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How can an expat prove joint life?
Old 22nd January 2011, 10:38 AM   #1
holdingpattern
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Nigeria
Posts: 2
Default How can an expat prove joint life?

Hi everyone,

First of all, I'm in tears at reading how long some of you have been waiting for your partner visa decision, and the idea that my husband and I could suffer the same wait. I wish God Speed to us all.

I moved to Ghana for a job from Australia in January 2010. I met the man who was to become my husband in the same month. We started living together in April 2010. We got married in December 2010. We moved to Nigeria in January 2011 as I was transferred by the Company and my husband has come with me, though can only stay 90 days at a time under the ECOWAS protocol (i.e. he is not an official resident of Nigeria).

We are in the process of preparing the application for SubClass 309 (offshore) visa.

I have no idea how we are going to prove that we have joint lives owing to:

- The requirement to show things such as joint participation in social and cultural events. This is Africa, and all this stuff is so informal - no nice little ticket stubs to prove where we have been, or an invitation to a wedding (invites are invariably a phone call). All we have is photos - is that likely to be sufficient?

- The requirement to show the extent to which we have combined our affairs. As I am employed as an expat, I have no rental agreement, utility bills, major purchases (such as furniture), basically, I don't exist on paper here, let alone exist on paper with my husband! We have a joint bank account (which my salary, our only source of income, goes into) but that is all. Any thoughts?

How can I prove that we were living together all this time, since the house is provided by the company and there are no records. The only thing I can think of is statements from other ex pats who lived in the same complex as my husband and I, but this will be very difficult as we are now spread across the globe, as expats come and go so much. Any thoughts?

We also feel we need a plan B, as if, the application is rejected, any other ideas for how we might be able to proceed to achieve the ultimate aim of living in Australia? I simply cannot go on living in Africa in the long term, and would have to return to Australia for my sanity, but any periods of separation must be proved to be temporary now that we are legally married.

Life is indeed complicated! Welcome your thoughts/ideas/suggestions.
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