Visa: the lodging

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FINALLY.

After 10 months of form filling, document acquiring, sorting, filing, collecting, copying, certifying, advising, nagging, collecting, copying, certifying, proofing, and double proofing, about $7,700 spent in applications and various administrative tasks, and various anxiety attacks and stern discussions, we finally finished my visa for partnership migration, and today I sent it to the Dept. of Immigration to be lodged.

I was excited and terrified to drop the application off at the post office today (registered, signature confirmation, express post – basically one step away from having a secret service member deliver it). My heart was racing and my hands were shaking as I wrote the address on the giant envelope. We’ve both been waiting so long for this day, and it seems unreal that it happened. And it’s going to be even weirder to sit in my study and not see the massive binder full of us staring back at me, and even weirder to not have “well, we need to save for the visa” trailing every monetary thought in my mind. If Joel hadn’t put in for half of it (THANK YOU), it would have been the second most expensive thing, after my car, that I’ve ever bought. Even then, it still stung the ol’ savings account. As Joel said, “Loving you is very expensive.” *

So now we play two waiting games. 1) Waiting for the confirmation letter from the Department of Immigration with all my bridging visa details, and 2) the 12-15 months it will take to process the encyclopaedia of Joel-Audrey (so many pages). And before anyone asks, no, it would not have been easier for us to “just get married.” We would have had to fill out the same huge amounts of paperwork and evidence, on top of the added pressure of getting married before either of us are ready just for the sake of a visa. Even I’m not that impulsive. Yeah, it would have saved us a few grand in application costs, but we probably would have spent that money on a wedding (and by that I mean flying my family over to our Australian JOP ceremony and McDonald’s reception).

It’s all done. I’m relieved, I’m scared, and I’m ever hopeful all at the same time. Actually, I think I’m so anxious, I’m ready to have a stroke. I love the life that Joel and I have created here. And I’m crossing every crossable appendage I have that we get to continue it.

*he has no idea.

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