Let’s Immigrate!

If you had asked me when I was 20, where I thought I’d be at 30, I’d never respond “Filling out an application to live in another country.” And yet, here I am, staring down check lists and paperwork.

I’m on a Work and Holiday visa at the moment, which is only good for 1 year, and you can only have 1, ever. So we knew going into this that I’d need a second visa, and that visa is a Partnership Visa. This visa will allow me work for any employer for up to 5 years, and allow me to be eligible for Medicare and other social benefits. We knew it would be a lengthy, expensive process to get this visa, and it’s been looming over us since we started talking about me moving to Sydney. And every month since I moved here, we’ve taken a step that will help show we are an established, committed couple. Linking our bank accounts took no time. Getting my name on the utilities took a little more time. Applying for the De Facto certificate took a lot more time. Getting me on the lease took a really long time. All in all, this whole process has taken a long time.

I look at this application and I think, “wow, this–this–determines the course my life will take in the next year.” And that’s heavy. If my application isn’t accepted, I’ll have to be sponsored by an Australian employer in order to stay in the country. Which is possible, but not guaranteed, or even likely. So, if I don’t get this visa, I’m headed back to the States, where we will face a whole other ball of shit-wax trying to bring Joel over. /yay

“Welcome to America. Now get married, or get out.”

So there’s a lot riding on this. It’s not that I don’t want to move back to the States, it’s just that I don’t want to move back so soon. And I really don’t want to move back without Joel. And all this is making our anxiety go a little into hyper drive. As in, I have 3 checklists and a time line to make sure everything is completed. I’ve placed at least 4 calls to the Immigration Agency. I’ve had to re-print pages of the applications many times because I keep making spelling errors. Everyday I nag Joel about something visa related. There have been a few times where the hugeness of everything has kept us awake at night. Like I said, there’s a lot riding on this.

But, this process hasn’t been all bad! Not that I needed the reassurance, but Joel’s worry over this has reminded me just how invested he is in our future, and how much he wants us to be together. I’ve written 4 essay style answers to the nitty gritty and day-to-day functionalities of our relationship in order to prove we are a legitimate couple, and I got to see just how well we work together. After all, it’s one thing to just know you work as a couple, and it’s another to prove it. I also think of how fortunate I am that I get to be in this situation. There are a lot of people who can’t travel outside of the States, let alone move to another country. This process has definitely made me more thankful and aware of how lucky I am. And there’s nothing wrong with gratitude, right?

So I’ll accept the stress, the anxiety, the dragged out process, and the expense. It’s all working toward something bigger and better. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to gather photos and important documents and maybe re-work my checklist one more time. Because I figure, if there’s anytime to be anal retentive, it’s when I’m submitting a $5,000 visa applicaton. Amirite?

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