Wednesday, March 14, 2007

GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!

Remember this?

In the end, getting hold of all the police records, other official documents, and official translations from each country took around three months. Geekman was finally able to submit his permanent residence application in January, just in time for the new two-year employment contract to kick in (you require a two-year contract to qualify for permanent residence under the category he is applying in).

A couple of weeks ago, Immigration contacted him wanting to know why he had applied when he (now) has less than two years on his contract. He explained that he did have a two-year contract when he submitted the application and they seemed mollified.

And now he has just had an email from Immigration saying that they now need ME to jump through exactly the same hoops he did (police records from every country I have lived in, extensive medical examination costing hundreds of dollars, official translations, etc). This despite the fact that, as a New Zealander, I can live in Australia for as long as I like without going through any of this crap. And I am sure there was never anything on the original forms saying I would have to do this.

The worst thing is that even if we are extremely efficient, the long post times between Europe and here (and the "up to three months" processing time for some police record requests) mean it will probably take months to get the required documents. So by the time they come to process Geekman's application, he'll be lucky if he has much more than a year left on his contract. And I can just see them using that as an excuse to reject his application out of hand (while retaining the $2500 non-refundable processing fee).

We are so screwed.

13 Comments:

shrinkykitten said...

This totally sucks. Is there hope you could get out of your part? That seems ludicrous. Is australia having htat many immigration issues?

I'm sorry y'all have to deal with this.

StyleyGeek said...

If they were reasonable, then yes, there would be hope I could get out of my part. It just doesn't make sense that as a NZer I can live here forever without these medical and character tests, but because I'm married to a foreigner, I suddenly have to do them.

But I suspect they have some obscure regulations that they will follow to the letter.

Australia does NOT have immigration issues, it just thinks it does. Well, okay, it has issues in that it tends to lock immigrants up in camps in the desert with appalling conditions for decades on end and in that it occasionally deports its own citizens by mistake, thinking they look too much like dirty furreners. But it doesn't have the sort of issues you mean.

Ianqui said...

Well, since you are already going to have to spend a lot of money, perhaps the best thing to do is consult a lawyer first (or do you call them solicitors down there?) Perhaps your uni even has a drop-in person. It's worth knowing whether or not there really, actually is a law requiring this crap, or if they're making this up (as they would be doing if it were the US).

Inside the Philosophy Factory said...

I think Ianqui is giving good advise! Were you in the US, I'd send you to my pal the immigration lawyer-to-be... she's a brilliant 2nd year law student at Harvard who has an intership at an immigration law clinic :).

One way or the other, it sounds like a good idea to verify that such a law exists. It seems kind of odd that your status would change.

StyleyGeek said...

That's probably good advice, Ianqui. Pity lawyers scare the hell out of me (I don't know why: maybe because they are expensive, or maybe I was a criminal in a past life).

I'm also not sure if there even has to be a law. I suspect that the documentation the Immigration department is allowed to ask you to provode is entirely within their discretion.

I'll look into whether the uni has some legal person I can speak to, though. I'd use the "International Student Advice Office" except that they refuse to provide advice to New Zealanders, since we aren't really international :)

I just spoke to another student in the dept who is applying for permanent residence, and she says they keep changing the rules on her as well.

S. said...

This reminds me of when we did our second-parent adoption, in which, yes, we adopted our own child, and were grateful to be able to do it. Even though I birthed her, because A. hadn't done so, every adult living in her household (i.e., me!) had to have a criminal background check. I recently found the record from that check and couldn't for the life of me remember what it was for, but I just did!

Miss M. said...

There's a legal advice office in Union Court upstairs from that place that has nice sushi, between the SA office and the chaplaincy - no idea what they're like but its worth a try by the sounds of things. I'm pretty sure its free.

I know a lot of international students who are having similar problems, it stinks. When I applied for Australian citizenship in 2004 it was ridiculously easy and it doesn't seem fair that others are having so many problems, it makes me feel guilty.

(Though, I had been in the country for 13 years, was still under 18 and am a kiwi which probably made it easier)

Weekend_Viking said...

It's bureaucracy like that that makes me determined to get out of Australia as soon as financially feasible, even if it means having to go back to being a hermit farmer on a hill in the southern alps.

RageyOne said...

Bureaucracy sucks everywhere. So sorry this is happening to you.

wolfa said...

Have you considered divorcing him, then remarrying once he has permanent residence? Nothing says "I love you" like "let's get a temporary divorce".

StyleyGeek said...

Wolfa, would you believe that was his first suggestion? :)

JustMe said...

omg, stupid immigration regulations...
good luck...

New Kid on the Hallway said...

Grrrrr indeed! Immigration stuff sucks, whatever country you're in. (And wolfa/Geekman both crack me up!)