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Experience with Visas for Tunisians
Old 17th February 2010, 09:49 AM   #1
Rhiannon
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Perth WA
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Default Experience with Visas for Tunisians

Hello there,
I was hoping to find out if anyone (be it agent or sponsor) have had experience with visas (Tourist or Spouse) for Tunisian nationals? I recently got married married in Tunisia last year in Nov 09 and am currently in Tunisia at the moment on holiday with my husband again and we are trying to organise the papers for our visa. I'm trying to decide on which visa to apply for as I've called the Immi office in Oz many times and have received conflicting stories as to how I can get my hubby here asap. One story, I'm told that I should apply for the Spousa Visa first and then apply for the Tourist Visa, as that would show that he would like to come over to live and he would come over on Tourist visa whilst waiting for the Spouse visa. Another story is that I would apply for the Tourist Visa first and hoping it is successful, he comes over and then we can apply for the Spouse Visa whilst he is over here in Oz. Can someone advise on what the best option to do? There is more information in regards to my situation. I am more than happy to post this if required as my relationship started off long distance and then marriage eventuated.

I also have to go through the Oz Embassy in Egypt for my application. Has anyone had any GOOD experiences with this particular embassy?

Thanking you all in advance

Rhiannon
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Old 17th February 2010, 03:23 PM   #2
Robert
 
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Kandralingam Chelliah Registered Migration Agent
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Hi Rhiannon,

Thank you for posting in the MH Forum and sharing your concerns with other MH readers.

Since you are already married you need to apply for subclass 309 and sponsor your spouse residing in Tunisia. The sponsorship and visa application will have to be couriered to the Australian Embassy at Cairo. It usually takes about 6 months to complete the assessment, but be prepared for a longer time.

You can also make the application on shore in Australia if you can get a tourist visa for him, which is most unlikely as it will be evident to the Australian embassy that he is married to an Australian, that he does not have Australian sponsorship, and that while he is in Australia he will breach the tourist visa conditions. The system does not favour change of status on shore while on tourist visa. It is most unlikely you will succeed in getting a tourist visa.
You should speak to the embassy staff and tell them the true situation, i.e. you do not wish to be separated with from your husband, still in honeymoon stage, that you have a life to return to Australia, etc. Australian staff are known to be helpful to those who are upfront with their intentions.

You can email me your contact phone number to rkc@austmigration.com.sg and I will talk to you on Skype.

Best wishes


Robert K Chelliah
www.austmigration.com.au
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Old 17th February 2010, 05:43 PM   #3
downundervisa
 
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Yes, what Robert says is correct, Rhiannon. (I wonder if your mum was a fan of Fleetwood Mac? There were a lot of Rhiannon's born at that time. Lovely name!) You probably won't find an agent with a speciality in Tunisia, but us agents are a fairly versatile lot. Any Registered agent could help you. Just watch out for those who have no registration, and therefore no Government watchdog watching over their shoulders like we have!
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Old 18th February 2010, 05:32 AM   #4
Rhiannon
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert View Post
Hi Rhiannon,

Thank you for posting in the MH Forum and sharing your concerns with other MH readers.

Since you are already married you need to apply for subclass 309 and sponsor your spouse residing in Tunisia. The sponsorship and visa application will have to be couriered to the Australian Embassy at Cairo. It usually takes about 6 months to complete the assessment, but be prepared for a longer time.

You can also make the application on shore in Australia if you can get a tourist visa for him, which is most unlikely as it will be evident to the Australian embassy that he is married to an Australian, that he does not have Australian sponsorship, and that while he is in Australia he will breach the tourist visa conditions. The system does not favour change of status on shore while on tourist visa. It is most unlikely you will succeed in getting a tourist visa.
You should speak to the embassy staff and tell them the true situation, i.e. you do not wish to be separated with from your husband, still in honeymoon stage, that you have a life to return to Australia, etc. Australian staff are known to be helpful to those who are upfront with their intentions.

You can email me your contact phone number to rkc@austmigration.com.sg and I will talk to you on Skype.

