the application for Jan.

And so began.... the.... waiting..... Anyone who has had to fill out any sort of complicated paperwork will feel the pain of The Wait and the stress of your life being in the hands of someone else. Shall we book our honeymoon?! No, for fear we will get booted out. Shall we plan our next trip home? No, we might be there sooner than expected. Shall I book that dental appointment? NO, we might need your gold* fillings to pay for the flights home. Shall I book that leg waxing? Uhm.. maybe - it could make you more streamlined in the water for when we have to swim to Manus Island.

* Neither of us has gold fillings. Don't get me wrong - I have several fillings, I'm just too cheap to pay for gold ones. Heck, I'm so cheap I didn't even pay for the porcelain version! I got the old amalgams - who cares if they're black and they've got mercury in them?! They're cheap!

Anyway, a few centuries* later, we heard we had got a bridging visa. No illegal immigrants, us! A bridging visa is basically a visa that allows you to stay in the country while they work out if you actually can stay in the country - and in fact on a bridging visa, you are unable to leave the country! So we had basically gone from being unsure whether we should be here,  to being unable to leave. Uh, progress?!

* weeks, but dayum waiting is hard..

Then, after another couple of weeks, the wait was finally over and the country has deemed Jan, at least, good enough to stay here. We have a shiny new visa valid for four years - and now I am the dependant! Which means I can gad about quitting my job and spending all day on the beach if I like, while Jan is tied to the grindstone, providing for his ineligible wife! Hey, this might not be so bad after all!

Highly professional graphics added by me!