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?

By way of Introduction…

Heeeey, I’m Audrey.Me!I like pizza, whiskey, books, movies, tacos, comic strips, history, Star Wars, dinosaurs, MS Paint, arts n crafts, travel, and reality TV about trashy families and pregnant teenagers. 

I also like to write about all these things. I used to blog at Audge Podge & Blither Blather, but I live here now.

I live in Northern Virginia, right outside of Washington, DC. However, in September, I’ll be leaving the ranch and cheese covered, traffic-dense delights of the United States and I’ll be moving to Sydney, Australia to be with my boyfriend, Joel. 

Joel!In 2012, I went to Sydney to visit my super pal, Odie. I didn’t even know Odie had a roommate, but that’s how I met Joel. We became fast friends, and through months of emailing and chatting after I left, we realized we had fallen for each other. And we knew we wanted to make it work, despite the most distance possible between us. When Joel came to visit me for a month last year, I knew what our next step was. Eight months after that legendary visit, I have my Australian Work and Holiday Visa in one hand and a one-way ticket to Sydney in the other. And neither of us could be happier. 

If moving across state lines or moving across the country is hard, then moving internationally is going to be rough. I know, though, that what I’m giving up is minuscule to what I’m getting in return. I’ve spent a long time looking for what I want, but I never knew how good life would be once I found it. 

To say I’m excited about moving is a bit of an understatement. My dad was in the military, so I’ve moved around a lot in my time. But, this is the most anticipated move I’ve ever made, so I started this blog to keep up with my transition from ‘Murica to “Down Unda” (/wince), as well as to post new pieces that I’m writing, new projects we finish, and new adventures we have. I’m about 7 weeks away from Moving Day, and there’s just so much to be done. And once I’m there, I have a country that’s bigger than mine with so many different things to learn: visas, vegemite, health care, driving on the right, and learning to live without air conditioning, my Americans, Netflix, or my cat, Bill Purray.

So stay tuned for ex-pat anecdotes, new fiction, and hopefully lots of pictures of wallabies.

Thanks for reading!

xoxo, audrey