Best wishes


Robert K Chelliah
www.austmigration.com.au
Hi Robert,
Thank you for your prompt reply. As this relationship is very serious (hence marriage), I have been very upfront with the office staff over phone as I want to obtain a realistic waiting time and understand what is exactly required of me. The hardest thing I find on my part is the fact that the relationship started off long distance and although family and friends know this relationship is genuine, its a case of proving this to the case officials. I did actually call a few times so I could get a general idea of what the officials were thinking. The main feel I could get from them is the fact that I was explaining everything in detail and being very foward with them. But still I have this worry as I've heard a couple of bad stories with applications going thru the Australian Embassy in Egypt. I read a few postings on this forum and the case officer tends to be a bit biased towards these cases. The fact my relationship started out long distance is my only worry. If they look at the age in detail, I have nothing wrong with this because hubby and me are practically the same age (I'm 24 and he's 23 - 7 months diff). He has Tunisian culture, I have New Zealand culture background and they are both similar. Religion wise, there is no problem with this as I've been brought up and exposed to quite a few religions, so this is quite normal for me. Before I even accepted the marriage from my husband, I took into account many cultural, religious, work, family and life factors as this is a major decision to make in life. He's educated (recently finished studies last year) however the job situation in Tunisia for professional jobs are hard. We are recently married in Nov last year and had a very big and beautiful wedding over her in Tunisia. Basically, I really would like him here with me asap as I do miss his presence a lot.

I was also told that if I submitted the Spouse Visa first, waited some time and submitted the Tourist Visa application (so he could come over for a holiday whilst waiting for the Spouse Visa), they would both be successful. Not sure if you've heard of this situation before. If this is possible, that could break up the long wait for the Spouse Visa. The success of the Tourist Visa would be high because of the fact that I've already submitted my Spousa Visa application for processing. Maybe you could provide some advice to this.

Is 6 months the average for Visa applications thru Egypt? I was getting a different story from the office. They were quoting 4 to 6 months.

I would love to chat on Skype to discuss this further. I'm currently staying in a hotel and they dont have internet which I couldn't believe! I do have Skype so that would be nice. I'm only in Tunisia until next Tuesday so please let me know what your hours are and I will arrange a time to Skype Call you. How often are you working in Perth? I realised you have a base in Greenwood?

Many Thanks for your advice!

Kind Regards,
Rhiannon

Quote:
Originally Posted by downundervisa View Post
Yes, what Robert says is correct, Rhiannon. (I wonder if your mum was a fan of Fleetwood Mac? There were a lot of Rhiannon's born at that time. Lovely name!) You probably won't find an agent with a speciality in Tunisia, but us agents are a fairly versatile lot. Any Registered agent could help you. Just watch out for those who have no registration, and therefore no Government watchdog watching over their shoulders like we have!
Hi Jeff! You are most certainly correct! My mum named me after the song!! :-) Thanks for the compliment. I will definitely watch out for some of these agents. I've heard some bad stories online and I don't want to be a victim of this.
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Old 18th February 2010, 08:58 AM   #5
Babybah
 
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Hi Rhiannon,

I know of one couple who had a long distance relationship and only met in person for 3weeks who got their visa ok through Egyptian Embassy. They applied for the prospective marriage visa and that took nearly 11mths to come through for them. They did apply for the tourist visa first but that was rejected as I have seen in most HR countries to be the case, reason being that they think they will over stay their visa.

Hope that helps
Babybah
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Old 18th February 2010, 08:29 PM   #6
Sheelagh Blanckenberg
 
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Sheelagh Brigid Blanckenberg Registered Migration Agent
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Certain Australian missions overseas are known to be very tough - Cairo is one of them. Assessing officers have to abide by the law however, and this is where sometimes it is very important to engage a registered migration agent who is not afraid of taking DIAC employees on (especially the locally-engaged staff).

Both Jeffrey and Robert are spouse visa practioners who are used to dealing with recalcitrant staff in our overseas embassies - their advice is spot on.
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Old 18th February 2010, 11:43 PM   #7
Robert
 
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Kandralingam Chelliah Registered Migration Agent
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Hello Rhiannon,


For the 309 visa application you will be required to demonstrate in a descriptive statement your genuine commitment to each other to live as spouses "happily ever after". In this day and age, many couples "meet" in the internet, fall in love, and arrange to meet in person and get married or commit to get married. This is common and DIAC recognises, or at least it should as natural behaviour concerning matters of heart.

The worry is some Case officers and locally employed staff are called upon to make statutory decisions based on their subjective interpretation of circumstances of relationship. A case officer, can be restrictive and narrow in his/her interpretation of your spousal relationship. The local staff, who often make the preliminary assessment, infect their decisions with restrictive local customary values.

Your statement should be detailed as to how you met (internet?, dialled wrong phone number? ????) when the heart clicked, and so on. Long distance should not be problem.

I am have my Skype tuned on from 10 am to 11 pm Perth Time, except when out for lunch or dinner. You are not required to use an agent, but a good agent, like Jeff, should be able to construct a solid application.

Email me your phone number in Tunisia and I will call you through my Skype phone.

The Admin of this Forum has posted an abridged version of an MRT appeal that addresses all the issues.


best wishes

Robert K Chelliah
rkc@austmigration.com.sg
skype ID: robert.chelliah1
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