As you all know, applying for the Australian partner visa has been a huge topic on my blog, and also a subject of interest for many of those reading. A little over 2 years ago, I put in my huge stack of papers for the initial process.
That stack of papers sat in an office for nearly a year before getting looked at, at which point it took a matter of an hour before they approved the partner visa. That was a very exciting day for sure!
When I got the Aussie partner visa, that granted me temporary residence with a few perks — like the ability to work at any job in Australia and be on Medicare. Yay! But, that was also the moment that we started the countdown to being granted PR — permanent residency.
About 9 months after being granted the partner visa, I received some more fun documents to fill out, and I had to get another police check to make sure I hadn’t committed any crimes in the meantime. That was another headache because it turned out I filled out my first form incorrectly (forgot my middle name) and had to do it again! Bleh.
But, I was happy to get that out of the way and get on to the countdown. Any day now, I thought. Any. Day. Now.
I just didn’t expect that day to be the exact day that I arrived in my hometown in the USA.
Imagine my surprise when Pat sent me an email letting me know that a very large envelope from immigration arrived in the mail. Of course, I asked him to open it and share the details with me: you have been granted Permanent Residency!
Wow – crazy talk! I am now an Australian permanent resident. I know this doesn’t exactly change much for me as I’ll continue living as I was before, but internally it was a bit of a relief. When you’re living in limbo somewhere, it’s weird to classify yourself. While I am still an American citizen, I am an Australia resident. Australia is officially home.
When I started this journey and new adventure in Australia almost 4 years ago now (in March), I really had no idea what my life would be like today. In the process, I’ve met many other American expats in this country, and a couple of our good friends in Sydney were also granted PR around the same time — which is just crazy. I really have no other way to describe the realization of something we might not have imagined happening a few years prior.
If I had to guess, 4 years ago when I was still teaching English in Ukraine, where I would be in December of 2012, I don’t think Australia would have been my guess. Strange where life takes you sometimes… who knows where I’ll be in 4 years from now. Still in Australia? An Australian citizen maybe? I couldn’t guess.
What about you? Where do you see yourself in 4 years from now?