Australians, these consummate world travellers, dwell in one of many few international locations the place residents aren’t free to go away. From afar, I’ve been struck by the general public’s compliance with this coverage, even within the absence of particular targets or timelines from the federal government about when issues would possibly change. This compliance is very exceptional when you think about that the proportion of Australians born abroad is about 30 per cent. That’s numerous households divided indefinitely.
With the border closed, you would possibly count on – or hope – that the immigration authorities step up their sport to assist reunite family members. However no: if something, bringing a associate to Australia has develop into extra, not easier, over the course of this tumultuous 12 months. A number of information studies have documented ever-increasing wait occasions for associate visas, with 20 to 24 months quoted for many candidates.
The complexity of this course of is one thing I’m studying first-hand, as I might very very similar to to at some point dwell with my associate and our kids in Australia. We aren’t any strangers to immigration paperwork: I’ve been dwelling and dealing within the US on and off for 20 years; belief me, I understand how to fill in a type. And but, even when in comparison with the draconian American system, the steps to acquire an Australian associate visa are onerous.
For a begin there’s the price. I used to be shocked to study it might price us greater than $7000 simply to file an utility. (The equal US visa prices $1500.) It’s one of the costly visas on this planet, and has one of many longest processing occasions in its class. (For comparability, it took me three months to acquire a so-called “fiancée visa” from the American authorities earlier than my marriage.) My associate and I are, I do know, a number of the fortunate ones. We dwell in the identical nation, and don’t have any fast crucial to go away.